Q: I have a problem with Civitavecchia Shuttle, a ground transportation company in Italy. We decided to cancel our vacation in Rome last September and tried to get a refund for our shuttle reservations from Civitavecchia to Rome.

I paid for all three reservations with my Visa credit card. But when I contacted Civitavecchia Shuttle, a representative told me that they were trying to refund the money to my PayPal account.

I never used PayPal to make the shuttle reservation. I never canceled any payments in PayPal or even know how to use it. I think I should be refunded to my original payment method unless for some reason they can’t reimburse after this long of a time lapse. Could you help me get my money back? — Maureen DiNafo, Delray Beach, Fla.

A: You’re right, normally a business will refund your tickets to the original payment method. But these are not normal times.

I reviewed the correspondence between you and Civitavecchia Shuttle. A representative kept asking you for your PayPal information, insisting that the refund was not a scam. (It wasn’t.) But it looks like you rejected the money coming back from Civitavecchia Shuttle to a PayPal account.

I think what makes this problem so interesting is that I have a pile of cases where companies insisted — insisted! — that they refund to the customers’ original payment method. They did that even when the customers had closed their credit cards. I believe that in some instances, it was a ploy to keep their money.

Read more…