Debra Cassel is missing a refund from DirecTV. Why can’t it just send her the money?
Question: In 2013, I paid for an extra dish from DirecTV with my Discover card. The dish was never installed and several months later, I canceled the order and asked for a refund.
The refund never came. I called DirecTV and was told that it had refunded $104 to my Discover card. I spoke with Discover and they said they didn’t have the money.
I sent DirecTV an email and they responded, saying they could not find a record of the purchase on my card. They asked for a copy of my credit card bill and told me to fill in a form on their site.
I filled in the form, sent them another email and mailed a copy of the credit card bill. It’s been two years, and there’s still no refund. I would like my $104 refunded. Can you help? — Debra Cassel, Philadelphia
Answer: DirecTV should have promptly refunded your purchase when it failed to install your second dish.
And guess what? It did. I contacted the company on your behalf, and it reviewed its records and says it refunded $104 to your card in 2013.
So why didn’t you get the money? Turns out your original Discover card was frozen because of fraudulent activity. DirecTV refunded the money to that account, since it was the credit card you used to pay for your purchase.
That information allowed you to go back to Discover, which again insisted that it never received the refund from DirecTV. Discover, you were told, has systems in place to forward a refund like this from your old card to the new one, so you should have received the refund.
You called your credit card company and initiated a credit card dispute, which will ensure you’ll receive a full (albeit late) refund.
How do you avoid something like this? Carefully monitor your credit card statements for potential fraud and for any refunds you’re expecting. If you don’t get it, you’ll need to file a dispute (technically, you only have 60 days under federal law, although banks can let you go longer at their discretion).
Companies automatically issue refunds through the original payment method, but if you suspect there might be problems, you can ask to make alternate arrangements. If the company had balked, you could have contacted one of the DirecTV executive contacts for help.
© 2016 Christopher Elliott.