My Britrail Flexi Pass refund is taking forever. What should I do?

DEAR TRAVEL TROUBLESHOOTER: In February 2020, I bought two Britrail England Flexi Passes through ACP Rail, a travel agency specializing in rail passes.

Christopher Elliott, the Travel Troubleshooter

A year later, it became clear that we would not use the passes. Since they were refundable, I asked ACP for a refund. It agreed to take the tickets back, and in February 2021, I mailed the tickets back to the company.

I never got the money.

I checked with ACP multiple times. Whenever I did, it would send me emails that said “due to government restrictions,” its offices were closed. It blamed the closure on a delay in processing our refund. “We will follow up and confirm as soon as possible,” they promised. But I never received a confirmation.

As I write this, it is November 2021 — almost two years after I bought my Britrail passes — and I still haven’t received the $558 that ACP Rail promised me. I read your column about another ACP case and was hoping you could help me get a refund.

— Katherine Spokes, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

ANSWER: Did you say ACP Rail had your money for almost two years? That’s got to be some kind of record. In case you’re just joining us, a refund should take no more than a week. The best companies can do it in a few minutes. two years? Where’s that number for Guinness?

Before I get to the resolution on your case, l want to acknowledge the many emails I’ve received from readers about pandemic refund cases. You are done with them, you say — and I hear you. So am I! I think this may be our last one. Two years really is a record. And besides, we have a lot of other problems to solve for travelers, don’t we?

You were way too patient with your online agency and Britrail. I list the Britrail executive contacts on my consumer advocacy site at www.elliott.org/company-contacts/britrail/. I would have reached out to them — politely — and asked them for a refund. Alternatively, you could have contacted your credit card issuer to see if they would allow you to dispute the charge. A good credit card company would have fought for you to receive a prompt refund. A written promise to return the money would be viewed as a credit memo by some credit card dispute departments, and you would have received your money quickly.

I don’t know why it took ACP Rail so long. It looks as if your Britrail passes were refundable. According to the terms (www.britrail.com/britrail-passes/eligibility-conditions-of-use/), you had 11 months from the date of issue to request a full refund, unless your travel agent specified other terms, which it didn’t. You were within the refund window. Maybe ACP’s offices were closed for a while during the initial outbreak, but it was still accepting reservations, which means it was still in business. And if it’s in business, it can issue a timely refund.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.