This is how customers get their money back after the bankruptcy

Thomas Cook travel agency

Credit card holders benefit from the chargeback process.

(Photo: AP)

Dusseldorf The bankruptcy of the tour operator Thomas Cook has hit vacationers hard. The company has canceled all travel for this year, and the insurer's coverage Zurich will probably not be enough to compensate all travelers. Anyone who has paid for their vacation with a Master or Visacard is almost on the safe side.

The chargeback process allows customers to retrieve the money. If the process is successful, you will be credited the amounts paid by the card-issuing bank.

This practice is intended to protect cardholders from credit card fraud. But it is also used when a service provider does not provide paid services – as in the case of Thomas Cook. "Customers who cancel their trip with a visa or MasterCardCredit card, the chargeback procedure is basically open, "explains Stiftung Warentest.

Here, package travelers have to proceed as follows: First, they must write to the bankruptcy insurance of Thomas Cook. Stiftung Warentest has set up a sample letterHolidaymakers can use. If the company's insolvency insurance is denied or only part of the cost, then holidaymakers must contact the bank that issues their credit card.

The financial institution in turn must then initiate a chargeback procedure at the request of the customer. Important: There is a period of 120 days for the complaint. It starts as soon as the customer knows that the trip has been canceled. When booking individual services such as flights or hotel stays, it is a little different. Since there is no insurance through insolvency insurance, customers can contact the card-issuing bank directly.

As a rule, banks recognize the regulations of credit card operators, as Stiftung Warentest points out. But the reality is different. The consumer advocates criticizethat the banks would communicate inadequately or even misinform the practice. This was confirmed by the readers' mailings that Stiftung Warentest received.

Foundation criticizes "false statements"

"For a package tour there is no chargeback right. (…) For this reason, even the MasterCard regulations are not applicable, "cite the consumer advocates from a letter of Commerzbanka customer submitted. The Consorsbank have expressed similar. "False statements," sums up the foundation. And both the Santander Bank and Postbank had told customers that they could not help in the matter.

From a complete consultation can also Barclaycard and comdirect there is no question, it goes on. Barclaycard merely refers to the collateral security that can be used to pay for the Zurich Insolvency Insurance. However, the chargeback process leaves the company under the carpet.

Similarly, Comdirect would have argued with several customers. Only after several contacts had the institute turned in and stated that it was attempting to claim damages from Thomas Cook. Again, the Stiftung Warentest sees a false information: "That's wrong. In fact, the refund is made by the bank of the insolvent tour operator. "

While many banks are writhing around, the consumer organization is calling two positive examples. Miles & More and Berliner Volksbank would provide complete and accurate information about the reimbursement options – including the chargeback procedure.

More: The crisis of the package travel goes much deeper than Thomas Cook, comments our editor Christoph Schlautmann.

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