If something goes wrong when you spend on your credit card, debit card or a prepaid card, you could claim a refund.
The Chargeback Scheme is an arrangement with your card provider that means you could get your money back if:
- Your item doesn’t arrive
- The company you bought from goes bust
- Your purchase isn’t as described or is in bad condition
- Your card is used fraudulently
- Your card is charged more than once or more than the agreed amount.
Chargeback claims can only be made if the retailer refuses to issue a refund or help you. You can claim back the total amount of money you’ve lost, but Mastercard has a minimum claim amount of £10, meaning anything worth less than this isn’t covered.
The Chargeback Scheme V Section 75
Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 says that if you buy something on your credit card that costs between £100 and £30,000, the card provider and retailer are responsible if things go wrong.
The Chargeback Scheme provides protection in areas that Section 75 doesn’t cover like:
- Debit card purchases
- Prepaid card transactions
- Transactions of any value
But, the Chargeback Scheme isn’t enforced by law - it’s a voluntary agreement between card providers and issuers, mainly to give you some added peace of mind when buying stuff.
Things you should know
- The Chargeback Scheme can only be used on purchases made with your card.
- You can’t claim if you bought something through third-party sites like PayPal. But, PayPal does have its own method of dealing with issues.
- You can’t claim if too much time has passed. This is usually 120 days. If you bought something in person, the 120-day period begins on the date of the transaction but for online purchases, it’s the date of delivery.
- Visa offers a 180-day period for overseas transactions while American Express give cardholders three months to claim.
- If you bought something like flights or concert tickets, the time limit starts on the departure date or concert date.
How to make a Chargeback claim
- Before making a claim, you could try and resolve things with the retailer. If they refuse to help or issue a refund, you can start a claim.
- Start by getting in touch with your provider and explain that you’d like to make a Chargeback claim.
- You’ll need to provide details of the purchase that you’d like refunded.
- You may also need to provide proof of any previous attempts of trying to get your money back.
- Some providers may ask you to complete a form. Others may just ask for details and begin the claim for you.
The time it takes to get your money back will depend on your bank. Some will credit your account straight away, but others will investigate the claim before putting the money back into the account.
If your claim is rejected, you’re entitled to ask why, and if you feel the decision to reject your claim isn’t fair, you can complain to the bank and take your case to the Financial Ombudsman.
Chargeback claims can offer a little support when you buy something and experience problems, but they’re not legally enforced, so it’s not a guarantee that you’ll get your money back.