Not only are credit cards a convenient way to pay, but they can also offer legal protection if something goes wrong. The Consumer Credit Act has given us this protection for four decades. So why are many providers still getting your rights wrong?
Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, credit card companies are jointly liable for any breach of contract by a company you buy goods or services from. This includes misrepresentation, too.
This means that if, for example, a retailer goes bust and you don’t receive your goods, you may be able to get your money back.
But the findings of our investigation suggest that many credit card companies are failing to correctly explain the rules around disputed card payments. Worryingly, this is the third time in three years we’ve identified gaps in staff knowledge.
Raising a credit card dispute
Under Section 75, you can be protected for an item’s full value. That is even if you’ve only used your credit card for part of the payment. This applies as long as the item costs between £100 and £30,000.
But only a third of advisers correctly explained to our researchers that even if they’d only paid part of their £600 total purchase by credit card, it would be possible to make a claim for the full amount.
Your rights under the Consumer Credit Act
To make a claim, you simply need to contact your credit card provider. But some of our researchers were told to go elsewhere for help. Erroneous directions included Citizens Advice, Trading Standards, the Financial Ombudsman Service and even the police!
Convo commenter John Ward told us he’d had an equally disappointing experience when he approached his card provider:
‘I did once attempt to exercise my rights under S75 and was fobbed-off by the card company. Eventually, after a struggle, I resolved the matter directly with the supplier, but that is not always possible.’
Card providers must do better
It might not have the catchiest name, but Section 75 provides great protection to you and me. It’s a well-established law, too. We think it’s wrong that credit card company staff seem to have such shaky knowledge of it.
After all, giving incorrect or unclear information could potentially leave people out of pocket by deterring them from pursuing valid claims.
Have you ever made a claim under Section 75? How satisfied were you with the way your provider handled it?