Bank was wrong to claim chargeback deadline had passed

In September 2022, Rahul booked international flights on his company credit card for 7,000 euros. He booked business-class flights but received economy-class tickets. He contacted the merchant for a refund. The merchant offered a refund but said the offer was available for one hour only. As a result of the time difference, the merchant’s email arrived in the middle of the night when Rahul was asleep and he missed the chance to get a refund. The merchant refused to help further.
March 2024

Rahul sought a chargeback through his company's bank. He said the merchant had misrepresented the services as business class when they were not. The merchant responded that Rahul claimed he had not received the itinerary and that no one had responded to him, but this was incorrect.

The bank sent the merchant's response to Rahul’s work email address, but he had since left his job and did not receive the email. The bank followed up a week later, copying in an administrator at Rahul’s former workplace. A few weeks later, the administrator responded to the bank asking it to proceed with the chargeback request on the basis the merchant had not addressed Rahul’s claim, instead providing a response about matters unrelated to the core issue, namely, whether the tickets were for business-class or economy-class travel. The bank replied to the administrator that the deadline for processing a chargeback had passed and it could do nothing more.

Rahul’s company asked him to repay the 7,000 euros. Rahul then complained to us that the bank had not handled his chargeback request properly. The merchant had provided the services to the company, so Rahul obtained his former company’s permission to bring a complaint on its behalf. 

Our investigation

When banks receive a chargeback request, they have certain obligations, such as obtaining and reviewing information provided by the customer and merchant and escalating the chargeback to arbitration if not satisfied with the merchant’s response. In our view, the merchant's response was far from adequate and the bank should have escalated the chargeback request. Equally importantly, the credit card company’s rules stipulated a deadline of 45 days for escalating chargeback requests after a merchant has responded, and this timeframe hadn’t yet expired when the administrator contacted the bank with a request to proceed with the chargeback.


The bank agreed to write off the 7,000 euros.

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