Know your credit card rights
Filed under: Credit Cards
But they can't fob off consumers who know their rights. Read on to find out what protection you have - and how to get it.
Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, card companies are jointly and severally liable for credit card purchases of between £100 and £30,000 (whether or not you paid just a deposit or the whole amount of up to £30,000 on your card).
Anyone spending between these amounts on their credit card is therefore protected if the retailer or service provider goes bust, their online shopping never arrives or the items in question are faulty or not as described.
This is due to there being either a breach of contract or a misrepresentation by the supplier.
However, while few people used to make claims based on Section 75, savvy shoppers are increasingly realising that it can be a lifeline if they are left out of pocket due to companies simply disappearing or going bust before delivering their goods.
The card companies, which once paid out the majority of claims without argument, are therefore doing their best to limit the number of payouts made - even though the law requires them to honour this element of their service.
Consequently, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), which settles disputes between banks and consumers, now receives 100 complaints a week from people whose credit card providers are refusing to pay out under Section 75.
So what are my rights?
If you have lost out due to a retailer or service provider failing to deliver the goods or services you paid for with your credit card, it may well be that you have a claim under Section 75 - as long as you have tried and failed to get a refund from the company involved.
If this is the case, your first step should therefore be to contact your credit card provider. If it rejects your claim, you can then make a formal complaint, to which it has eight weeks to respond.
Should the response still be negative, or the company fail to reposed at all within that time, you can then escalate your case to the FOS, which could force the card company to offer you compensation as well as the original payout should it see fit.
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