Holidaymakers hit by the collapse of Lowcostholidays have turned to their card providers to successfully reclaim lost funds – but dozens of Barclays customers say they've so far been left out of pocket as the bank has failed to pay out on their claims.
Over 100,000 people lost money and bookings when the online travel agent suddenly ceased trading on 15 July during peak holiday season.
Many turned to MoneySavingExpert.com and learned they could claim back lost funds using Section 75 and 'chargeback' – special protections that can be used by those who paid Lowcostholidays using a card.
Section 75 is the stronger of the two – a legal protection which applies to credit cards – while chargeback is a customer service guarantee which applies to credit and debit cards (but is typically just used for debit cards).
Hundreds of you contacted us to share success stories having used these reclaim methods with their banks and card providers, with one family getting their money back from HSBC in just four days and another couple being refunded from TSB in just five days.
But while most high street banks appear to be dealing swiftly with customer claims, Barclays bank customers have instead largely been in touch with us to complain their chargeback claims haven't been responded to or have been hit by long and unexplained delays.
What are Barclays customers saying?
We've received emails and tweets from fed-up Barclays customers anxious to find out what's happened to their chargeback claims. It's also been a hot topic on our forums.
Here's a selection of your gripes on Twitter:
@MartinSLewis #lowcostholidays Two letters to @Barclays re #visachargeback. Not even an acknowledgement letter! Just rude! #SwitchBanks— The Cats Whiskers (@chris_hedge1984) August 24, 2016
@Barclays telling #lowcostholidays customers to wait until 20th Sept for decision in refund! Far more than 14 days stipulated @MartinSLewis— Jenny Barsby (@JennyBarsby) August 23, 2016
@BarclaysUKHelp Very disappointed how @Barclays are handling Lowcostholidays debit chargeback (Compared 2 other banks) ! Time 2 change Banks— Heather Smart (@gemini2359) August 21, 2016
@BarclaysUKHelp @Barclays why are people being paid out for their #lowcostholidays #chargeback but you are fobbing us after 3 weeks???— Rachel Ingham♡ (@RachelIngham23) August 17, 2016
Another frustrated customer, Julie, told us: "It appears that we are not alone in getting a very slow service from Barclays re debit card chargeback. After eventually getting the correct form from Barclays, and sending it back to them with all the right information at the end of July, we had heard nothing from the bank.
"A fortnight later we contacted them and they said it had taken them over a week just to log the claim in their system."
What does Barclays say?
We've put these claims to Barclays to find out what lies behind the hold-ups, and a spokesperson says it's currently investigating the issue. We will update this story when we've received the bank's full response.
However, when Lowcostholidays first ceased trading Barclays did confirm to us that it would "endeavour to recover the monies owed via the chargeback process".
You can share your Barclays reclaim stories with us by emailing the news team.