Wedding organiser has gone bust. What are my rights?

Q: I paid the deposit for a caterer for my wedding on my credit card but the supplier has gone bust. What are my rights and can I get my deposit back?

Answer: In a nutshell, yes. Credit cards and weddings go together like cheese and crackers, and not just because you won’t be able to afford it otherwise.

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Credit cards offer something incredibly convenient when it comes to consumer protection: Section 75. This is a provision of the Consumer Credit Act that splits the legal responsibility for a purchase between your provider and the seller.

Section 75 is designed for exactly this kind of situation. If you order something for your wedding and the retailer goes bust you are entitled to all your money back through your card provider. It’s that simple.

As with anything financial the process of making your claim and actually getting your hands on the money could be complicated, but the legal basis is safe. Just make sure you quote Section 75 when you are making the claim.

Crucially Section 75 is limited to claims over £100, and no more than £30,000.

Is that the only protection I have?

For a service like catering Section 75 is your best bet. Other legal coverage like the Sale of Goods Act and Distance Selling Regulations apply to goods, not services.

If you’ve paid by debit card another possibility may be chargeback. Chargeback is basically a way of reversing a charge, but as it’s not subject to the same legal enforcement as Section 75 it’s not guaranteed. You can also try putting forward a chargeback claim for credit card purchases under £100.


Read more…
Credit card protection – Learn more about Section 75 and other consumer protection.
Credit cards – Read all about credit cards, from the good to the bad, and what your rights are
What is a credit card – What are credit cards exactly, and how do they work?