I found my father looking demoralized while sitting at his desk in his home office. “The credit card won’t give us the money back for your flight,” he lamented. “It says right here in their paperwork that if you’ve already paid the balance, you can’t get a refund.”
“Oh, posh,” I said. “Credit cards are always willing to give a refund if you don’t receive the item, or some such similar thing happens.”
“No! It says so right here!”
“But that’s probably in reference to fraudulent purchases that you didn’t authorize. Like, if a thief made a $1,000 purchase, why would you pay the bill without disputing it? But this isn’t fraudulent–you gave me permission to use the card. Trust me, they’ll consider a refund.”
He seemed despondent. “I’ll write them a letter. Oh, God, why?”
“No!” I exclaimed. “Let me call them. I’ll get it all taken care of. Look at me, I’m not angry, see? I’ll keep my cool, I’ll promise! If they insist on getting your permission to talk with me, I’ll wave you over. It’ll all be fine.”
He still seemed sadder than I’ve ever seen him. “No, just let me write them a letter,” he insisted. As a lawyer, this is his go-to tactic that doesn’t work often enough, in my opinion.
“Oh, come on. Watch me fix this!” I grabbed his credit card from his wallet and ran over to the phone before he could stop me. Then I sat down and dialed the number on it. “Oops,” I said. “I grabbed the wrong card. This isn’t Capital One.”
He groaned and got me the right card from his wallet. I dialed again.
I was immediately put through to someone with whom I discussed the situation. He didn’t ask me to get my dad on the line for permission, so I sure didn’t raise the issue.
He said, “Are you referring to this $20 purchase from justfly?”
“No, look above that,” I said. “See the $920 purchase from the airline?”
“Well, see, here’s the thing. I swear on my life that I bought the flight through justfly. I don’t know how or why it’s showing up as though I bought it directly from the airline. In fact, you can see that I’m telling the truth because of the $20 add-on bill from justfly right below it.”
(I have no idea how justfly managed to get the airline’s name put on our credit card, when I did, in fact, book through justfly. It’s a mystery.)
“I would urge you to contact justfly.”
“Oh, they’re out to lunch.”
I outlined my efforts at reaching them and my difficulties communicating with them.
He said, “I’m going to reverse the charges right away and contact justfly. Unless they have a compelling argument against you, in which case I’ll ask you for more info, then you can rest assured that you won’t be charged this amount.”
“Oh, great! Thank you so much!”
We ended our call. My dad was in the bathroom, so I called my mom and gave her the good news. She was thrilled! And so was my dad when he showed up. I hope he wasn’t in there crying, or something.
I feel immense relief because I’ve been second-guessing myself. Like, should I have just kept the changed flight with the eight- or nine-hour layover?
I don’t think my dad knew or understood that credit card companies stand by your purchases through them. (So does PayPal, by the way.) If the item isn’t delivered, or is delivered in bad condition, then the charge can be challenged, often successfully. But I felt so sad for my dad that I wanted to take care of it already! YAY!