/ Money, Shopping

Complain for change: use chargeback, get your money back?

A pile of pound coins

Last year, I bought tickets for a boat trip to the Olympic Park. But before the trip happened, the company went into administration. I tried to use ‘chargeback’ to get a refund, but what does it actually mean?

Soon after I’d bought the tickets for the trip, the boat company got in touch to tell us they’d have to cancel our trip and that they’d refund us the money.

I didn’t think much of it, until I found out by chance a few months later that the company had gone bust. However, when I checked my bank balance, I realised I hadn’t had my money back yet. I wasn’t sure what to do. As the tickets were only £50, I knew wasn’t covered by Section 75.

Under Section 75, your credit card provider is just as liable as the company from which you bought your goods or services. So if that company goes bust without providing what you paid for, your credit card provider has to give you your money back (for a spend between £100 and £30,000).

When Section 75 won’t work

From working at Which?, I’d heard that the Visa chargeback scheme might be a better option. The chargeback scheme is run internally by Visa, Mastercard and Amex, but isn’t legally required of them (unlike Section 75). When you make a chargeback claim, your bank makes a request directly to the supplier’s bank (in my case, the boat trip company’s bank) to get your money back. However, a refund isn’t guaranteed.

So I decided to try going down the chargeback route. After some serious hunting around Nationwide’s website, I finally found a claim form. In fact, it was so hard to find, I had to email it to myself as a reminder – I knew I’d never find it again!

Overall, information on chargeback was difficult to find. A quick trawl around various bank’s websites did little to enlighten me. Visa has some information online explaining that chargeback exists, but I don’t think it’s enough. While chargeback is a voluntary agreement and not a legal requirement, I don’t think the banks should make it so difficult to find out more about it.

Can I keep my money?

I’ve since had a reply from Nationwide telling me they’ve credited my money back into my account. ‘Great!’ I thought, until I carried on reading. It turns out that Visa’s rules state your bank must credit you back your money while your claim is being investigated, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you get to keep it.

My letter says that if my dispute is declined by the company’s bank, there’s nothing Nationwide can do about it. As a result, they’ll take back the money they’ve refunded me. At the moment, I’m frustrated that it’s not clear when I’ll be told whether I can keep the money or not. They say they’ll give me seven days notice if they plan to reverse my refund, but I don’t think that’s good enough.

When it comes down to it, if I’m not happy with the way my bank resolves my claim, I can ask the Financial Services Ombudsman (FOS) to look into it – but hopefully it won’t come to that.

I’m interested to hear if you’ve tried to chargeback. Did you find the process difficult? Did you have a positive outcome, or are you still waiting to hear if you get to keep your money?

Profile photo of sue shaw

I bought a Jessops voucher for £50 with my Barclays Debit Card just before Christmas. Since then they have gone bust as you know (how convenient). I know I can claim back that money after reading the Which article and listening to Money Box, whether it will happen is another matter. But trying to get anyone from Barclays to respond has been very difficult but I persisted. At last they have sent me a claim form. Fingers crossed.

Profile photo of Jennifer Davis

Thanks for your comment Sue – we’d be really interested to hear how you get on with your chargeback claim.

1 February 2013

I’ve used the chargeback system twice with Nationwide and my money (once for an online bath with a crack) was refunded and never taken away.

I imagine if your claim is genuine your ok. Both instances I was using my debit card as I dont use a credit card.

I keep the claim form on my desktop ready for next time.


Hades says:
3 February 2013

Can you please point me to where on the Nationwide website i can find a chargeback claim form?

Profile photo of Jo Gibney

Hi Sunnyday, that’s a very sensible idea! I also should have saved the form as I’ve just checked my link for Hades, and it no longer works.

I guess if I have another chargeback query I will have to write to them with my evidence.

Hades says:
5 February 2013

Just had a reply from Nationwide regarding the charge back proceedure:
To investigate a payment dispute on your behalf you will need to contact our Visa Chargebacks department, which can be done by completing the following:
1. Select the ‘Manage’ tab
2. Select the ‘View or change my security settings’ tab
3. Now click on the underlined text which says ‘Report unusual activity on my account’
Now follow the on screen instructions to complete and send us the details.
To dispute a transaction you will need to contact us within 120 days from when the transaction debited your account.
I would like to thank you for contacting us.


Profile photo of BrianGrimwade

I just tried Charge Back with TSB and was refused.
The argument was that Visa would only re-credit the money to the trader so there in no point!
I had explained that the trader was not complying with the UK laws but they were totally uninterested and unhelpful.

Profile photo of mikeworkshop

I bought a mobile phone from ebay. I was delivered to a neighbour who denies having it. Ebay will not refund me nor the seller resend another because the tracking number states it was delivered. Is there anyting I can do to get my money back (42 gbp)

Profile photo of alfa

Does the seller’s feedback suggest they have a lot of undelivered items? There are sellers that don’t actually send the goods.

Have you got the tracking number? Have you checked the tracking number is valid? Have you tracked your parcel? I had a seller give me an invalid tracking number and it took several attempts with Paypal to get them to understand it.

Who said it was delivered to a neighbour?

Don’t know if the above is any help but not receiving goods bought on the internet is a big problem.

Profile photo of mikeworkshop

Hi, yes my local sorting office confirmed it was delivered to the neighbour and the sellers feedback suggests they do send the items. Thanks mike

Profile photo of alfa

Nice neighbour you have then.

The sorting office has to be liable for your loss if they have confirmed they delivered it to somewhere other than where it was supposed to be delivered.

Profile photo of mikeworkshop

Yeah thats what i thought but how do I get money back from them. I have posted a complaint on the royal mail website too. The annoying thing also is the sorting office told me the neighbour apparently caught the postman outside my door and told them not to put a something for you card in my letterbox. So why didnt the postman think then that it could be a bit risky giving it to them.
Yes a very nice neighbour indeed. I wouldn’t of thought the postman would be tellings fibs.

Profile photo of John Ward

If I were you I would make the police station my next port of call.

Profile photo of mikeworkshop

yes it looks like that is all I can do now

natalie says:
11 February 2016

Hiya iv been with nationwide for 3 years and in the last 2 months iv had to call up and ask them to dispute a payment for me. I didn’t have to fill any forms in I just did it over the phone in 5 mins. A company took 69.99 out of my bank account promised me a full refund but after waiting 2 weeks I gave up and called my bank. They put the 69.99 into my account the very next day whilst they were investigating it iv had no problems with them. Hope this helps x