Help, Expedia Sold My Chargeback To A Collection Agency!

Ed and his wife successfully filed a chargeback against Expedia for a canceled trip earlier this year. Now he’s being dunned by a collection agency for the amount that Amex refunded him.

Wife and I had a trip booked to London [this past February]. With the blizzard, flights were grounded for three days. Our plane tickets were refunded from Virgin, and our hotel was refunded from Travelocity, because the blizzard was out of control.

Expedia refused to reimburse part of our package. I filed a chargeback with Amex, and won.

Fast forward until Saturday, I receive a letter from a collection agency for the $493 on behalf of Expedia. We haven’t heard from them since the chargeback in March.

1). Is this legit? Can the company try and get money from me after Amex ruled in my favor?

2). My credit score is hovering around 760, and I don’t want a collections to go on there. Is there a way to avoid this?

I called Amex. I was on the phone for 40 minutes with them this AM. I talked to three different people, all who said Amex can’t do anything. I left a message for someone in the dispute department, but I imagine the same thing will be said.

A chargeback can be a useful tool to get your money back when you don’t think a business is being fair, but if Expedia wasn’t willing to refund you the money in the first place, you can imagine how it feels about this. Many companies will sell chargebacks to collection agencies so that they can make at least a little money off the debt, thus passing the problem back over to you.

Some of your options include contacting the collection agency by USPS and demanding proof of the debt, or disputing the debt (again, by USPS) and asking that they cease contact with you completely. (If you do this, the company has the right to sue you if it wants.) You can also send a letter to the credit reporting agency disputing the debt and ask them to remove it, although they don’t have to.

If you really don’t want to risk the hit on your credit score, you can always contact the collection agency and negotiate a much lower repayment than the full amount. Remember that the agency bought this debt for pennies on the dollar when you negotiate, and be sure to get any repayment agreement in writing first.

“Debt Collection FAQs: A Guide for Consumers” [FTC]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.