Chargeback under Provincial Statutes

Most Canadian provinces have consumer protection legislation requiring credit card issuers to reverse or cancel charges for services you did not receive. The reversal or cancellation of charges under such legislation (statute) is called a statutory chargeback. On this page, you will find informational guides on statutory chargeback for each province.

Statutory vs. "Internal" Chargeback

A statutory chargeback is not the same as going through your card issuer or bank’s internal chargeback process. Internal chargeback is based on the card issuer or bank's own rules. Statutory chargeback is governed by the laws of a province.

This means that if you have previously been unsuccessful navigating Visa, MasterCard or American Express internal chargeback processes, it does not matter. Your legal rights under provincial statute remain unchanged, regardless of any previous discussion you may have had with your card issuer, and regardless of any card holder agreement.

Therefore, you may follow the steps described in the guides below at any point in time, even if your bank or card network has previously decided against you under their own rules.

No 60/90/100/120 Day Limit on Starting Statutory Chargeback

The essence of statutory chargeback is that it is prescribed by provincial law, not by the credit card or the bank's own internal rules. Currently, there is no 60/90/100/120 day limit on starting statutory chargeback in any province. Even in Ontario and Quebec, your clock starts after you gave a Step 1 notice to the supplier, not before that.

Some credit card networks have a time limit for invoking their own, internal chargeback procedures. These deadlines range from 60 to 120 days from the date the the services were supposed to delivered (i.e., the flight's scheduled departure time).

If your credit card issuer mentions any limitation of this sort, it is a sign that they are clueless about their obligations under provincial statute, and are confusing internal chargeback with statutory chargeback. The two very substantially differ.

Applicability: Which Guide to Select?

The vast majority of consumers should select the guide that coincides with their province of residence. If your purchase is not covered under your own provincial statutes, then some alternatives may exist.

Consumers who have purchased services from Swoop or Westjet, registered in Alberta, may also refer to the Alberta guide for potential recourse.

Consumers who have purchased services from Sunwing, registered in Ontario, may also refer to the Ontario guide for potential recourse.