My Visa chargeback fell victim to the Covid pandemic

Nationwide ignored my claim for £837 after our flight with KLM was cancelled

In April, I contacted my credit card provider, Nationwide, to request a chargeback for two flights cancelled due to the coronavirus epidemic. The airlines in question, Ryanair and KLM, were both refusing to refund me.

Eventually, after much delay and repeated requests for the same information, Nationwide did comply with the first one – although, just after I filed the claim Ryanair paid up.

However, my request for a much larger sum – £837 – to KLM has been ignored by Nationwide, despite many emails and telephone conversations. All I get is a repeat of all the problems it is having because of Covid-19. I do appreciate this, but feel that nobody has even bothered to read my messages properly. Today, I received another letter saying that it considers my complaint has been addressed.

I regard this as very shabby treatment anyway, but having had almost all my financial affairs with Nationwide for the last 33 years, I feel particularly aggrieved.
, Northampton

A great many consumers, denied refunds by an airline, have found themselves in this position in recent months, and it’s fair to say that card dispute teams at banks and building societies have been swamped.

Nationwide, which has a better reputation than most in this regard, accepts that it has not handled your case as well as it should have. It says the delay was caused by the loss of the booking information it had requested. It seems the person who told you that the KLM claim had been concluded was wrong, and it was, in fact, happening.

Happily, the money is now back in your account.

“The pandemic has meant the society has received an unprecedented number of Visa dispute cases, which has led to claims taking longer than usual,” Nationwide says. “We now have the evidence needed to make a chargeback claim, and we have refunded the money while it is progressed. We apologise to our member for the delay in processing his claim and will offer him £100 compensation.”

Others in the same boat may have more success contacting the original airline, assuming it is processing refunds. KLM was originally refusing to give passengers their money back – with the apparent blessing of the Dutch government. However, on 11 June it said it would start issuing refunds and that customers who received vouchers can opt for cash instead.

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Miles Brignall

The GuardianTramp

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