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Not always. Part of my job is to manage our payment processing server at work, and we issue refunds all the time. I am constantly fielding irate calls from customers accusing us of not processing their refunds because it hasn't been credited back to their card. When I check our records and log into the the clearing house, it shows that the refunds were processed and accepted by the customer's bank, meaning that the credited funds have been remitted to the credit card company on the customer's behalf, but the credit card company hasn't yet posted that refund to the customer's account. There are some credit card companies who post both charges and credits promptly, but there are others out there that are really on top of posting charges quickly, but won't post credits for 2 or 3 weeks, or even longer. Customers are calling the company that issued the refund screaming about not receiving the refund, when in reality it's the customer's own credit card company that's holding the funds they've received and not posting the refunds. Not saying that this is the case with our post-season refunds, but there can be substantial differences among credit card companies about how fast they post refunds to a customer's account once the merchant has processed them.
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