- Green Member
- Posts: 3
- Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:58 pm
- Location: Northeast Ohio
Earlier this year, I had a Visa charge dispute regarding a small Peruvian hotel over the room rate. I reserved a bungalow but when I arrived midweek the clerk told me that the bungalows are used only during the weekend. She wanted us to use two different rooms instead of one bungalow. I accepted the room change under the condition that I would pay the same room rate (the two rooms would equal one bungalow) even though I added A/C to my room. The clerk made a telephone call (the manager was off site), and we seemed to have an agreement.
When I checked out of the hotel, the room rate was much higher than I agreed. The hotel manager wouldn't compromise. After arguing in Spanish for 45 minutes, I was very late for an important appointment. I signed the credit slip and left.
I disputed the charge with my credit union's credit card handler which handled the dispute poorly in my opinion. First, they needed at least three months before they even presented my allegations to the merchant's bank. My overly detailed dispute letter (which included proof of our original agreement) seemed to confuse the credit union's dispute department which appeared to be very inexperienced in international disputes. Based on the initial response I received, the credit union's credit card handler initially claimed that the disagreement was a currency conversion dispute.
After reading the merchant's response, my rebuttal letter clearly and concisely listed the pertinent facts which included the original reservation email. There were no subsequent written agreements. The merchant had no proof that I stayed in an upgraded room or that I agreed to pay a higher rate.
Unfortunately, I lost the charge dispute even though there is no proof that I stayed in an upgraded room or agreed to pay a higher room rate. The credit union's credit card handler said that I shouldn't have signed the slip. Would I have risked jail if I tried to leave the hotel without signing the slip?
Based on my experience, I found that the Visa dispute charge policy favors businesses/merchants over consumers. Visa's policy appears to be that if the consumer doesn't have sufficient proof and the merchant doesn't have any proof then the merchant wins the dispute by default.
What has your experience been with charge disputes and Visa? How do you handle international disputes?