Guide to getting a refund

November 8th, 2013

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Guide to getting a Refund

Retail shopping catastrophe? Gifts not wanted or appreciated? Faulty and damaged goods? It’s January, it’s time to review and reject Christmas disappointments.

Around 40% of clothing and between 5-10% of all electrical goods (anything from toasters to MP3 players) and home wares purchased online are returned to the merchant seller.

Remember, if you want a Refund or exchange, you should be firm with yourself as you have a right to change your mind. If your purchase was a mistake and you want a Refund, persevere with your request as it may be in your legal right. To help you, we’ve provided a guide on what to say and when to say it, to make sure you get the Refund you’re legally entitled to.

“If the item is faulty, or breaks very quickly” – Refund

All shops, (online or on the high street) have to sell you goods of a reasonable standards and quality, matching the advertised description. If the item does not match the description, or if it is of an unacceptable quality then it is not fit for purpose. You are legally entitled to a Refund of your money under the Sale of Goods Act. If you can’t find your receipt, a credit card or debit card statement showing the purchase from the store should suffice to confirm the purchase.

“It was purchased online, and now unwanted” – Refund

Under the distant selling regulation, customers have a seven-day cooling-off period when they purchase goods and services online. The act came into ratification as customers are unable to inspect the goods and services on the day of purchase. The seven day grace period comes into effect the day after the item is delivered. It means you now have seven days to inspect the item and can ask for a full Refund if it’s not what you initially thought.

“I purchased second-hand goods or reduced items” – Refund

Your consumer rights are not affected if items are second-hand or discounted. They too are covered by the Sale of Goods Act, so should be fit for purpose, as described and of acceptable quality. However, there can be no claim for Refund if the fault was made apparent at the point of purchase.

“It was a private sale but faulty” – Refund

If you purchase something from a private individual that is not retailer, you’ll have fewer rights. You are entitled to a Refund only if the item is not as described.

“I’ve changed my mind, or I dislike it” – Refund

Retailers are able to refuse Refunds to consumers who’ve changed their mind on an item. Many retailers will give you a Refund of your money as part of their own company policy but are not obliged to Refund you.

“My item didn’t arrive on the time I needed” – MayBe

If you ordered an item for a specific event or occasion, and it isn’t delivered on time you are only entitled to a Refund of the item if you and the retailer had agreed and accepted that it would be delivered by the specified date. Items should arrive within a reasonable period, if its more than 30 days outside the expected delivery date then a Refund could be requested.

Purchased it on a credit card? Section 75.

Section 75 provides extra protection for any goods or services you purchased with a credit card that costs more than £100 and less than £30,000.

What is Section 75?

Section 75 is a legislation written for the benefit of the consumer. It is the biggest reason to purchase items by a credit card as oppose to a debit card.

The Consumer Credit Act 1974, a section of which states that credit card companies are “jointly and severally liable” alongside retailers. In layman’s terms this means that if you purchase an item or goods with your credit card and there is a problem or fault, you’re able to contact your credit card company to get your money back for the value of the goods.

Section 75 gives the customer important rights to request or demand a Refund should anything go wrong with items purchased on a credit card. Millions of people lose out when things go pear shaped with a transaction, either because they are unaware of what Section 75 is or because they’ve made the transaction by debit card, cash or cheque.

When Can I use Section 75?

If there’s a problem or fault with your purchased items or if the vendor goes into liquidation, the credit card company has to make sure that you get your full Refund.

Claims can be made under Section 75 if an order of an item is suspended due to the retailer going into administration or if an ordered item is never delivered or even if the goods are faulty.

Section 75 can only cover goods with a purchase value of between £100 and £30,000. Even if you put down a deposit on the credit card for goods worth between £100 and £30,000 you can still demand or request your full money back from the credit card company if anything goes wrong

To give you an example, if you are buying a £25000 car and you put down a 10% deposit using your credit card and pay the remainder by other means (debit card, bank transfer, cash or cheque) then in the event that something goes wrong, Section 75 allows you to claim 100% of your money back ie £25k.

Here are some more examples of when you are able to use section 75 and when you are not:
  • You purchase a £220 suit online but it never turns up and you have tried to get hold of the suit company. Under section 75, you can simply call your credit card company and request a Refund.
  • You put down a £100 deposit for a £1000 new TV with your credit card, paying the rest by cash, but the TV retailer goes into administration and the TV is not going to be delivered: You can call your credit card company and request a Refund under section 75 for the full value of £1000.
  • You buy three items of clothing totalling £175, one of the items you find to be faulty: It will only be covered under section 75 if you paid £100 or more for that particular item.
  • You purchase an item for £100 and you then close your credit card account. Section 75 will still cover you in these instances and hence you can get your Refund.
You can make claims against additional costs?

Section 75 also covers individuals for ‘consequential losses’, which are additional losses incurred by the purchase.

For example, a recently purchased second hand car breaks down half way into a journey and you are forced to call for roadside assistance for an additionally charge, Under the Section 75 regulation, you can claim the additional cost back from your credit card company.

Things to look out for:
  • Transactions through a third party – Credit companies can reject claims if an item is bought through a third party such as Amazon marketplace, or even Paypal or WorldPay, as they can claim not have a direct relationship with the actual retailer and therefore not liable.
  • Purchases made by an additional cardholder – If you’ve given someone else an additional card on your credit card account, anything they buy may not be covered under section 75, unless it’s of benefit to the primary card user, for example a car.
  • Cash withdrawals – Taking cash out on your credit card and then purchasing items will not be covered under section 75, so it’s best advised to make traceable transactions.
  • Which Credit Card Should I Use?

Every credit card comes with the Section 75 protection. Use the credit card league table to determine the best card for you.

How to Make a Claim

The first step would be to contact the vendor for a Refund but if that’s not possible then contact the credit company and state you wish to make a claim under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. They should then provide you with a form in which to make that claim, some providers may go through the claim process on the phone.

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