Know your rights under Section 75

23 June 2009

https://www.bitterwallet.com/media/images/2009/01/section-75.jpgLast year, we posted a few pieces on section 75 and the visa debit chargeback scheme. In recent months, as the economy has continued to sputter and more retailers are going under, an increasing number of  consumers are asking for refunds for money spent on goods or services that were either faulty or not delivered.

However, card providers are increasingly trying to get out of having to pay these claims. According to legal experts at the Financial Ombudsman Service, one of the main ways they do this (intentionally or not) is by frustrating the consumer into giving up on seeking compensation. This includes asking consumers to respond to an overwhelming number of letters from credit providers. Is this an deliberate effort to avoid paying claims? That has not definitively been determined. Nevertheless, many consumers simply give up when they realise the paperwork involved.

It's always a good idea to know what your rights are and what to do if the bank starts f***ing with you. So here are 5 selected recaps of Section 75 and how it may apply to you:

1. A House of Lords ruling in 2007 makes it possible to make claims for goods or services bought abroad, whether while on holiday or over the Internet.

2. Debit cards, store cards, and charge cards aren't covered except for Visa debit with its chargeback procedure. This covers all Visa debit cards, Visa credit cards, prepaid Visa cards and Visa Electron purchases for items that are faulty or not received.

3. Payments made by PayPal and other online payment systems are covered by chargeback. There is a 120 day time limit on chargeback claims starting the day you learn of a problem, or from the day the service was to have been delivered.

4. Claiming compensation under Section 75 or chargeback requires proof of breach of contract such as receipts for goods or services not received.

5. Card issuers have eight weeks in which to respond to a consumer's claim. If they don't, put your case to the Financial Ombudsman Service by contacting them at 0845 0801800 or visiting financial-ombudsman.org.uk. Other options when claims are rejected include contacting Citizens Advice, Consumer Direct, or Which? Legal Service.

In cases where a seller failed to provide goods owed, you have six years (five in Scotland) from the date of breach of contract to make a claim. If a card issuer rejects your claim, you have six months in which to complain to the FOS or the other parties mentioned above. Often, the threat or initiation of action in small claims court will get the attention of a card issuer. Faced with court costs (even if they win) they will see a Section 75 case in a more favourable light.

If you've ever used section 75 favourably or unfavourably, what is your personal experience? Do you think it makes a big difference to the amount of protection you receive when purchasing goods?

TOPICS:   Economy

10 comments

  • Peter
    Very Nice Article For the Financial Ombudsman Service you could also try 0300 123 9123 (Included in contract minutes/landline packages)
  • Mark M.
    We got ripped off by a coman in Orlando selling rental homes. He took $5000 deposit and never built, instead going into Chapter 11 bankruptcy and ending in prison. We contacted Co-op visa to get back the $5000 and they were really helpful and we got the full refund. Happy days!
  • Crash G.
    The trick is to actually follow through with the vendor first. I mean actually attempt to recover what is due. Then when you have exhausted that route the claim with your card provider will be pretty straight forward (you can evidence that the vendor will not refund etc.) If they don't honour Sec 75, then any case with FoS or small claims would also be very straightforward. In most cases - if the vendor exists and is trading you will find it "hard". The bank won't just hand over cash on a whim (insert your own gag/ comment here about banks handing over cash/ bank bashing remark). Good on co-op for playing it straight where the vendor was bankrupt (no - I don't work for them!!)
  • Hilarious u.
    I had tickets for a venue which closed, purchased on my Visa Debit card leaving me out of pocket to nearly £100. I submitted a chargeback request as the business was no longer contactable and had gone into liquidation and have been told the money will be refunded pending the bank's investigation.
  • Mitov
    Hi, You can actualy claim through both... the vendor and the credit card. The law clearly states this. Had purchased airline tickets last year. The airline went into liquidation 2 days before the flight to hong kong. Had to purchase very expensive last minute tickets and an additional night at the hotel, as the trip was for business. As i paid through visa, had them refund the difference between my original plane tickets and they also paid for the additional night at the hotel. The law states that the credit company has to put you 'in a position you would have been originaly'. We argued that extra stay at the hotel was comulsory and so managed to get re-imbursed with that. Also, a few more usefull tips to know: - If the credit company starts sending you paper work or wanting more information, right to them stating you will be sueing them for delaying the payment... The law which allows this can be found on the net. - Many retailers state they do not offer returns or exchanges on sale goods. This is illigal. Remind the manager, tell them you will contact a few goverment institutions and they should accept it back. By law, the recipt (and even the tags on the clothes sometimes) are not needed to return a good.
  • Mitov
    Hi, You can actualy claim through both... the vendor and the credit card. The law clearly states this. Had purchased airline tickets last year. The airline went into liquidation 2 days before the flight to hong kong. Had to purchase very expensive last minute tickets and an additional night at the hotel, as the trip was for business. As i paid through visa, had them refund the difference between my original plane tickets and they also paid for the additional night at the hotel. The law states that the credit company has to put you 'in a position you would have been originaly'. We argued that extra stay at the hotel was comulsory and so managed to get re-imbursed with that. Also, a few more usefull tips to know: - If the credit company starts sending you paper work or wanting more information, right to them stating you will be sueing them for delaying the payment... The law which allows this can be found on the net. - Many retailers state they do not offer returns or exchanges on sale goods. This is illigal. Remind the manager, tell them you will contact a few goverment institutions and they should accept it back. By law, the recipt (and even the tags on the clothes sometimes) are not needed to return a good.
  • Mitov
    - Also, with the holiday season coming up, dont forget that YOU ARE ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION FOR DELAYED FLIGHTS! EVEN THOES OF LOW-COST AIRLINES! The airline law for compensation on delayed flights applies to ANY AIRLINE which takes off or lands in a UK airport... dosent have to be a UK airline. For delays longer than 4 hours, you can get up to €600 per person compensation. Under a 2008 ruling, technical difficulties are not excempt. The only way airlines would not pay the compensation if the delay occurs due to weather conditions. - LAST TIP.... Dont forget that many retailers offer a price change refund (and credit cards!!!!!!!!!!) This means that if you purchase a good, and the price changes within 28 days, the price difference will be paid back to you! This applies to airlines too! This means that if you like something, but want to get it on sale.... purchase the item, and then when it becomes on sale, you get your money back. This way, you are guaranteed to get it!
  • Andy D.
    More tips sent to us from BW reader Miro... "You can actually claim through both… the vendor and the credit card company when something goes wrong. The law clearly states this and it’s permitted…. Had purchased airline tickets last year. The airline went into liquidation 2 days before the flight to hong kong. Had to purchase very expensive last minute tickets and an additional night at the hotel, as the trip was for business. As i paid through visa, had them refund the difference between my original plane tickets and they also paid for the additional night at the hotel. The law states that the credit company has to put you ‘in a position you would have been originally’. We argued that extra stay at the hotel was compulsory and so managed to get reimbursed with that. Also, a few more useful tips to know: - If the credit company starts sending you paper work or wanting more information, write to them stating you will be suing them for delaying the payment… The law which allows this can be found on the net. - Many retailers state they do not offer returns or exchanges on sale goods. This is illegal. Remind the manager of that, tell them you will contact a few government institutions and they should accept it back. By law, the receipt (and even the tags on the clothes sometimes) are not needed to return a good. All of these ‘with receipt’ ‘with tags’ bullshit is done to put off the customer… by law, goods have to be accepted back. You just have to prove it was purchased from the store… this can be done by making the manager go through the tills to find the transaction as they are all recorded or even producing a bank statement. - Also, with the holiday season coming up, don’t forget that YOU ARE ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION FOR DELAYED FLIGHTS! EVEN THOSE OF LOW-COST AIRLINES! The airline law for compensation on delayed flights applies to ANY AIRLINE which takes off or lands in a UK airport… doesn’t have to be a UK airline. For delays longer than 4 hours, you can get up to €600 per person compensation. Under a 2008 ruling, technical difficulties are not exempt. The only way airlines would not pay the compensation if the delay occurs due to weather conditions. - LAST TIP…. Don’t forget that many retailers offer a price change refund which is not advertised (and credit card companies too!!!!!!!!!!) This means that if you purchase a good, and the price changes within 28 days, the price difference will be paid back to you when you show your original receipt! This applies to airline tickets too! This means that if you like something, but want to get it on sale…. purchase the item, and then when it becomes on sale, you get the difference refunded. This way, you are guaranteed to get it! Some credit card companies offer this… American Express does for sure."
  • Tracking B.
    [...] 2. Also check out the official Argos Clearance Outlet on ebay. Some of the items are new, and some are refurbished. The refurbished items are clearly labeled. (Beware: they only take PayPal, and you won’t get any Section 75 protection.) [...]
  • scott
    What is the law when purchasing plants and shrubs from big chain stores in Uk? does merchantable quality and fir for purpose apply. I spent £90 on plants and shrubs from a big well known store, over wintered them in doors half the plants have survived but other half are clearly dead. I took plants back to store asking to replace "like for like", head office stated i would not get my money back as there considered perishables and it's my word against the store as to how i looked after them. Store manager took different approach by stating if i waited till clearance plants were being reduced then he would replace them "BUT" i would have to make a financial contribution. I feel very insensed as clearly the goods were not fit for purpose. I have taken pictures of both dead and surving plants and returned the dead plants back to the store and showed the store the surving plants Does the store have to display it's and terms and conditions as i brought the plants in good faith. any body faced simular problems Many thanks

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