What are your rights to a refund if it is advisable to cancel or change a marriage?
If you paid by credit card, you can try a Section 75 claim (or chargeback)
Section 75 is an important UK consumer protection law made in the 1970s that means your credit provider MUST take the same responsibility as the retailer if things go wrong with a purchase.
The law means your credit card must protect purchases costing over £100 for free, so if there’s a problem you could get your money back. This little-known scheme’s taken on much more importance in recent weeks, as coronavirus has led to a spate of cancellations, with many asking if Section 75 could help.
The key to Section 75 is that the supplier must be in breach of its contract with you. So, for example, if a catering supplier had a clause in its contract that you could get a full refund if the reception’s cancelled by events beyond your control, but then doesn’t actually give you the refund you’re contractually entitled to.
If it’s acting according to the terms of the contract, then you’re unlikely to win the Section 75 claim, as the bank’s not there to decide if the contract is fair (if this is the case, make the claim anyway, as you can then escalate your complaint to the ombudsman, which can use more than contracts or law to adjudicate).
To make a claim, you need to contact your credit card company (you can still claim on an account that’s since been closed), not Visa, Mastercard or Amex. So if you’ve got a HSBC Mastercard, you claim from HSBC, not Mastercard.
For full information on how to do a claim, see our Section 75 guide.
If you paid on a credit card, you can also do a chargeback (see the section above). It’s likely the credit card issuer would be happier for you to do a chargeback than it would be for you to do Section 75 (with chargeback it gets money from the site owner’s bank, with Section 75 it could be liable). Yet the warnings in the section above also apply here.