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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 December, 2004, 14:49 GMT
Can you count on your card?
There's been a spate of companies going under leaving lots of you without your goods or money.

We've managed to get quite a bit of money back for some of you but it's left others wondering about when you're entitled to a refund and more importantly who from.

Mike Jackson from Manchester for instance is confused. He usually pays for things over the net with a credit card thinking it offers the best protection in the event of the goods never arriving.

Consumer Credit Act

The Consumer Credit Act 1974 paragraph 75 does allow for customers paying by credit card to be refunded on purchases over 100 and under 30,000.

Some banks will cover amounts less than a hundred pounds.

Protection for cardholders
Visa has strong rules in place to protect cardholders, for example when a retailer fails to deliver something that's already been paid for. The first point of call for cardholders is their card issuer who can explain the details.
Visa
Visa debit cards

But any debit card that operates within the VISA scheme also carries cover. Visa says it has strong rules in place to protect cardholders, and you should contact the card issuer.

Approach the bank that issued the card

So in the event of your goods not being provided because the retailer goes under there has been a clear breach of contract and the customer should approach the issuing bank who provided the credit card and ask them to charge back the amount lost from the "merchant's acquiring bank".

This is the bank that handles the merchant's business. But the important thing is that the consumer is reimbursed by the company who gives him or her the credit card.

Therefore you need to send off a letter to your issuing bank and tell them what's happened, send off all relevant receipts and paperwork that proves the goods never arrived and then agree on where you want to be refunded.

Unless it's a debit card run by Maestro, Switch or Solo you should be all right.

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