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Homeowners miss out on £2bn in credit card refund claims

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak
Posted:
Updated:
15/03/2022

UK homeowners have lost out on £2.4bn in 2021 due to their lack of understanding around Section 75 protection for credit card spending.

When using a credit card on purchases between £100 and £30,000, you are protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

If your goods are faulty or don’t arrive, the credit card company is jointly liable with the retailer which means you can claim a full refund from your card provider if you’re unable to get it from the retailer. See YourMoney.com’s Credit Card Glossary for more information.

While it’s a powerful consumer protection law, one in three UK homeowners said they have never heard of it.

Of those who have heard of Section 75 (46%), they’re unsure as to exactly what it is and does.

As such, four in five people have never made a Section 75 claim, according to research from RISA, an independent inspection body.

It found that if those who had an eligible claim knew about the scheme, they would have been able to claim a refund to the tune of £2.4bn last year (£424 each, based on a representative poll of 1,082 homeowners).

However, of those who have claimed because their home improvement didn’t go to plan, the average amount returned was £2,600.

Lee Galley, RISA assessor manager, said: “It’s concerning to see that so many homeowners are unaware of this law and its benefits – especially given it can save people so much money. From being able to get a refund for a product that never arrives, to getting support with home improvement works that have gone wrong, Section 75 is a safety net for consumers that ensures they aren’t out of pocket for a business’s mistake.

“As a nation, we’re set to spend over £40bn on home improvements this year, whether that be upgrading kitchens and bathrooms or replacing windows and doors. With this in mind, it’s important that homeowners are in the know about Section 75 and how it can be used if a home improvement doesn’t go to plan. From having windows installed that don’t meet building regulations to a building firm going bust mid-project, the consumer protection law can really help to avoid homeowners having to face unnecessary financial strain.”