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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3497
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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we booked an apartment with a holiday company which was having

Customer Question

we booked an apartment with a holiday company which was having fraud problems in November. They said that they emailed us to tell us but we recieved no email and were told by one member of thier team that the email had not been sent. Since November we have called them countless times to get through to someone who knew what was going on, which we finally got the answer that they would re-enburse some of the money but this would take 6-8 weeks to go through the process. We then recieved an email this week saying that because they had sent us the email in November telling us about the fraud they would no longer be re-enbursing any money.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you for your question and welcome.

My name is AJ and I will assist you.

How much is the deposit? Did you pay by credit card?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

there was no deposit, we had to pay the full amount in one go which was £1001. We payed from debit card through wire transfer

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

As there has been a fraud and you used a debit card you may be entitled to "Charge back" from your bank.

How long ago did you pay the deposit?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

we payed on the 27th November. I have already passed it onto the uk fraud team and have notified my bank as soon as i found out

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

You have the following options:
1. You can sue the company in the small claims court here for the return of your deposit: https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome‎ . You can start the money claim here;
2. Make a complaint to trading standards - www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/‎
3. As there has been a fraud involved apply to your bank for a charge back of the sum owed. You must do this though as soon as possible as normally a charge back to your card can only be made within 120 days.
If your bank refuse to repay the Money you could then make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

AJ

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

i just contacted my bank and they said if it had been done online they would be able to get the money back but becasue i did it direct theres nothing they can do. is this correct?


 


what will the financial ombudsman do?


 


will it be very exspensive to use the small courts?

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

Firstly I am afraid that is not correct, the bank should at least try to reverse the transaction. There is a template letter making a charge back claim - http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/problem/how-do-i-use-chargeback
If the bank do not treat you fairly and at least try the charge back you can make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman.

Secondly for £1,100 you can make the claim yourself and the court fee will be about £100 in court fees. If you are successful you can claim these back.

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

thank you very much for that, i will take a look .


does it make a difference that the money was payed directly into somebody elses account, obviously we thought it was the property owner and paying for the holiday but it was the hackers account.


 


is it likely that if the bank don't try to get the money back the financial ombudsman would be able to

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

The bottom line is you replied to this company's advert, it is their fault that their system was hacked. They are the ones that owe you the money.

The Ombudsman are unlikely to get your money back they will obviously compensate you if the bank do not not treat you fairly and at least try to charge your card back.

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

ok great. thank you very much.


 


I am looking at the charge back letter and it says its for payments under £100. am i on the right one?

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

There should be no limit on it. It is not a guaranteed thing, but the bank should at least try especially as you have made the request within 3 months.

Here is another template - http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/visa-mastercard-chargeback

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

ok thank you. i found the right one from the one you sent before, thank you.


 


for the small courts would i need a solicitor or is that covered in the overall fee i would pay? and how would i go about this?

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

For the small claim I would suggest you make the claim by yourself. There is a limit to the solicitors costs you can reclaim and there it is likely that it wont be cost effective to instruct a solicitor.

I would also recommend making a complaint to trading standards before starting a county court claim. www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/‎


Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

thank you. we called citizens advice in December and they said that from the companys point that we booked with they didnt know what to do. but should we be speaking to them about the bank not looking to refund us?

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

Try the bank because that is time critical you only have 120 days for the charge back.

If the bank does not help you complaint to Trading Standards that this company allowed your money to paid to a hacker and wont refund you.

If Trading Standards do not assist then make a claim in the County Court.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

we just contacted trading standards and they said to use the small courts for this. so how would we go about doing this?

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

I am surprised that they would not investigate your claim.

You can start a money claim online here - https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome

I would send the company a warning first and say that if they do not give you a refund within 7 days you will commence a county court claim.

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

we can not speak to anyone until tuesday between 10-12a.m so i think we will apply online to the money claim.


 


the letter template you gave me, do i send that to the holiday company and the bank?

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

The charge back letter template should be sent to the bank.

I would not rush into the money claim against the holiday company. See if the bank can resolve the issue for you first.

Any feedback is gratefully received.

Kind regards

AJ

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

thank you very much you have been such a great help.


 


do you think the letter will be effected? and do i send it to the bank branch i opened my account with?

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

I am not sure if it will be effective but it has to be worth a try as an alternative to a small claim. The bank are obliged to at least try and get the deposit back.

I think it is fine to send it to the branch, or call the branch and they will give you the best address for it.

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

ok great and should we let the bank know by phone what we are doing ?

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

The bank does not need to know if you are suing the holiday company, but you cannot double recover.

If the bank gets you a refund you cannot then pursue county court action.

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

ok. i will send the letter to the bank and only if they cannot get the money back then i will go ahead with the holiday company.


 


Many thanks for your help today it has been very usefull.


 


we will be in touch if we need further help.


 


Many thanks


 


Joseph

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

No problem.

I wish you the best of luck.

Kind regards

AJ

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