COVID-19 has wreaked all sorts of havoc for companies and consumers that purchased everything from airfare to sports tickets.
While some companies have done right by their customers, others have complained that they may be forced out of business if they are compelled to offer refunds. Of course that argument also works for consumers who are now struggling to pay their bills.
In the airline industry, American and Delta have generally done the right thing, while airlines like Air Canada, El Al, JetBlue, and United have resisted offering refunds.
Luckily if you have a ticket that involves US travel, most airlines have been compelled by the DOT to offer refunds for cancelled flights. If they don’t, you can file a DOT complaint to get a refund. Many DansDeals readers who were not able to get a refund from El Al were able to receive one after filing a complaint.
But it’s not foolproof, Air Canada has still resisted refunds and lied about the DOT’s position.
Those policies may make short-term sense, but it will bite them if they are hit with a fine or if they lose customers due to their policies.
Why would someone book a ticket on Air Canada or El Al today knowing that they may not get a refund if the airline cancels their flight?
You can try a chargeback on your credit card based on DOT rulings. Or you can try taking them to small claims court if that fails.
Back on Cyber Monday, I bought 10 Cedar Point tickets with Fast Lane access. Yes, I’m a hopeless roller coaster junkie, I even visited Ferrari World while in Abu Dhabi to try out the world’s fastest roller coaster. But nothing compares to Cedar Point.
Cedar Point is currently closed and when they reopen it will initially only be for season ticket holders and resort guests. All visitors will need to wear a mask.
Cedar Point wrote in their April 14th update that they would “work with guests who have prepaid single-day tickets during the time period of our temporary park closure,” so I figured it wouldn’t be hard to request a refund or ticket extension to use them next year.
However I emailed Cedar Point and they said they were not offering refunds and they were not offering extensions past 2020.
I tweeted at them, but there was radio silence.
Do the right thing and refund or extend the validity to 2021 for people that planned visits and aren't able to come due to the park closure#CPDoTheRightThing
— DansDeals (@DansDeals) June 15, 2020
I could have tried to dispute the charge, but before I went down that route I filed a complaint with the OH attorney general.
The attorney general’s office asked for more detail and I sent them my purchase receipts and outlined my complaint and their empty promise about working with guests.
The very next day Cedar Point emailed me and the attorney general’s office apologizing for the “confusion” and wrote that effective immediately they would extend all of their 2020 tickets to be used in 2021.
— DansDeals (@DansDeals) June 23, 2020
You can find a link to your state’s attorney general here and file a complaint with your state’s attorney general on their site.
Which companies have you dealt with during the COVID-19 and what avenues did you utilize to try to resolve issues?