refund.me fights for your rights on a daily basis – often taking cases to court. Some customers repeatedly ask us:
When do I receive my money?
Why is it taking to so long?
Others have already received their money; why haven’t I?
Why does my status not change after logging in?
Here you will find a detailed answer to shed some light on what it is we do on your behalf each day, and why we are pioneers blazing a pathway through the legal jungle.
What we do for you.
1.After you have decided to use our service, we approach the airline. Currently we are working with over 335 airlines – each one has its own methodology in dealing with customer complaints. Some airlines have their own legal departments, which take great care in dealing with complaints, whereas other airlines leave complaints completely unanswered.
2. We ask the airline to pay compensation. If it can prove that the delay or cancellation was caused by exceptional circumstances, we investigate whether this was the case. Over time we have developed close and cooperative relations with many airlines. In this respect, a close exchange of information takes place. In such cases, we obtain detailed replies or even prompt payment of your compensation. Unfortunately, not all airlines are interested in quick and effective case management, so that we rarely receive a reply. Others take advantage of the difficulty in presenting cases in front of diverse national court systems, in order not to reply to our writs or even to reject our claim for compensation payment.
3. At refund.me we proceed and take legal action. We only charge a commission where we have been successful. We bear the risk for the outcome of the case*. Had you hired a lawyer on your own initiative, he or she would need to explain to you at this point that – in the case of a loss in court – the legal fees (on both sides) could possibly exceed the amount of compensation. In the event of a lost legal procedure, you would need to bear the defendant’s legal costs as well.
4. Even more significant, however, is that we have been able to establish precedents with important landmark court decisions. These decisions pave a way through the legal labyrinth of air-passenger rights regulations and help passengers around the world enforce their right toward compensation.
Background: The EU Regulation 261/04 is in force in all EU nations (as well as Switzerland, Iceland and Norway) for ALL flights departing the EU and all flights with EU carriers (or code-share flights) headed for the EU; however, the Regulation is applied on a national level.
By way of numerous judgements of the highest courts in many European nations it has been further amended. The ECJ has frequently been appealed, which has led to decisive ECJ rulings:
- Applicability of the Regulation to flight delays, not only cancellations
- Applicability to missed connecting flights
- Definition of exceptional circumstances
- Applicability of national law to cases (statute of limitations, national rules are decisive)
5. Previously many an airline attempted to avoid compensation payment by insisting on their own national law and dismissing ECJ decisions; as a result, many landmark court decisions of the highest national courts had to be waited on in a number of countries. By now many exist (for example: in the UK in 2014 – a technical defect does not equal an exceptional circumstance, even though this had been decided by the ECJ well before).
6. Our Europe-wide network of legal experts saves you the trouble of taking your claim to court in an individual nation’s jurisdiction. In addition, you will likely not be familiar with all court rulings and will need to invest a large amount of time and money in order to obtain compensation for your disrupted flight.
Often these are ‘small money claims’ that lawyers are hesitant to take on for a lack of return. We are currently working together with air-passenger rights experts in 16 European countries and approach airlines with thousands of cases. We translate statements of claim into various languages and send such to each airline’s head office in its home country.
And precisely this has been our mission from the very beginning! We are committed to making sure you receive your rightful compensation ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. As a result the sometimes very different national procedural law can lead to lengthy court cases and overall long processing times. (In Spain, Portugal and Italy, for example, the courts are still in recess for the holidays).
Having to manoeuvre over such hurdles can take its time. We therefore kindly ask for your patience. You can however rest assured that there is a high likelihood we will eventually push your claim through successfully. And this without any financial risk to you!
Whether it ends up taking two or three hundred days – our mission is clearly defined: we make passenger rights accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world. We spare neither trouble nor expense. We are proud that in recognition of our work the Financial Times praised refund.me as a “legal industry pioneer” in its Innovative Lawyers Report.
*Where one has, against one’s better judgement, failed to inform us that one has already received compensation, booked at a discounted price and thus become ineligible for compensation, or otherwise withheld important information, one may face attorney and legal fees if the legal proceeding is lost.