Which? has seen a surge in consumers using its online tool to help make a Section 75 or chargeback claim from their card provider. Just over 32,000 people used the tool to make a claim between March and August this year - a 685% increase from the same period in 2019.
The vast majority of these claims were against travel companies. We asked 1,265 people who made a Section 75 or chargeback claimto tell us about their claim. It revealed 78% of claims were made for cancelled or disrupted flights and holidays.
The next most claimed-for expenses affected by lockdown were missing deliveries and cancelled events.
When you pay by credit or debit card, Section 75 and chargeback can help get your money back if there is a breach of contract.
Holidaymakers have been falling back on these payment protection schemes to try to secure refunds. Many travel companies refused or endlessly delayed refunds, despite travellers being entitled to their money back if a trip has been cancelled.
Positively, however, our survey showed almost half of Section 75 and chargeback claims have been successfully resolved with a full refund.
Only 8% have been rejected, with many being told to claim on their insurance instead. Some claims were refused because there wasn't enough evidence and some were out of scope. Others told us they were eventually refunded directly by the company involved before S75 was actioned.
3% were given partial refunds. The remainder are still waiting for a decision. Processing times have been slower than usual because of the influx of claims combined with staff shortages.
Simple claims, such as missing deliveries, are often resolved in a few weeks in 'normal' times. But we've heard it's recently been taking weeks to get initial responses from banks due to an influx of claims.
There has been confusion about whether it's possible to claim for travel bookings and other purchases and services affected by COVID-19 disruption that were paid for using a credit or debit card.
For example, in some cases, banks and credit providers have been refusing to pay out if a travel company has offered credit vouchers in place of a refund.
Although the pandemic has identified grey areas, Section 75 and chargeback still stand to protect consumers when there has been a breach of contract. If you don't get something you've paid for, or something doesn't turn out to be what you paid for, you could be covered.
If your holiday or flight has been cancelled by the travel company or airline and they are refusing a refund, you can try to claim back through your credit or debit card.
Banks expect evidence to support your claim, such as receipts and photos. They usually ask to see correspondence between you and the company you have a dispute with to show you've tried to resolve the issue directly without success.