Credit cards can be a sensible way to shop online, particularly for more expensive purchases. This is because they offer protection should something go wrong or you change your mind. When buying things online, using a credit card is often a better option than a debit card. Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 states that the credit-card provider and the supplier are both liable if there is a problem with your purchase. So, for example, if you order an item from a company which goes bust and your item is never delivered, you are entitled to have your money reimbursed by your credit-card company.
What You Need to Know
To get a refund, conditions apply. The price of the goods or services must be between 100 and 30,000. The amount of credit cannot be over 25,000. The credit-card provider must be in the business of lending money and the credit agreement made while the provider has been in business. There must be an agreement in place between the credit-card provider and the supplier of the goods. If all these conditions are met, then you are entitled to protection and the credit provider and the retailer are equally liable.
Changing Your Mind
You are perfectly within your rights to change your mind about an order within a certain time limit. You can cancel at any point from the time you make the order up to seven business days after it has been delivered. However, cancellations should be made in writing, by letter or by e-mail. If your item has arrived, you are obliged to return it. Beware of retailers demanding that goods need to be returned in their original packaging – this is not a legal obligation. As long as the product is returned in good condition, you are not in the wrong. Check the retailer’s terms and conditions, available on their website, to see whether they require you to pay the postage for a returned order. If this is not mentioned in the terms and conditions, it is up to them to pay. Some high-street stores allow you to take the product directly back to one of their shops.
Items Which Fail to Arrive in Time
Retailers have a maximum of 30 days to deliver your purchase, unless otherwise stated by them. Most will give you a timeframe when you place your order. If it does not arrive within the designated timeframe, you are within your rights to claim your money back from the retailer. However, if the retailer disappears or refuses to refund you, it is up to your credit-card company to give you your money back.
If you buy a product which turns out to be faulty, you are entitled to ask the retailer for a refund, repair or replacement. If you have paid with a credit card, your credit-card provider is also legally responsible. This is a little-known rule, but in theory you can claim up to six years after buying the goods, depending on the type of product, how much you paid for it and how long it should reasonably last. You will find that price comparison sites are a great way of finding credit-card deals to make online purchases safer.
Written by Andrew Griffiths – for Entertainment Purposes only