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Zeek user left out of pocket? Here's what you can try

Users of online gift card marketplace Zeek have been left in limbo with the company in receivership and some claiming to be £100s out of pocket – here's what to try if you're affected.

Zeek Mobile Ltd – which is headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel, but also operates in the UK – lets users buy and sell gift cards on its website, meaning sellers can often recoup some money from unwanted gift cards and buyers can get discounts.

For more than two weeks, users have reported not receiving payments for gift cards they've sold, and not being able to access credit or gift cards in their accounts. We previously reported it was looking for a buyer

Zeek has confirmed the company has gone into receivership, meaning a firm has been appointed to manage its assets, but says it's still in negotiations to buy the business back.

In the meantime, transactions remain "paused", meaning that customers won't be able to make any purchases, but also that payments for existing transactions are on hold. Users are also reporting that they cannot access their accounts.

There are no guarantees that you'll definitely be able to recoup your cash, and Zeek's temporary receiver Matry, Meiri & Co, an Israeli law firm, has warned that even if there is a successful bid, the process of appointing a buyer can take up to 60 days.

Update 12pm 1 March: The Zeek website is currently unavailable. We've asked Zeek and the receiver for further information, but are yet to be updated on the situation, as soon as we know more we'll update this story.

'I'm owed £520'

Zeek customers have reported issues on Twitter, including not receiving payments or not being able to access their gift cards:

I'm waiting for a gift card – what can I do?

Zeek says "the majority" of customers who have bought gift cards will have received them and be able to use them.

But if you've bought a gift card using a debit card and you haven't received the card or e-voucher, you may be able to claim the money back from your bank through the chargeback scheme.

This involves asking your card provider to ask Zeek's bank for your money back as you have not received the goods.

You'll need to claim via your bank. As a general rule, the Financial Ombudsman Service says you've 120 days to submit a claim from when you first became aware of the problem, and 540 days from when you bought your item, but do it ASAP. See our Chargeback guide for full help.

Barclays, Bank of Scotland, Co-op Bank, Halifax, Lloyds, NatWest, RBS, Santander, TSB, and Tesco Bank say customers should contact them to be considered for a refund.

But even if your bank hasn't confirmed its policy, you'll generally be able to make a chargeback claim if you haven't received goods or a service you've paid for within a certain timeframe (often 15 to 30 days). As an example, banks accepted chargeback claims from House of Fraser customers who hadn't received orders or refunds last year.

I've bought a Zeek Choice gift card – what can I do?

If you bought a Zeek Choice e-gift, which lets you buy other gift cards on the Zeek site, you're currently unable to use it as transactions are "paused". If you're out of pocket – there are two main routes to try:

  • Paid on a credit card and your order cost more than £100? Try Section 75. Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, if you pay on your credit card for an item costing more than £100, the card company's equally liable and you may be able to claim from it.

    Bear in mind though that individual items have to cost £100 for you to be able to use Section 75 – if they only reach £100 collectively, this doesn't count. See our Section 75 guide for more info and how to file a claim. If your credit provider won't help, then contact the Financial Ombudsman to make a complaint.

  • Order cost less than £100 or paid on a debit card? Try chargeback. Unlike Section 75, chargeback isn't a legal requirement, but we have seen successes when customers have claimed using it in the past and a number of banks have said you could try and submit a claim.

    You'll need to claim via your bank. See our Chargeback guide for full help.

I haven't been paid for a sold gift card – what can I do?

Usually it can take up to 10 days after selling a gift card to receive a payment from Zeek, but as transactions are paused, some sellers are currently hundreds of pounds out of pocket without any idea if or when they will get their cash. 

Zeek says it's working to resolve payment issues and will have an update for its customers this week, so in the meantime you may need to wait for more information.

Unfortunately, gift cards aren't covered under PayPal's seller protection scheme. We've also asked retailers which allowed their gift cards to be sold on Zeek whether they would consider reissuing gift cards to sellers who hadn't received their money – but it may be a long shot.

An M&S spokesperson said: "We have been in contact with Zeek who have assured us that they are working hard to resolve the situation and that they will be updating customers as soon as possible. M&S is not responsible if a gift card is resold via a third-party website."

We'll update this story when we hear back from other retailers.

We've also asked the temporary receiver what sellers can do if they haven't received payment, and will update when we hear back.

What does Zeek say?

A Zeek spokesperson said: "We apologise to customers for the delay in payments.

"We are working extremely hard to resolve this issue and hope to have an update this week. In the meantime, we appreciate their patience."

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