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Section 75: how your credit card purchases could be protected by law
Say you book a flight for an upcoming holiday and the airline goes bust before you go, where do you go for help? Or what if you buy a painting and when you get it home, you notice the canvas is ripped, who would you claim from?
Well, if you paid for it in full, or covered some of the cost on a credit card, you can either claim your money back from the company who sold you goods or from your credit card provider, thanks to Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. This states that the retailer and the credit card company are jointly responsible for any purchases you make on your card costing over £100. However, it appears that not everyone knows about this protection, as recent research* for us found that one in five Brits say they aren’t aware of Section 75. With this revelation, let’s take a look at the important law that all credit card holders should know about.
How Section 75 works
Section 75 comes into force if you suffer ‘a misrepresentation or breach of contract’ for goods or services that you’ve paid for in full or in part on a credit card. This means that if you buy something and it’s broken when it’s delivered, or never turns up, you can try to claim your money back from the company you bought it from. However, if the business has closed down, you don’t have to be left out of pocket, as you can also claim from your credit card provider.
You’re covered for purchases of any items that cost between £100 and £30,000, as long as you’ve paid at least £100 of it on your credit card. A lot of consumers could be missing out on getting the money back they’re due, as the research revealed that of those who say they’ve heard of Section 75, only one in eight have tried to reclaim their money through it. If you’re considering making a claim, but think you’re unlikely to get anything back, you might want to reconsider, as of those who have tried to reclaim money using Section 75, more than three-quarters were successful.
When you could claim
As long as the item you’re paying for costs more than £100, you could claim through Section 75 – whether you’ve bought in store or online. A bit of a grey area arises when you try and work out whether each item needs to cost over £100 or just the total transaction. Technically, it’s the cost of each item, so if you bought two necklaces for £75 from an online retailer and they were never delivered, you wouldn’t be covered. However, if the necklaces were offered on a ‘two for £110’ deal, you would be able to claim for this, as you’re essentially buying them as one item.
You also wouldn’t be covered by Section 75 for purchases made on a debit card, as it only applies to credit cards. If you’re trying to get your money back for something you’ve bought using a debit card, you might be protected by ‘chargeback’. Chargeback is part of the card providers’ rules which states that if you don’t get goods that you paid for using a debit card, you might be able to get your money back. However, this isn’t a legal protection in the same way that Section 75 is, so you may find it harder to reclaim your money if you’ve paid for items using a debit card.
*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 11th February and 23rd February 2015, of whom 635 were in Scotland.