Bored. Cranky. Playing a LOT of Animal Crossing.
Outside of that, I do believe I have encountered a first for all of mankind: I have received not one but TWO refunds for my COVID-canceled Prague trip.
When I booked the trip (in November of 2019), I was still living in a happy bubble in which travel insurance wasn’t a useless and frustrating option; still holding out hope that we’d be refunded for our Super Typhoon-canceled Japan trip (we weren’t). Since that time I’ve come to realize that travel insurance is simply a waste of money that could be better spent on literally anything else, but since I had purchased the insurance for Prague, I thought I’d go through the motions of making a claim because let’s face it I have nothing but time these days.
I submitted a half-hearted insurance claim with the info I had. Logically, I qualified for coverage: trip cancelled through no fault of my own, complete with documentation. However, logic rarely has anything to do with insurance claims, so I was fully expecting my claim to be denied because COVID was outside the purposefully-vague policy conditions. I quickly forgot about my claim, going so far as needing to be prompted twice by the insurance company to send in any corroborating information. I did and heard nothing, which is what I expected.
In the meantime, I was able to cancel the hotel and excursion bookings with no issue, and received prompt refunds for the bookings. The airline, though, decided that people shouldn’t get money back: instead, they would give people credit for their cancelled flights; credit that expires at the end of August. And has to be used for travel before the end of 2020. Thumbs up, Lufthansa – the world will absolutely be recovered from the apocalypse by August. What excellent business sense you have!
I have lost literally thousands of dollars in the last 8 months because of fucked up travel circumstances out of my control, and this was just one more feather in the ugliest cap that ever did exist. Fed up, I contacted my bank and started the chargeback process. It took several hours to get through, but I was eventually able to talk to an actual human who got the process rolling for me. All that was left to do was sit back, play some more Animal Crossing, and wait for the airline to inevitably deny my claim and claw the money back.
True to the bank’s word, the initial cost of my flight was applied back to my credit card approximately two weeks later. This is a temporary thing – the bank has to give the airline time to review my request, and nine point nine times out of ten, they deny the chargeback. Once that happens, the bank will take the full cost of my flight back out of my credit card. To make sure I had the funds to cover this, I put the “refund” into a separate account so I could throw it back on the Visa when Lufthansa played their dirty game.
The clawback hasn’t happened yet, and the money is still sitting in my Swiss bank account for untraceable money crimes. While it would be awfully nice if the airline decided to stop fucking people over, I realize they probably can’t and many airlines will go bankrupt due to the apocalypse. Sucks, but not my problem or responsibility, so I feel no guilt at demanding my money back. There is a nation-wide fuck shortage, and I don’t have enough extra fucks to generate pity for giant corporations receiving government bailouts.
So, here we sit: refund (temporarily) received from Visa. It could be months before the airline is able to wade through the thousands of chargeback requests they’re getting and deny them all.
Then, last week: a cheque arrived from the insurance company for the full amount of my flight. My claim had been paid in full.
What the fuuuuuuck!
I deposited the cheque (into a different offshore banking account; I really do commit a lot of money crimes) and sat on the situation over the long weekend. At present, I am on hold with my bank (going into hour 2) to get them to reverse my chargeback claim. As fun as it would be to keep both refunds and go on some sort of spree, I really don’t want this to come back and bite me in the ass down the road when I might be less able to pay back an ill-gotten $1500. Is this what being a reasonable adult is like? Frankly, I’m not a fan.
The RBC hold music is driving me batty, and I’m rapidly running out of patience to sit here much longer. From what I remember, it took well over two hours for my initial call to be answered, so I’ll reluctantly give it a bit more time – beyond that, though, how much effort am I required to put in to Do the Right Thing? I’m pretty confident that Lufthansa is going to claw this money back any day now, but I was also pretty confident that the insurance company would deny my claim because I wore mismatched socks that one time in 5th grade, so I’m not holding much faith in my intuition these days. If I can’t get through to the bank (aka give up on this fucking awful hold music), can I just sit on the money until I hear .. anything? Banking is still stuck somewhere in the 19th century, so there’s no online option for me to go through to deal with this (and I somehow doubt “take back this money” would be something they’ve built an interface for) – I have to use my Mouth Words and talk to an Actual Human, which is among my least favourite things to do.
When they come to throw me in jail in 2023 because of this money I’ve stolen through no real effort, at least I can say I TRIED to do the right thing. That’ll count when I’m begging for leniency, right? I’m way too awkward to go to jail, and too much of a shit disturber – I’ll form gangs. Weird ones. No one wants to deal with my weird prison gangs, trust me.
Yesterday I experienced my first thunder storm in Animal Crossing, so that was fun. How’s everyone else holding up?