Consumers could be losing out due to a lack of knowledge of their rights under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, new Which? research has found.
A quarter of people have never heard of Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, and around more than 40% were unable to select the correct definition in the survey.
The survey also revealed that half of consumers hadn’t heard of chargeback, and nearly 90% weren’t able to select the correct definition.
Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act provides legal protection for items paid for by credit card that cost between £100 and £30,000. Only 45% of people surveyed knew this.
If an item is faulty, goods are not received, or the retailer goes bust, the credit card provider is jointly liable with the retailer and you should get a refund. The credit card company is also jointly responsible for misrepresentation by the retailer.
Which? Investigation of credit card providers
The survey follows a Which? investigation into credit card providers and the advice they give to consumers on their rights under Section 75.
The investigation found that many credit card providers are still failing to fully explain the rules of Section 75. Which? tested 10 credit card providers on their knowledge of the law and several gave poor advice.
To learn more about what Section 75 can do for you, read our Section 75 guide.
Section 75 and chargeback knowledge low
You can even claim under Section 75 if you’ve just paid a deposit on your credit card – a fact that only 49% of people surveyed knew.
And only 37% of the 5,032 survey respondents knew that you can claim under Section 75 for purchases made abroad.
Knowledge of chargeback was also low, with more than half of consumers having not heard of chargeback.
Chargeback can be used for purchases made on debit cards (or credit cards for purchases under £100).
Examples of where you could use chargeback would include goods not arriving, arriving damaged, arriving not as described, or where the merchant has ceased trading.
Read our guide to find out how you can use chargeback.
Chargeback doesn’t mean there is joint liability on the card company. Claims must be addressed to the bank that provides your debit or credit card, which in turn will put in a request to the merchant’s bank.
Two thirds of people thought that banks had a legal responsibility to process valid chargeback claims – they don’t.
Only 14% of people knew there was a time limit on making chargeback claims. There is a limit of 120 days on chargeback claims that usually starts from the day you become aware of a problem.
Lack of knowledge among bank staff
In our investigation of 10 credit card providers, not one provider consistently gave good advice, and several gave poor advice.
Only a third of advisers correctly explained that even if just part of the item had been paid for by credit card it would still be possible to make a claim for the full amount. Some told us to go elsewhere for help.
Natwest suggested contacting Citizens Advice and Trading Standards to try and get the money back, while an advisor at Lloyds Bank said that we should speak to the Financial Ombudsman Service.