The mystery of the missing hotel refund is solved

DEAR TRAVEL TROUBLESHOOTER: Last yr I booked a visit to Las Vegas through an internet site called Traveluro. My airline canceled the flight and I couldn't get one other flight, so I needed to cancel my hotel reservation.

Christopher Elliott, the travel troubleshooter...
Christopher Elliott, the travel troubleshooter

I contacted Traveluro and a representative agreed to cancel my reservation and refund me the total amount. However, the refund appeared as “pending” in my account after which completely canceled. It was never fully processed.

I filed a bank card dispute with my bank, but my bank rejected my request. Traveluro is incredibly difficult to succeed in. I call, it rings once after which hangs up. I've been trying for months!

The one time I got through – aside from my initial call – a rep said they might escalate the situation and call me inside 24-48 hours. That never happened. Please help me get my $444 back!

ANSWER: If Traveluro promised you a refund, this needs to be the case.

First of all, you is perhaps wondering what Traveluro is. It is an internet travel agency operated by Holisto, an organization based within the US and Israel. Traveluro offers support in several European languages, hence perhaps the “uro” part.

Why didn't Traveluro refund your hotel? First, online agencies don't control refunds for non-refundable rooms. You would need to ask the Las Vegas hotel for a waiver, which might take a while. It looks like Traveluro tried to get your a reimbursement – hence the “pending” refund. But time ran out when you made the decision to file a bank card dispute.

A bank card dispute is whenever you ask your bank to reverse a transaction since it is fraudulent or because you probably did not receive the services or products you ordered. For more information on how chargebacks work, see my ultimate guide about bank card disputes on my consumer protection page,

So what went improper? I mean, aside from the proven fact that I attempted to call an internet agency, which is normally not a great idea. (Always email to go away a paper trail.)

“Don't worry,” Shmilovich added. “I've asked my operations team to issue a new refund, which should already be in your account.”

Ah, I really like glad endings! But there's a crucial lesson here for all of us. When an organization guarantees a refund, you may have to present them time. Sometimes a refund to your bank card can take as much as two billing cycles, greater than two months. If you lose patience and file a bank card dispute, the refund process won't just stop. It may even be reversed, so that you never get your money.

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