When making purchases for goods or services by credit card, as opposed to cash or cheque, Section 75 applies and allows for protection by law should something go wrong.
Section 75 is referring to the Consumer Credit Act 1974. It essentially places your credit card provider and the place with which you made a purchase equally liable if there is something which goes wrong.
As a result, you are able to claim a refund, repair or replacement provided the total price of the item purchased was over £100 and less than £30,000.
A useful piece of information - eligibility occurs even if you do not pay the total cost of the purchase on your credit card - the consumer protection will still apply (again, the total cost must be over £100). E.g. purchase an item at £250, but only pay the first £50 by credit card, you would still be protected for the full amount.
Another tip would be to ensure you keep hold of any and all receipts from the purchasing process and be able to provide copies should they be needed.
Taking into account the above, if something does go wrong with your purchase you would, as the first point of call, contact the trader with whom the item was purchased - they may be able to provide the help you need, and would by far be the quickest route to a resolution. Failing that, then contact your credit card provider.
Things to watch
Reasons a claim cannot be made will vary but ensure you stay clear of the following, and you should be able to progress a claim.
- You made the purchase with a charge card (which require you to pay the balance off in full each month)
- A store card was used.
- A company credit card was used.
- PayPal - purchases through here would not apply, as the law does not apply to PayPal (they do, however, offer their own company policy on protection - however, it is in no way the same as the Section 75 protection)
If your claim is refused
If the credit card company refuses your claim, request a 'letter of deadlock' to send on to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), and they will independently look into a resolve the issue.
Debit card purchases - Chargeback
Debit card purchases do not fall under the Section 75 protection. They have their own type of protection, known as a chargeback. This is a part of card provider rules and allows for protection on purchases under £100. Ensure your debit card provider participates in the chargeback scheme.
Essentially here, your bank will contact the supplier's bank on your behalf and request a refund to your account. There is no limit to how much or how little can be claimed. With this method, it cannot be guaranteed that you will receive any sort of refund, there is a chance you may never get your money back.