Refund from Shyster Site

I needed an ETA for Canada. I’ve done them before and so entered “Canada ETA” into Google and inadvertently selected a Shyster Site (Evisa Express), rather than the Canadian Government site.

I filled in what looked like the familiar questions on the familiar looking form and entered my credit card details. It was only after I’d clicked submit, that I noticed I’d been charged 50 Euros.

Almost immediately, I realised what I’d done and called Halifax (my card issuer) to see if I could get the payment stopped.

They use an automated system, but following advice from the BBC Watchdog programme, I answered “abacus, petunia, toilet brush” to the first question and “beer pump mahogany gas pipe” to the second and I was soon through to a human, who was incredibly unhelpful, but offered to put me through to their fraud department – waiting time one hour!

I tried again and this time, got a very helpful chap who suggested the best thing to do was to dispute the payment with Mastercard, but to make sure that I had all the correspondence requesting Evisa Express to cancel the transaction and issue a refund.

I found the correct site and put in a proper application for my ETA.

I emailed Evisa Express, asking them to cancel the transaction and refund. I followed that up with an email explaining I was raising a dispute with Mastercard over their fraudulent Evisa Express website.

I got an email back saying they couldn’t cancel the transaction as my ETA had already been processed.

I pointed out that it had only cost them $4, but no response.

I downloaded their conditions of service, and it looks like they’re a Polish company. There was an appendix with the legal wording to cancel a contract with the company.

I created a PDF of their form, filled it in and emailed it off.

I received an email the next day, saying they would refund my 50 Euros minus the ETA fee they already paid on the Canadian Government site.

I consider £4ish a fair loss for my gross stupidity! I’m pleased to say they have now refunded the money to my card!

I’ve received an ETA directly from the Canadian Government site.


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