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Any recourse when UK company refuses a refund?

  • 21-07-2021 5:08pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 84 ✭✭


    One of those things I never really thought of with regard to Brexit...

    On 30-Dec-2020, I booked a road trip organised by a UK travel company. It was a trip around Ireland and was due to take place starting on 22-July-2021. On 30-Jun-2021 (182 days later), they mailed me to say that they were postponing the trip until the end of September. I asked for a refund and they initially agreed to refund me on a goodwill basis, while saying that they did not have to refund me based on their T&Cs (which mentions no refunds).

    Anyway, they then went silent and did not answer my follow-up mails, so I feared the worst. I sent them a mail saying that I required a response or I would have to resort to legal means. They got huffy and are now no longer engaging. So, I think - no problem - take a small claims case - my rights to a refund are very clear, based on an open letter from the UK Competition and Markets Authority to the Travel industry. Trouble is:

    • Paypal disputes have to be opened within 180 days (so it was 2 days too late when they sent me the change notification)
    • I cannot use the UK Money Claims service, as I am not a UK resident.
    • Before Brexit, I could get a judgement against them in the Irish small claims court, and it would be enforceable in the UK. But since they are no longer in the EU, I am up the creek.

    Anyone have any idea if there are any protections any more for Irish consumers that are thinking of purchasing a product or service from the UK?



Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,817 ✭✭✭Darc19


    If you paid through PayPal via a credit card you can still claim chargeback.


    But if you paid with a PayPal balance maybe give brief details to PayPal and see if they will open a dispute.



  • Registered Users Posts: 477 ✭✭stronglikebull


    A lot of credit card companies and banks put a 120 day limit on the chargeback process. Bank of Ireland Visa Debit for example is 120 days. After that, you can't dispute it. Other's probably have a similar time limit. Since you're now 200+ days since the original transaction, it's unlikely you'll get any recourse from a bank. You could ask and find out though, as it's the only option you might have.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,518 ✭✭✭GerardKeating


    In certain circumstances (for example a flight booked a year in advance) you have some chargeback rights untill the flight or event take place.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,817 ✭✭✭Darc19


    Nope, that was quite a while ago.

    Regulations changed about 4 years ago. I think it is 180 days from expected delivery of the goods or service subject to a maximum of 540 days. I don't have the exact timeframes to hand, but it's not far off this.


    It was specifically introduced to protect you when buying future delivery goods or services.



  • Registered Users Posts: 477 ✭✭stronglikebull


    Regulation might have changed, but as I said BOI won't let you start a dispute after 120 days. They may be wrong, but I've never found a way to get a bank to admit that. They even make that difficult, as all communication to their dispute department has to be by post. Other banks may vary, but the Irish banking sector has never been that customer friendly.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,817 ✭✭✭Darc19


    That's standard everyday transaction where you receive the goods there and then or a few days later. And yes, its 120 days.


    For future delivery, the rules are different. It is 120 days from expected delivery date subject to an overall maximum of 540 days.

    So for the OP, if they paid by credit or debit card, the expected delivery date was 22nd July, so chargeback must be opened by 14th Nov. I'm surprised PayPal don't have similar policy.



  • Registered Users Posts: 84 ✭✭hamiltron


    Thank you all for your comments.

    I did indeed pay with a credit card via Paypal, so when I contacted Paypal to ask about the situation, they advised me to do just as Darc19 and others suggested - raise a dispute via the CC company (in this case a Revolut Visa card). The dispute was accepted and they are processing it (takes up to 45 days). Hopefully that will sort out the matter.

    As a matter of interest, I only recently had cause to make another chargeback request for a purchase. I had pre-ordered an item from a US merchandise producer and the delivery window given was 8-16 weeks. After 32 weeks, having tried to cancel the transaction multiple times, I finally applied for a chargeback from the CC issuer - this time it was an AIB Visa card. AIB were very efficient - they initially credited me the amount, but informed me that the vendor's bank was disputing, so they may have to take it back. However, in the end it stuck and I got my money back.

    Thanks @Darc19's for the explanation re extension of window for purchases of product for future delivery. I had thought such a rule would be logical, but couldn't for the life of me find it anywhere.

    I am also surprised that PayPal has not introduced a similar policy. Strange also that BOI is not on board. I will let you know how it goes with Revolut.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,817 ✭✭✭Darc19


    I'll pm my address for my fee 😃😃


    But good for people to know that when purchasing something for future delivery, be it concert tickets or furniture or whatever, always use a card and you will have protection against non delivery for 120 days after the expected delivery date (up to 540 days overall)



  • Registered Users Posts: 84 ✭✭hamiltron


    I thought I would just give an update for anyone who might find this thread and be in the same situation.

    • Neither Revolut for Paypal were any good to me - refused to engage in my attempt to enforce a chargeback. I am annoyed by this and it would definitely make me more likely to use AIB Visa for any future purchases where fulfilment is due to take place over 6 months from time of payment.
    • I was wrong to say above that only UK citizens can use the Money Claim service. In fact, it is only the online claim service that is restricted to UK citizens. Anyone can make a UK County Court Money Claim claim by filling out a form and sending it by post. There are a couple of difficulties (e.g. having to call the Money Claims centre to pay by credit card), but broadly speaking, it was straightforward enough and pretty cheap (£80).
    • If the defendant had challenged the claim, I would have had to appear in a UK court, which would have been a bit more money, but if you are confident of winning, the defendant will have to pay that charge (and some expenses for you). In the end, my defendant ignored the claim and it was found in my favour after a few months...
    • Once you have a judgement in your favour, they have a judgement against them entered into the County Court file, which will mess up their credit rating unless they pay within a month. If they still refuse to pay, there are other things you can do to try to recover your funds - freezing bank accounts, sending in bailiffs, etc. By the way, for the purposes of freezing bank accounts, it would be necessary for you to know their bank account details, so it would be better to make any payments to an actual bank account instead of via PayPal.




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