ABTA continues its lobbying on chargebacks by sharing Member evidence with Small Business Minister

Published on : Monday, December 7, 2020

ABTA is continuing to act on the issue of unfair credit and debit card chargebacks on behalf of Members, lobbying on this matter and providing guidance. This week we have written to Paul Scully MP, Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets, sharing evidence and insight from Members on the increasing problems that the travel industry, particularly SMEs, are experiencing with chargeback schemes.

In particular ABTA highlighted:

ABTA’s Director of Public Affairs, Luke Petherbridge said:

“The chargeback system is failing reputable travel companies, with the dispute resolution system appearing to be at risk of systemic collapse under the volume of COVID-related claims. 

“All too often banks and merchant acquirers are applying insufficient checks to ensure that chargeback claims are justified. The wide-ranging problems with chargebacks are adding to the extremely difficult trading conditions and are being acutely felt by our travel agent Members in particular. The additional cost is putting the future of some travel companies at risk. 

“We are continuing to lobby the Government and finance industry on this issue and Members now have access to free advice from our Partner phoneline.”

ABTA says that it has consistently stated support for the chargebacks system, which in ordinary times acts to ensure consumers can enforce their rights under the Consumer Credit Act, but claims that there is strong evidence that the dispute resolution system behind the scheme is failing, and that proper scrutiny is not being applied during the COVID-19 crisis.

As well as lobbying the Government and finance industry on this issue, ABTA has set up a free adviceline for Members, through ABTA’s partner scheme, to assist Members with problems with chargebacks. 

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