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VERIFY: Will you be refunded for goods, services not received due to COVID-19?

The pandemic has canceled a lot of events and caused product shortages. But consumers can get their money back if they never received something they paid for.

WASHINGTON — QUESTION:
If you’ve paid for something like a sports camp or spa gift card and the merchant was unable to provide the goods or services because of the outbreak, can you get your money back?

ANSWER:

Yes, there are ways to do it.

SOURCES

Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover and the National Association of Consumer Advocates. 

PROCESS:

All of our sources recommend talking with the merchant first. 

Officials at Mastercard said most reasonable merchants are offering refunds, fee waivers, store credit and vouchers. 

Working directly with a business will also help you settle the whole thing quicker.

If that does not work, you'll want to go through the billing dispute process, which could take some time. But Discover said you won’t have to pay for that disputed transaction while an investigation plays out. 

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Credit: AFP via Getty Images
An Indian money changer poses as he counts US Dollar currency notes at his office in New Delhi on October 24, 2008. India's central bank kept its key interest rates steady but declared it was ready to take "unconventional" and swift measures to deal with the global financial crisis. AFP PHOTO/ MANAN VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP via Getty Images)


QUESTION:

What if I paid with a check or debit card?

ANSWER:

It can be more difficult to get your money back.

PROCESS:

According to Ira Rheingold, executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, it's a lot harder to get your money back if you paid by check or debit card.

Rheingold said try and work it out with the merchant first. If that's not successful, Rheingold said maybe go the social media route to put pressure on them to refund your money. 

So, we can verify that yes there are ways to try and get a refund for a product or service you didn’t get because of the pandemic. But some are easier than others. 

RELATED: VERIFY: Can your employer mandate a COVID-19 test before you return to work?

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