Still waiting for a House of Fraser order? You can now claim from your bank
Several major banks have started accepting Section 75 and chargeback claims from House of Fraser customers who have been waiting weeks for undelivered orders and refunds, MoneySavingExpert.com can reveal – and some shoppers have already got their money back.
A large number of House of Fraser customers have been left in limbo since the department store went into administration and was then taken over by Sports Direct in August. Many have been waiting weeks for undelivered orders or haven't received refunds for orders which they've returned.
But seven major banks and Nationwide Building Society have now told MoneySavingExpert they are accepting claims for refunds via the Section 75 and chargeback schemes.
Nationwide says it's already given cash back to some House of Fraser customers who've claimed via chargeback and it's dealing with "many" other claims.
'I'm concerned I'll never see my £265 refund'
Over the past weeks, we've heard from dozens of MoneySavers who were left out of pocket after their House of Fraser orders failed to turn up, or refunds for returned orders didn't materialise.
Reader Adam Douglas told us: "I purchased a necklace for £145 as a birthday present for my partner. The order was confirmed and the money left my bank account, but I've heard nothing from House of Fraser, even though I contacted them twice via email."
Disappointed customers have also taken to Twitter to report their experiences:
How can I claim a refund from my bank?
There are technically two schemes which allow you to claim from your bank:
- Section 75 is legal protection. Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, you can claim from your credit card firm if you made a £100+ purchase on a credit card. See our Section 75 guide for full info.
- Chargeback is a customer service promise rather than legal obligation, so banks can't be forced to pay out. Under this lesser-known scheme, you can claim if you made a credit card purchase worth under £100 or a debit or prepaid card purchase of any value (though if you used a Mastercard you must have spent at least £10 to be able to reclaim).
Chargeback claims must usually be put in within 120 days of making a purchase. It's worth noting under chargeback you receive a refund from your bank and it later claims the money back from the company itself.
Companies have 45 days to challenge the claim and if they do so successfully, your bank could 'claw back' the refund – so if you get a refund via chargeback, check from what date it will be yours without the risk of it being taken back. See our Chargeback guide for full info.
In practice though, banks tend not to distinguish between the two, so you'll likely have to make a general claim and most refunds will be processed through the chargeback scheme.
Who will let you claim a refund?
We asked all the major banks and building societies if they're now accepting Section 75 and chargeback claims from House of Fraser customers who are still awaiting orders or refunds – and eight have so far confirmed they are. Here's the full list:
|Bank of Scotland||Unknown – yet to reply|
|Barclays||Yes – set up a 'merchant dispute claim' in branch or through telephone banking|
|Co-op Bank||Yes – call the disputes line on 0345 602 0145 to receive a claims form|
|First Direct||Yes – contact customer services to make a claim|
|Halifax||Unknown – yet to reply|
|HSBC||Unknown – yet to reply|
|Lloyds||Unknown – yet to reply|
|Nationwide||Yes – raise a Visa dispute via internet banking, or call 0800 302 011|
|NatWest||Yes – use its online dispute form|
|RBS||Yes – use its online dispute form|
|Santander||Yes – call 0800 912 3123|
|Tesco Bank||Yes – call 0345 300 4278 (credit cards) or 0345 835 3353 (current accounts)|
|TSB||Yes – call 03459 758 758|
Many banks ask you to wait 15 days after placing an order or requesting a refund before raising a chargeback claim – but if you were given a specified delivery date, you can usually claim the day after this date has passed. If in doubt, check with your bank.
What evidence will I need?
The exact process varies by bank – see the table above – but you'll usually need to provide the following to claim:
- A detailed description of the goods you ordered.
- Details of when goods were due to be delivered (if claiming for an undelivered order).
- Proof you returned the order (if claiming for an unpaid refund).
In some cases, you may be asked for further information as well – for example, evidence you've tried to contact House of Fraser to resolve the issue.
Some customers have already got money back
While many left out of pocket have yet to claim, Nationwide says it's already started paying out to House of Fraser customers.
Nationwide's head of current accounts Phil Smith told us: "Our focus is always on doing the right thing by our members. Many of them have been left out of pocket by the situation with House of Fraser after not receiving orders they'd made or not being able to get refunds.
"While we can't guarantee we will be able to get every member's money back, we have already successfully managed to get some customers refunds through the chargeback process and are supporting many others with their claims."
'Hope at last for customers left out of pocket'
MoneySavingExpert news and features editor Steve Nowottny said: "This is good news and hope at last for out-of-pocket House of Fraser customers, who've been waiting weeks for some kind of resolution to this issue.
"Many have been furious to find that the goods they've ordered simply haven't turned up, even though House of Fraser continues to trade and sell the same items.
"If you've lost cash and haven't been able to get help from House of Fraser, speak to your bank now and see if you can submit a claim."
What does House of Fraser say?
We've repeatedly contacted House of Fraser and Sports Direct to ask them whether orders and refunds will be honoured, but we haven't heard back.
Sports Direct, which took over House of Fraser in August, originally said that all undelivered orders would be cancelled and refunded, but later changed tack and said customers wouldn't get refunds and would instead need to contact the administrators to claim. This is unlikely to be successful though, as you'll probably be in a long queue behind other creditors.
Customers with unspent gift cards were also left in limbo for several weeks, but some gift card holders have now received replacement e-vouchers. If you have a House of Fraser gift card, Sports Direct says you will need to return it by 31 October to receive a replacement.