1 Write to your card company
If you have a problem with a service you've paid for with a credit card, you may want to take up the matter with your credit card provider rather than the trader.
This could be because the trader has refused to help, hasn't answered your letters or has gone bust.
Write to your credit provider with the date and full details of the transaction and the basis on which you're saying there has been a breach of contract or misrepresentation.
Also include what you want done about it - for example, if you want a refund.
Explain any contact you've had with the trader about the matter. Give the credit card company a reasonable time to respond - say, 14 days.
- Write to your credit card company with clear details of what you’re claiming for and what you would like the credit card company to do
- If your credit card company refuses to help, you can take your complaint to the ombudsman
2 Escalate your complaint
If your credit provider doesn't respond, or if it refuses your claim, ask for the matter to be moved to the next stage of the company’s internal complaints procedure or issue a final letter of deadlock.
This means that you will be able to take your claim to the ombudsman.
Warn your credit card provider that if it does neither you'll refer your dispute to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
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3 Use the Financial Ombudsman
You have the right to go to the Financial Ombudsman if you reach 'deadlock' with the credit provider, or if more than eight weeks have passed from when you submitted your claim without receiving a substantive response.
Going to the ombudsman is completely free and you only need complete a simple claim form.
If the ombudsman agrees with your claim it can order the credit provider to compensate you (up to £100,000).
If you're considering using the Financial Ombudsman, take a look at our how-to guide.
If you're not happy with the ombudsman's decision you are still free to go to court.
4 Take your claim to court
The small claims court should be used as a last resort only. And, where there's a recognised alternative means for dispute resolution - such as the FOS - you will need to use this first. Otherwise the judge may ask why you didn't use it.
You can go to court if you don't accept the final decision of the FOS.
But you should consider very carefully the reasons it gave for finding against you and you should question whether a court is likely to reach a different decision.
If you're considering using the small claims court, take a look at our guide.
5 Which? Money Compare
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