Thursday 26 February 2004 4.49pm
James, if the item cost £100 or over, you are protected under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 Section 75.
<www.oft.gov.uk/.../ oft303.pdf >
I once paid on a credit card to hire a van for the weekend to move house. The van hire place was a right dodgy outfit, the van broke down, wasn't covered by the AA as they had claimed it was, and to cap it all I was arrested for driving without a valid tax disc (I didn't think to check it was valid when hiring it, as you don't really expect to have to do this).
Had to have a bit of a row with my credit card provider, as at first they said there wasn't a breach of contract as I had used the van. I pointed out that is wasn't fit for the purpose described (i.e. it couldn't be driven legally on a public highway) -- I wrote to the credit card provider quoting the Consumer Credit Act, and they agreed to put the amount in dispute and pursue the van hire company themselves. On the advice of Tower Hamlets Trading Standards office, I also claimed £50 for distress and inconvenience, which the credit card provider recouped for me along with the full amount I paid for the van. I even got a badly written letter of apology from the van hire company.
I had phoned the van company several times myself but was totally fobbed off and shouted at etc etc, so it was definitely worth passing the responsibility to the credit grantor, who, I believe can threaten a company with having their credit card privileges removed.