People in the U.K. have gotten used to the convenience and benefits that they acquire from having credit cards. However, some credit card companies often forget the consumer rights that each holder has. These are the legal rights that credit card consumers have according to Consumer Credit Act Section 75.

Credit Card Consumer Rights

Purchase Through Credit Cards

Every purchase with a credit card provides the holder a good level of protection. The credit card company and the retailer are jointly liable for any misinterpretation or breach of contract. They are responsible for any problem that may occur from the transaction or the product. This covers all products and services purchased. It also includes in-store and online transactions that occur within or outside the country.

When there is a problem with the transaction, the consumer should contact the retailer and the credit card company. The law requires both parties to be contacted simultaneously. If the retailer fails to respond and provide reconciliation, the act can be used in order to uphold the consumer’s interests.

 Consumer Rights in Chargebacks

Consumers also have rights when it comes to chargebacks according to the act. A chargeback is when the consumer decides to return goods for acceptable reasons. This can occur when the product purchased is damaged or does not possess what it represents before the transaction. Chargebacks are also possible when the product does not arrive on time or as described or when the consumer purchases multiple items but not all products arrive on time.

However, chargebacks also come with particular conditions. For one, this is only possible for transactions that are worth £100 or less. The consumer is also required to present proof of purchase and the breach of contract. Consumers are also only allowed 120 days to report the incident. Online transactions must be reported on the day that the item arrives.

How to Make a Complaint about your Credit Card Provider

Credit card companies sometimes fail to follow the Consumer Act and do not provide the protection that they should with transactions. If this occurs, the consumer should know the proper procedure to make a complaint against the company. These are the steps involved in making a complaint.

Written Notice

The first thing that the consumer should do if the retailer fails to replace or chargeback the transaction is to send a written notice to the credit card company. This should include all physical proof of the transaction such as receipts and agreements. The letter should also include what the consumer desires from the credit card company. It should be clearly stated in the letter when requesting a chargeback. The number of days that the consumer wants to give the credit card company for a response is also essential in the notice.

Internal Complaints Department

The case should be escalated to the internal complaints department if a credit card company fails to respond within the given time period. A final letter should be provided there if is a deadlock. This letter can be used for legal procedures.

Financial Ombudsman Service

A dispute can be forwarded to the Financial Ombudsman Service if the credit card provider continues to fail to respond. This can occur when the company fails to reply for more than eight weeks and a deadlock is reached. The ombudsman will provide a decision in order to settle the dispute.

Court Proceedings

A consumer who is not satisfied with the ombudsman’s decision can still forward the case to the court. However, this should only be an option after the ombudsman has reached a decision. Otherwise, the judge will question why the consumer did not choose to go to the FOS first. This should be considered carefully.

Transactions not Covered Under the Consumer Act

There are also some transactions that are not covered under the Consumer Credit Act Section 75. The act does not provide protection for problems that the consumer may encounter with any of these transactions.

Withdrawals

Withdrawing money from the credit card is not protected under the act. This is because the transaction does not involve any link between the credit card company and a retailer. Therefore, credit card consumers should consider purchasing items directly from retailers.

Transactions through Paypal

Any purchase made through a Paypal account are not entirely covered under the act. Paypal has its own rights, protection and liability provided for consumers and retailers under the Paypal Buyer Protection menu. However, a retailer who has a Commercial Entity Agreement is a better choice for credit card holders. This contract protects any transaction under the consumer act. The consumer can place a complaint about any product misinterpretation or breach of contract.

Additional or Supplementary Cards

The Consumer Act may also have different coverage for credit card holders who provide additional cards for family members. It is best for the main card holder to purchase items with larger values in order to maximize their protection and security under the act.

 

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Tim Capper

Bringing you financial news and information in plain english for Maple Leaf Financial. My aim is to help readers understand these often complex financial instruments.