The merchant must provide evidence of the law or regulation that must explicitly prohibit the merchant from offering the service.
If the service was cancelled due to a government prohibition and therefore not available for the cardholder:
- A written statement about this dispute
- Documentation proving the merchant has met their contractual obligations (e.g. order details, invoices, correspondence with the customer, etc.)
- You must provide the government prohibition that explicitly :
- Prohibits the merchant from offering the service due to COVID-19 and/or
- Negate the right to a refund by express reference to card network dispute rules, form of payment, or the like.
- In addition, the merchant must also offer a credit voucher, credit note, or other reasonable alternative consistent with the terms and conditions of purchase between the merchant and cardholder.
- An extract or link to the T&C’s specifying the cancellation policy
- Booking logs showing the T&C’s were accepted prior to the completion of the booking
- or proof that a full refund was issued or the services were used.
Failure to provide all or a reasonable alternative gives the issuing bank dispute rights as the services were not provided, unless the government prohibition explicitly negated the right to a refund or other alternative.
The cases of government prohibition superseding credit card rules are very limited and in most scenarios, issuing banks will continue to have dispute rights.