Forced to cancel vacation due to COVID-19? Here’s how you can maybe get money back

Forced to cancel vacation due to COVID-19? Here’s how you can maybe get money back

PITTSBURGH — The coronavirus pandemic forced many local families to cancel their vacation plans this summer.

It can turn into a major ordeal too if you’ve paid thousands of dollars for a vacation rental and then the company refuses to issue a refund.

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“It’s dangerous and I was fighting to keep my parents from going. They’re two 84-year-old people that were going to get on a plane,” one local woman told Channel 11.

Pam Oliverio went through a beach rental company for a vacation home in Hilton Head, South Carolina -- with 20 members of her family.

Right on the beach, it cost thousands of dollars for a week this summer. But with COVID-19 spiking, they contacted the company to try and cancel.

Oliverio said the company gave them the runaround and wouldn’t give them a refund.

“We said, ‘roll it over to next July and keep our money.' Well, that wasn’t really an option,” she said.

So, what are your options?

First, read the cancellation policy in your contract to determine if you are entitled to a refund. If not, try to work something out with the business.

If that fails, you can file a complaint with the Pennsylvania Attorney General for help. Officials said the AG’s office enters into a voluntary process with the consumer and business and try to come up with a resolution between the parties.

There’s no guarantee that will work, but officials said they are often successful.

“We are seeing that businesses are trying to be reasonable for the most part because they want to keep their goodwill with their customers and have them come back in the future,” said Sarah Frasch, chief deputy attorney general in consumer protection.

You can also dispute the charges. If you paid with a credit card, file suit if you get no resolution. Also, be sure to write an online review about your experience.

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