You can potentially claim for any breach of contract or misrepresentation by the company from which you’ve bought your goods.
This means your credit card company shares equal responsibility with the retailer or trader for the goods or service supplied, allowing you to put your claim to the credit card company.
You don't have to reach stalemate with the retailer or trader before you can contact your credit card provider - you can make a claim to both the retailer and credit card provider simultaneously.
Section 75 is particularly useful if the retailer or trader has gone bust, or you're getting no response to your letters or phone calls.
There are some limitations to when a card company is liable along with the retailer or trader.
To claim under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, the item or service you bought must have cost over £100 and not more than £30,000.
You don't have to have paid the full amount on your credit card – the card company is liable even if you made only part of the payment (a deposit, say) on your card.
It's the value of the goods you're buying that is key - not the amount paid on the card.
For example, if you ordered a new car from a car dealer and paid a £500 deposit with your credit card and the balance of £10,000 by cheque, you would be covered for the whole £10,500 if the dealer went out of business and you didn't receive your car.
You have the same rights against your credit card company as you have against the retailer or trader.
So if your claim is for a repair then this is the claim you would put to your credit card provider - you wouldn't be able to also ask for a refund, for instance, if you were actually claiming for a repair or a replacement item.
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Chargeback is not enshrined in law like Section 75, but it is part of what is known as Scheme Rules, which participating banks subscribe to.
It applies to all debit cards, although exact rules may vary between the Visa, Maestro and American Express networks.
Chargeback also applies to credit cards and is particularly useful where Section 75 is not applicable – for goods costing less than £100, for instance.
There are some transactions where the company that deals with your credit card payment is not the same as the one that provides the goods or service - such as Paypal.
If you use your credit card to pay for something through PayPal and the funds go direct to the seller, then as long as the company you're buying from has a 'Commercial Entity Agreement' with Paypal you may still be able to claim under Section 75 for any misrepresentation or breach of contract.
PayPal offers its own buyer protection scheme, called PayPal Buyer Protection, so it's worth checking if you'd be covered by that if you have a problem with your purchase.
Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act applies only to credit cards and not to debit cards or charge cards (where all charges must be settled at the end of the month).
Unlike Section 75 claims, this is a voluntary scheme operated by Visa and MasterCard that covers Maestro, Visa and Visa Electron debit cards. So unlike Section 75 it is not a legal requirement.
However, the Financial Ombudsman Service has stated that chargeback is deemed to be good banking practice.
If you want to make a claim on this scheme, you must do this within 120 days of buying the goods or services. Ask your bank for details of how to apply under the scheme.
There’s no set timeframe for your card provider to resolve a chargeback or Section 75 claim, but if you’re unhappy with the outcome of the claim, or how long it’s taking, you can complain to your provider, it then has eight weeks to deal with this complaint.
If more than eight weeks have passed since you submitted your claim to your credit card provider, you can refer your claim to the FOS straight away without the need for a deadlock letter.
You can also approach the FOS before the eight weeks are up if your provider has given consent for you to do so.