Financial Ombudsman receives 10% more credit card complaints
There was a 10 per cent increase in the number of complaints made to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) about credit cards last year.
A total of 19,183 complaints were made in the year to April 2012, the highest number since records began in 2001, with the majority relating to claims for refunds for unsuitable goods.
Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act offers legal protection to consumers when they purchase goods or services with a credit card.
If the goods do not arrive, or are found to be faulty or not fit for purpose, consumers are entitled to claim their money back from the credit card provider.
The FOS receives around 100 complaints of this type each week.
It attributed the increase in complaints to greater awareness among consumers of their rights and a trend for consumers to be more careful with their money in the current financial climate.
The FOS upholds around 60 per cent of complaints about credit cards, and 50 per cent of the total number of complaints it receives about all financial products and services.
Chief ombudsman Natalie Ceeney said: “As more people are tightening their belts in these difficult financial times, it’s more important than ever that people know their rights if you use credit and something goes wrong.
“So if you have a complaint and you’re not sure where to turn, speak to the ombudsman.”
The UK Cards Association has published new guidelines for credit card users.
Written in plain English, the guide offers clear information about credit card users’ rights when using their card.
It is available from Citizens Advice Bureaux and can be downloaded from theukcardsassociation.org.uk.
Craig Jones, Spokesperson for The UK Cards Association said: “Credit cards offer a greater level of protection to consumers than payment by cash or cheques – meaning that purchases can be made with much greater confidence.
“To make sure that consumers know exactly what they are entitled to, we’re pleased to publish this new advice guide, which sets out people’s rights when shopping with a card.
“This sets out the full range of measures agreed by industry to better empower consumers when it comes to managing their finances.”