I am writing to bring to your attention a possibly grave breach of contract and your international rules by a Turkish bank.
I have used my Visa card on 26th of May 2018 to buy Rome-Buenos Aires return tickets from Turkish Airlines. The price was 2176.13 Euros and I got a 3D Secure code to pay for it. The card I used is issued by a Turkish Bank, Is Bankasi. As I live in Europe, my contract with them is for me to pay foreign currencies in Euros. However, they -let alone my consent, without even my knowledge- converted this amount to Turkish Liras. I noticed and objected to this charge even before my credit card statement was issued. They claimed that there was a law for the protection of the Turkish Lira, that Turkish companies could not charge Turkish customers in any other currency than the Lira and denied my request to pay in Euros as per our contract. This was a big inconvenience for me as I did not have Turkish Liras at hand, I had to get a loan and convert money at a loss. Plus, had I known, I'd never have consented to such a rate imposed by the bank in the first place as the Euro-TL exchange was fluctuating at the time.
Anyway, thinking a respectable bank like İş Bankası would not do anything against rules and laws, even though grudgingly, I paid up. However, I later realized this transaction by the bank was against Visa core rules and it fell under the category of “incorrect currency.” So I filed a chargeback request on February 2019. I only claimed 4.000 TL back as I had used the flight service in the meantime, I just wanted to be compensated my loss. The bank refused.
On delving further into the matter, I found out that they were “lying”, that the law in question did not give them any right to make this currency conversion. So I filed a claim again, this time for total reimbursement. They refused my chargeback request on the grounds that the time for objection was 120 days and it had expired. Upon which I went through your core rules and noticed that you made some rule changes recently which would go in effect in April 13, 2019. As per my knowledge, before that, the application time was 365 days. When I questioned if the period of objection wasn't a year at the time of my chargeback request, they first wrote me saying they couldn't divulge rules. Upon my insistence, they held on to their answer that the objection period had expired. (Both verbal on a phone call and in written.) However, I still wasn't satisfied as they did not answer my question if the rule changes were to go in effect as of April 2019.
On November 5th, the Customer Experience Manager Ümran Akbulut called and told me that my chargeback request was denied, not because of the expiry period but because there was a 3D Secure code for the transaction! Now... This is totally unacceptable! Their inconsistency makes one question their honesty. It certainly looks like they are trying to come up with other explanations after they've been caught "lying." If that is the case, it is very serious deceit of customer. A bank which denies a customer's rightful claim with lies violates trust and basic business ethics.
Plus, as shown below, the 3D Secure code clearly states 2176,13 Euros and my extract shows 12,060.55 TL with no reference to the original transaction in Euros. No need for me to tell you that in case of authorized conversions, the original transaction is always stated (as shown in the ARS and GBP conversions). They still deny my claims.
If I am correct in my claim, this is a very serious breach of contract and of international Visa rules. It also means that Is Bankasi has been “cheating” its customers by taking advantage of our lack of knowledge of rules and laws, denying us our rights and outright lying. Again, if that is the case, the situation is very grave. The situation is aggrevated also because İş Bankası has partnered with Turkish Airlines to process all their payments, which means they have refused my claim to protect their interests, that they have used their power in bad faith, abused their position mala fide.
As I believe what happened is a gross violation of Visa's core rules I wished to inform you. I hope you may clarify the matter for me. Thank you in advance. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Zeynep Gülin De Vincentiis
PS: A much more detailed analysis of the incident can be found in Turkish at Kanunlara Sözleşmelere ve Uluslararası Kurallara Uymayan İki Büyük Şirket: THY ve İş Bankası