It does not pay to use Discover Card!

Trip Start Oct 23, 2010
Trip End Nov 02, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Tuesday, April 19, 2011

So the saga continues. I received a letter from Mark Iplenski the Executive Office of Customer Advocacy in response to my letter to the CEO. Essentially Discover Cards stance is that since the purchase was made over 60 days that they have no legal obligation to pursue the dispute. Never mind that the purchase was for travel and that many times you book a trip more than 60 days out. Here is a layout of what Discover Card did and why I think they dropped the ball. I really don't believe it is a coincidence that they reversed the charges the same billing cycle as when I called for the 3rd time to straighten out the air portion of the package. It is obvious to me that they sat on the dispute from October until January when I called to straighten out the faxes that they lost.

Our problem starts with a vacation package purchased 4/21/09. We intended to go to Peru in March of 2010 but due to mudslides knocking out the only rail to Machu Picchu we had to reschedule. We rescheduled for a tour leaving10/24/10.  We got a phone call on 10/19/10 from Top Destination Travel that they were canceling our vacation due to lack of funds on their part and that we could dispute the charges with our credit card. Knowing that time was of the essence we immediately got on line and disputed the charges for the land portion of the package but were told through chat that we would have to fax a request for dispute for the air portion of that package. We sent the fax the very next day. The land package showed up immediately as a temporary credit. 10/25/10 we got an email requesting that we call Discover card. Even though I sent the fax to the number that we had been given it was rerouted tithe wrong department. When I called they said that they would reroute it correctly.  

Tried to keep a close eye on the dispute waiting for the temporary credit of the flights but my father had a tractor accident on 10/23/10 and was in the Burn ICU in an induced coma from October until December. My failed trip to Machu Picchu was the last thing on my mind. It was 1/2/11 when I finally inquired about the air portion of our travel package with Discover customer service. There were two PDF files listed on the same dispute as the Land portion of the package that were copies of the first fax I had sent and the fax that had been rerouted to the correct department. The Customer service rep.that I talked to acknowledged that Discover had made an error. I was asked to fax the information for the second time. I did on 1/3/11 and by the next day the air portion of the package had been credited to the account. It was only then that Discover card reversed the temporary credit for the land portion of the tour on 1/17/2010. Upon further investigation, I found out that Discover card mailed only one notification on 10/19/10, the same day we filed the dispute and the same day that Top Destination Travel was making all the phone calls can celling every ones vacation. No follow up was ever sent to see if they received the notification and no phone call was made. It took me several phone calls and several e-mails to get Discover card straightened out but they did not provide the same courtesy on my behalf with the Travel Agency.

Realize that because my purchase was made well over the "from 60 days of purchase" that legally Discover Card has a loophole but I feel that if they had done due diligence they would have been able to contact the merchant and gotten all of our money back. They issued the credit as a good faith credit. Because this was a travel purchase the initial purchase was made well in advance but the actual service was to be provided October 24, 2010. The service was not provided and I notified Discover as soon as I was aware that the service was not going to be provided. I believe that when inquired about the flights 1/2/11 it was realized that my dispute had just been sitting therefor 2 months and someone finally got busy trying to follow through.Unfortunately it was too late to reach Top Destination Travel because they had gone out of business. Our friend that booked this trip at the same time and filed his dispute at the same time got all of his money back 11/22/10with the Visa Card that he used.  

Have tried to handle this through Discover Card but their stance is they have no legal obligation since the purchase was made over 60 days ago and that Already paid the purchase in full. They also keep stating that they already solved a number of disputes for us by getting the air portion of the package credited to us.

I have filed complaints with the Better Business bureau, the Fair Trade Commission and asked for help from several consumer investigation sites like travel troubleshooter. I know that I am probably not going to see a penny of that money ever again but I am so disappointed in how Discover Card handled this that I am canceling my card that I have had for 20 years and my husband is canceling his that he has had for 10 years.
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