How to complain if a company goes bust

If a shop goes bust before you get the goods you ordered or the service you paid for, you can claim to get your money back. Follow this advice to help you.

spread the word
email & print

1 Get insolvency details

Find out if the business has actually gone bust and get details of the receiver or insolvency practitioner dealing with it.

If the business is a sole trader (such as a tradesperson working on their own) or partnership, find out whether insolvency proceedings have started.

You can do this by checking the insolvency notices section of local newspapers or by checking the Individual Insolvency Register.

If the business is a limited company, you can contact Companies House.

2 Submit a claim

If the business has gone into liquidation, get the name and address of the receiver or insolvency company.

Write to them to register your claim, explaining exactly how much money you’re owed, and what it’s for.

There’s no guarantee you’ll get all or any of your money back because it's likely the company has many debts.

But if you don’t submit a claim then you definitely won’t have any chance of getting your money back. We think it’s worth at least trying.

3 Use your warranty

If the retailer goes bust and the goods are faulty, you may have a manufacturer's or other third party warranty that’s still valid.

Check your documentation to see if this is the case.

If you’ve been supplied with faulty goods and the company is placed into administration but is still trading, you may be able to get a replacement or a refund for your item in the normal way, under the Sale of Goods Act.

If you have a voucher which the shop will not accept you need to make a claim in writing to the administrators.

4 Claim from credit card company

If you’ve bought your items on a credit and the supplier goes bust, you can claim a refund from the credit company under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

You can use our letter template to write to your credit card company with details of your claim. 

If you’ve paid by debit card you may be able to claim through the MasterCard and Visa Chargeback scheme, as long as it hasn’t been more than 120 days since paying on your debit card and making your claim.

Please tell us what you think of the Which? Consumer Rights website.

Your feedback is vital in helping us improve this site. All data will be treated confidentially. This survey will take approximately 5 minutes to complete.

Please take our survey so we can improve our website for you and others like you.