With many services you may have already paid for now closed, some have been left out of pocket. Have you tried to claim back money for anything you’ve missed?
Many of you have told us you’ve paid for a service or have an ongoing regular payment that you haven’t been able to use because of lockdown, but have been struggling to get your money back.
For example, gyms and sports clubs have all had to close, not only leaving members wondering when they’ll be able to go back, but also leaving them out of pocket.
We’ve heard about cancellations affecting everything from driving lessons to music classes to doggy daycare that you’ve paid for in advance to secure your place.
Many of you have been offered credits, or told your service will be extended or postponed until things have returned to ‘normal.’ But we just don’t know when that will be.
We’ve also heard some businesses have told you they’re keeping your fees to help them keep their finances afloat, covering staff wages and rent.
This shouldn’t be the case, because the government has pledged funds to support affected businesses, small and large, and the furlough scheme should pay out for staff who can’t go to work during lockdown.
But if you’re being refused a refund for, what can you do?
Can I claim using Section 75 or chargeback?
Probably not. Credit and debit card protection covers you if there’s been a breach of contract. But in this case, it’s not quite as clear cut because of the extraordinary circumstances.
When a company offers credits or says the service will resume at some point in the future, this might not necessarily be breaking the terms of the contract in the eyes of your bank or credit provider.
It’s still worth getting in touch with your bank orand asking if you’re eligible to make a claim, and to ask for advice.
Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act may protect you if you paid for something using a credit card, but you haven’t got what you paid for.
Chargeback is a similar protection that can protect purchases you’ve made using a debit card.
What else can I do to get my money back?
Check the terms and conditions of your contract. They should state what the company’s responsibility is to you if the service can’t be provided. If it says you’ll get a full refund, you should get one.
You could also try arguing that you’ve reached a ‘frustration of contract.’ When a company can’t provide a clear idea of when it will be able to provide what you paid for, as in this situation, this is probably the strongest argument you can use to try and get your money back.
Have you been having trouble getting your money back for a membership or service that’s been put on hold? Or perhaps you’ve successfully managed to claim your fees back?
We’re really interested to hear your stories.