Episode 5 Rip Off Britain


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Episode 5

Angela Rippon, Gloria Hunniford and Julia Somerville travel the country tackling the rip-offs affecting consumers and investigating concerns both big and small.


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Transcript


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'We asked you to tell us who's left you feeling ripped-off.'

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I think this is very wrong for what they have done.

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The bank passed charges upon charges upon charges.

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Legally, it was right. Morally? That's where the doubt comes, in my view.

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GLORIA: 'You contacted us in your thousands,

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'by post, e-mail, even stopping us in the street.

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'The message could not be clearer.'

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-They just try and fob you off.

-I'm not happy with them at all.

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It's that small print that's got the clause in that you didn't realise.

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We're being ripped-off.

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'Whether it's a deliberate rip-off, a simple mistake or a catch in the small print,

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'we'll find out why you're out of pocket and what you can do.'

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Keep asking the questions. Go to the top.

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We do get results.

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'Your stories, your money. This is Rip-Off Britain.'

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Welcome to Rip-Off Britain,

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where it's our job to take to task the companies giving you a raw deal,

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and to make sure you've got the best advice on what to do when disaster strikes.

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We've got plenty of that today, because when the worst happens -

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a company goes bust or you've been a victim of fraud -

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obviously, you want to get your money back.

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-That could be simpler than you think.

-Too true.

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Paying by plastic is often the safest way to protect your purchases and stop you being ripped-off.

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Mind you, even the banks aren't always aware of the benefits.

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So for them, as well as you, we have some unmissable tips coming up

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that could just save you a fortune.

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'Meet the lady convinced that she'd lost thousands as a victim of fraud,

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'but whose bank just didn't believe her.'

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It's a nightmare that you can't wake up from. What else can you do?

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How can you prove you're innocent?

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'We've set up a pop-up shop for consumer advice,

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'and we're rushed off our feet.'

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Whenever we use a credit or a debit card,

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we're always asked to keep the PIN number somewhere safe,

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where no-one can get hold of it and use it without you knowing.

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We're told you have to have a number that no-one else knows, and not to keep it anywhere near the card.

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It's all common sense, really, because by doing that

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you significantly reduce the chance of a card being used fraudulently.

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In 2010, there were over 100,000 cases of card fraud identified in the UK,

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with the losses on those cards coming to a whopping £365 million.

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'When it was introduced in 2003, the chip and PIN system

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'was the biggest change in the way we pay since decimalisation.

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'Ever since, it's been heralded by the banking industry as infallible.

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'But Professor Anderson disagrees.'

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We've found a significant number of vulnerabilities in chip and PIN,

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which have led to a lot of fraud.

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What's more, in many cases, this fraud is blamed on the card holders.

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'Chip and PIN cuts down on fraud in two ways.

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'Firstly, there's a microchip on your debit or credit card

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'which stores personal data securely so it's difficult to counterfeit.

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'The second is the PIN - much harder to copy than a signature.

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'Since the scheme started,

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'credit card fraud has dropped by 69%.

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'Dr Stephen Murdoch, who works with Professor Anderson, also believes

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'that it's not as secure as the banks would have us believe.'

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The biggest source of card fraud in the UK is from "card not present" transactions.

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That's things like telephone, mainly online transactions.

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In most cases, customers do get their money back from this.

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The biggest threat to customers, when they don't get their money back,

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is fraudulent ATM withdrawals.

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Your card might have been taken out of your wallet and used.

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We asked ourselves,

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how is it possible for a stolen chip and PIN card to be used

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by someone who doesn't know the PIN?

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We found that if you put a suitable piece of wicked electronics

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between the card and the terminal, you can tell the card

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that a signature is authorising a transaction,

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and tell the terminal

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that the card accepted the PIN that was put in at the terminal.

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And everything works.

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'In other words, these Cambridge boffins have found a high-tech way

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'to crack chip and PIN.

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'Dr Murdoch's about to prove it.

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'Imagine that the card has been lost or stolen and he doesn't know the PIN.

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'That should mean that any transaction would be refused.

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'But with the help of this special gadget, he's hoping

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'to trick the sort of terminal used in most shops and restaurants

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'into thinking that the correct PIN is being used.'

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First, we'll put the card into this device.

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This can be made smaller and quite easily hidden up someone's sleeve.

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Then we put the card into the terminal, just as normal.

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Type in the PIN.

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I typed in 1111, which is not the right PIN for the card. Press enter.

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-The transaction goes through.

-The transaction HAS gone through.

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'Worryingly, it's worked.'

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We told the industry about this vulnerability in October 2009.

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'In the middle of 2010, one of the banks did some work to fix it

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'with one of their suppliers, but by December,

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'the fix had been taken out and the fraud worked.'

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We suspect that they found that the fix was causing too many false alarms

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so it would be better to take the risk, rather than upsetting a lot of customers.

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That's fair enough, provided they're prepared to give their customers

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the benefit of the doubt when they complain about fraud.

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'The UK Cards Association is...

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'They say, though technically possible...

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'And once you've reported your card stolen,

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'it would be blocked and the device could no longer work.

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'They insist that any innocent victim of card fraud

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'won't suffer any financial loss.

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'But as you'll see later, it isn't always that simple.'

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Although this is Rip-Off Britain, tackling all things British,

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what can you do if you've been caught by a company based overseas?

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Judging from your letters, it happens to a lot of you, including Tony and Margaret Hayden.

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They ran into trouble with a company based abroad after being cold-called

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with an offer that seemed too good to refuse.

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'The most famous light show of them all,

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'the northern lights, once just a story told by intrepid travellers,

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'now a regular sight on our screens.

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'They can be experienced first-hand

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'by people who go on an Arctic cruise.'

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Voyages to the northern lights...

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'Tony and Margaret Hayden from Manchester dreamt of such a cruise.'

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We've never been on one before and...we were getting interested,

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especially looking at things like the northern lights in Norway.

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'In July this year, they were cold-called by a company

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'called The Holiday Specialist, who offered to make their dream come true.'

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The young lady said to me

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that they were a wholesale UK-based travel agent

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who were able to get hold of cruises at greatly discounted rates.

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£599,

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and they would send us a voucher

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and we could book this cruise when we wanted

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within the next three years.

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'Tony happily signed up but, a few days later,

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'he checked his credit card statement online

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'and noticed that the payment hadn't gone to the company he'd spoken to.

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'Instead, it had been paid to one called Lifetime Marketing Solutions,

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'LMS for short, and they weren't UK-based.

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'They were in Benidorm, in Spain.'

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As soon as it came up LMS Benidorm,

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I thought, "Spanish company. Benidorm. Whoops!

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"I don't think this is what I first thought it was."

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And it's turned out to be that, as well.

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'Then the documents arrived and their worst fears were realised.

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'Instead of buying a cruise, all they'd got for their £600

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'was a holiday club loyalty card,

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'promising discounts on future holidays.

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'And a call to the company to clear it all up only made things worse.'

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Basically, the supervisor said,

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"Well, you knew you were buying a loyalty card.

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"You've bought the loyalty card.

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"It's non-refundable. We don't do refunds."

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'Tony and Margaret didn't give up that easily and there were avenues for them to explore.

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'EU law contains legislation called "distance selling regulations",

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'which should give consumers cooling off-rights

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'when buying goods or services without face-to-face contact.

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'But The Holiday Specialist claimed they were exempt,

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'that it didn't apply when buying loyalty cards.

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'Laura Ferguson from the UK European Consumer Centre has heard it all before.'

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The companies deliberately interpret the legislation

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to minimise consumer rights.

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What the law ACTUALLY says is that excluded contracts

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are contracts for accommodation that are to be provided on a specific date or time period.

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'So maybe the Haydens could battle on with that route.

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'In the meantime, Tony has gone down a different path, claiming a refund through his credit card company.'

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Section 75 covers, as they say, creditor, debtor and supplier.

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The bank are the creditor.

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I'm the debtor, because I owe the money.

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And the supplier is The Holiday Specialist.

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'That sound straightforward, but there was a snag.

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'Because the money was paid to LMS Benidorm,

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'not The Holiday Specialist, a fourth party was involved,

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'so the Haydens' situation isn't strictly covered

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'by section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

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'The decision on whether to pay out is at the discretion of each credit card company, and Tony's refused.'

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Some people find that their credit card company's really strict.

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Others find that they're more forthcoming offering reimbursement.

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Unfortunately, there's no standard. It's pot luck, I'm afraid!

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My main advice to consumers is do NOT give your credit card or bank details to anybody

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until you have received your paperwork and you know what you're getting.

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'Meanwhile, Tony may yet be in luck.

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'When Rip-Off Britain rang LMS,

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'they confirmed they are the same company as The Holiday Specialist,

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'which should mean the credit card company

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'looks at his claim in a different light.

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'But there are other questions LMS may find harder to answer.

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'Such as why all of the cruise liner companies whose logos appear on their website

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'deny ever selling their holidays through LMS.

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'They've told us that's so they can offer impartial advice

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'to clients who ask about cruises.

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'And the reason companies haven't heard of them is because customers book their holidays direct.

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'The company also told us

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'that what Tony bought is what he'd ordered,

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'although he maintains it's not...

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'..We suspect it still might be.'

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I think next time we book a holiday,

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it's not going to be... from a cold call.

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It's going to be through a reputable travel agent that we know,

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we've dealt with before,

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and do it that way - the safe way.

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The Haydens' story shows only too well how easily you can run into problems when buying from abroad.

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With more about what your rights are, here's Jane Negus from the Trading Standards Institute.

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Wherever you're shopping, in the UK or online,

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you need to make sure that you know where that trader's based.

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Just because it's a co.uk website doesn't mean that it's in the UK.

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You need to do your research first.

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If you've purchased something and there's a problem with it,

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the first thing to do is contact the trader involved.

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Most of the consumer law in the UK is now applicable across Europe.

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When things go wrong with a purchase or service that you've had in the EU

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there are things that you can do...

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If you've made a purchase from somewhere outside of the EU,

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there is an organisation called Econsumer that you can approach.

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They will signpost you to an appropriate organisation

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in the country you made the purchase

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to see if they can assist you to get your money back or to get the matter resolved.

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Earlier, we showed how easy it can be to crack the chip and PIN system

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that we all rely on to keep our credit and debit details secure.

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With banks reluctant to accept that the system might have flaws,

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where does that leave you if you think that somebody has been using your card to withdraw your cash?

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Eve Russell was sure she'd been a victim of fraud,

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but her bank just didn't agree.

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'Four little numbers to keep your bank details safe.

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'Since 2003, we've been using chip and PIN to make payments.

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'The four-digit code used to authorise these must be used

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'or your purchase won't go through.

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'Chip and PIN has significantly reduced credit card and bank fraud.

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'Banks repeatedly insist it's fool-proof.

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'One person who definitely wouldn't agree is Eve Russell.

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'She's had a dispute with Barclaycard which started in August 2010,

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'when she queried a new credit card number on literature they sent to her.'

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I phoned Barclaycard up and I was told it was my new card.

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I said, "What new card? I don't know anything about a new card."

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They said the card that I ordered.

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I'd phoned up and ordered a new card. I said, "No, I didn't."

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The story Barclaycard was told was that I,

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or someone pretending to be me, was in a bar in London,

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had too much to drink and lost their card so they needed a new one.

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This is according to Barclaycard, obviously.

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And I said it wasn't me.

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'Eve was adamant it wasn't her who'd ordered it, but in any case,

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'a new card was out there somewhere in her name.

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'Although it had a different number,

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'Barclaycard said the PIN was identical. Eve was baffled.'

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I thought it was a mistake. Maybe the wrong card number, the wrong Evelyn Russell.

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I couldn't believe what they were telling me. I have my card!

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I did not order a new card. I did not receive a card.

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I did not spend anything on a card, other than the card that I have in my possession.

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'Whoever rang gave one wrong answer to Barclaycard's security questions,

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'Eve's age on her next birthday.

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'For some reason, that wasn't picked up,

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'allowing them to order a new card.

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'Eve thinks the bank should have also picked up on another big clue that something was amiss.'

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In one month, whoever got my card spent £15,000.

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My normal spending pattern is roughly £50, £60 a month

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on my mobile phone bill, that's all.

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Not £15,000!

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And I only have a £10,000 limit.

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Barclaycard state they will monitor irregular spending.

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This is worse than irregular spending.

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This is somebody going for a jolly for £15,000 on a £10,000 limit!

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Totally different from however I've used my card.

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I've been a Barclaycard customer for over 20 years.

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Barclaycard should have flagged this.

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'As Eve continued to protest,

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'Barclaycard produced a somewhat grainy photograph

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'of the door the courier had delivered the new card to.

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'But it wasn't Eve's front door.

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'Although Barclaycard said the card went to a neighbouring address,

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'her nearest neighbour said they didn't receive it.

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'But that wasn't the worst of it.

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'Despite watertight alibis to prove she wasn't present when the card was used,

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'Barclaycard said she must have been because the correct PIN was used.

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'So they insisted that Eve pay back all the money that had been spent,

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'well over £15,000.'

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It's a nightmare that you can't wake up from.

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What else can you do?

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How can you prove you're innocent when you're told,

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even if your card had got delivered to Scotland, and the PIN was used, you would still be liable?

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'Eve's case is surprising

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'because in cases where banks refuse to refund disputed payments,

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'they are supposed to provide evidence that the customer's to blame

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'either through fraud or negligence, for example, letting someone know your PIN.'

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The law has given people additional rights to say that,

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even where a PIN was used, that is not proof that the customer

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authorised the payment.

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You have to have greater evidence

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that somebody was acting fraudulently or grossly negligently

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before a bank can refuse to reinstate a payment.

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The bank have got to come up with very good reasons and some evidence,

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to prove that you were either negligent or fraudulent

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in the way in which you'd used your card.

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They can't simply say, "We're not going to repay you."

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If you feel that your bank has acted unfairly,

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you ought to go to the Financial Ombudsman Service and let them sort it out.

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'Eve did just that and, in October 2011,

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'more than a year after the trouble began, the Ombudsman recommended

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'that Barclaycard wipe off all the disputed debt,

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'remove adverse information from her credit file

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'and provide her with compensation, which they've done,

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'as well as offering to "contribute to her costs".

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'Barclaycard told us they're sorry for their...

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'..They claim that Eve gave them contradictory information about the records she'd kept of her PIN,

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'but now accept that she was...

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'While her battle may be over, Eve is furious

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'about what she had to go through.'

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I feel terrible about the whole situation, emotionally drained.

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It's been an absolute nightmare of a year. Very, very bad.

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I really thought it would all end last year, but it takes so long.

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It's left me absolutely dreadful.

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'Still to come, our experts have been rushed off their feet

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'at our pop-up shop for consumer advice.'

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The law says that anybody providing a service should provide it with reasonable care and skill.

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'And we'll reveal a little-known fact that could help millions of you

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'claim money back when a purchase goes wrong.'

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We couldn't believe the process till the money arrived in our account.

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And we were elated!

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Next, a little-known fact

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that could prove to be a lifeline for many of you

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if a financial transaction goes wrong.

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Usually, we're told that while credit cards give you protection

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in situations where, for instance, a company from whom you've ordered something goes bust,

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a debit card won't.

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Well, actually, it might.

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Because if your debit card's Visa, as two-thirds of them are,

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it should still be protected in the same way.

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That's information that really could make all the difference.

0:21:470:21:51

Unfortunately, apparently, even the banks aren't always aware of it.

0:21:510:21:56

It's rather lucky that when disaster struck for one couple,

0:21:560:22:00

they wrote to us.

0:22:000:22:02

'Lee Price and her civil partner Jane moved to the UK from Zimbabwe a year ago.

0:22:060:22:11

'They're braving the current financial climate

0:22:110:22:16

'and opening a cafe in Battle, Sussex.'

0:22:160:22:19

In Zimbabwe, I ran a cafe for three years.

0:22:190:22:23

We wanted to be able to fit it in with taking care of the children.

0:22:230:22:27

That's one reason why we chose the cafe in Battle, because it's seven minutes' walk from home.

0:22:270:22:32

'But first, the cafe needed a new kitchen.'

0:22:320:22:36

For a family, it's fantastic. For a business, it's not great.

0:22:360:22:40

We wanted to enclose this off, bring in a new entrance

0:22:400:22:43

and we'd add our sinks over here.

0:22:430:22:46

'In April 2010, they found what they wanted

0:22:460:22:50

'at Focus DIY.

0:22:500:22:52

'They were quoted just over £3,500

0:22:520:22:56

'and they paid up-front with a Nationwide Visa debit card.'

0:22:560:23:00

We felt that

0:23:000:23:02

although it was a quick decision to make, that it was a good one

0:23:020:23:07

with the price.

0:23:070:23:10

They seemed very helpful, up-front and, um...

0:23:100:23:14

it's such a big store that you have such confidence in it, actually.

0:23:140:23:19

'But six weeks later, they got a call from Focus DIY.

0:23:190:23:23

'It wasn't news they wanted to hear.

0:23:230:23:26

'The company had gone into administration.

0:23:260:23:29

'Concerned, Lee and Jane immediately

0:23:290:23:32

'went to the store where they'd bought the kitchen.'

0:23:320:23:35

They told us, "Don't worry. We're pretty certain...

0:23:350:23:39

"We're very certain that you'll get it.

0:23:390:23:41

"It's on a pallet stored for you already.

0:23:410:23:45

"It's just a case of being delivered. It might take a while to get delivered."

0:23:450:23:49

'Despite the store's reassurances, Lee and Jane began to suspect that the kitchen might never turn up.

0:23:490:23:56

'So they went back to the shop to try and get some more answers.'

0:23:560:24:01

It was a very different atmosphere.

0:24:010:24:03

The same salesman who had reassured us and said, "Don't worry.

0:24:030:24:08

"Your kitchen's on a pallet." He said - I'm quoting him verbatim -

0:24:080:24:12

"You won't be getting your kitchen now."

0:24:120:24:16

This is all on a computer programme. This is the stove...

0:24:160:24:19

'The couple were left devastated by this news.

0:24:190:24:23

'Their business plans were in tatters and they'd lost the money they needed to get the cafe open.'

0:24:230:24:29

-You burst into tears when we got home.

-Yeah. I did.

-I got angry.

0:24:290:24:34

It unsettled our home. The children were unsettled.

0:24:340:24:36

This is a bird's-eye view...

0:24:360:24:39

'Convinced they'd lost their kitchen and their money,

0:24:390:24:42

'they contacted Rip-Off Britain.

0:24:420:24:44

'And we were able to give them the good news that they hadn't expected.

0:24:440:24:49

'Because they'd paid with a Visa debit card,

0:24:490:24:53

'they were covered by a little-known scheme called...'

0:24:530:24:57

What I understand it as is...

0:25:080:25:10

..if you go to a company and pay for something with a debit card,

0:25:110:25:16

you can go to your bank and say, "I haven't received the goods."

0:25:160:25:20

And the bank will then be able

0:25:200:25:23

to chargeback your money, give it back to your bank account.

0:25:230:25:28

Which seems like a really amazing sort of...system.

0:25:280:25:33

'There are nearly 85 million debit cards in the UK,

0:25:330:25:37

'73 million of which are Visa cards.

0:25:370:25:41

'That means an awful lot of people could benefit from knowing about the chargeback scheme.

0:25:410:25:46

'But does it actually work in practice?

0:25:460:25:50

'It did for Lee and Jane, who put their claim in writing to the bank

0:25:500:25:54

'and got all the money back that they'd lost.'

0:25:540:25:57

We couldn't believe the process until the money arrived in our account. We were elated.

0:25:570:26:03

All of the feelings of loss and... loss of dreams, loss of hope,

0:26:030:26:10

was re-established, and we felt like we'd been grounded again.

0:26:100:26:14

'Lee and Jane are about to open their first cafe, after all.

0:26:140:26:19

'And with a little help from us, their plans are back on track.'

0:26:190:26:23

It was great to have a happy ending.

0:26:230:26:25

We were only too pleased to be able to help.

0:26:250:26:29

If like Lee and Jane, you have a situation you think could benefit

0:26:290:26:33

from the Visa chargeback system,

0:26:330:26:36

here's a bit more about how it works and when you're able to use it.

0:26:360:26:40

You may even find people in your own bank haven't heard of it,

0:26:400:26:45

but it's great protection when you buy things with your debit card.

0:26:450:26:49

If you buy something with your card

0:26:490:26:52

and it's broken, doesn't turn up

0:26:520:26:54

or the company's gone bust,

0:26:540:26:56

you can ask your bank to get the money back.

0:26:560:27:00

It's not legally binding, but...

0:27:030:27:05

It should mean that if something goes wrong,

0:27:080:27:10

you shouldn't be out of pocket.

0:27:100:27:13

You need to claim within 120 days of realising there was a problem,

0:27:130:27:18

otherwise your card provider may not be able to help.

0:27:180:27:22

What can you do if your card provider says

0:27:220:27:25

they won't help you under the chargeback scheme?

0:27:250:27:28

You can still go to the Financial Ombudsman.

0:27:280:27:32

It's a free service and they are there to help.

0:27:320:27:35

You need to do that within six months of ending your correspondence

0:27:350:27:39

with your card provider,

0:27:390:27:41

but the Ombudsman may well be able to help you get your money back.

0:27:410:27:46

GLORIA: 'When money is tighter than ever,

0:27:500:27:53

'you need to know that your cash is working hard for you,

0:27:530:27:57

'avoiding rip-offs and sharp practice along the way.

0:27:570:28:00

'We put together a booklet of advice

0:28:000:28:03

'to help safeguard your hard-earned money.

0:28:030:28:06

'You can find the link to the free guide on our website...

0:28:060:28:10

'If you want to receive a copy in the post,

0:28:130:28:16

'send an A5 self-addressed envelope to the address at the end of the programme.

0:28:160:28:21

'We went on the road and set up our very own pop-up shop,

0:28:260:28:29

'where we got the opportunity to talk to you and hear your stories.

0:28:290:28:34

'One issue that keeps cropping up is confusion over consumer rights,

0:28:340:28:39

'particularly when purchases are faulty or go wrong.'

0:28:390:28:43

'Newlyweds Mr and Mrs Robinson had tried to protect their wedding video purchase

0:28:430:28:49

'by paying the full amount on delivery.

0:28:490:28:52

'But I'm afraid they were in for a last-minute surprise.'

0:28:520:28:56

We booked a video for our day.

0:28:560:28:59

Paid £100 deposit up-front.

0:28:590:29:01

A few days before the wedding, she asked for full payment,

0:29:010:29:05

which I had my reservations about.

0:29:050:29:07

-How much was that?

-She wanted the full £300 up-front.

0:29:070:29:12

I said can I not pay half and the rest on completion? But she insisted

0:29:120:29:17

or she couldn't go ahead.

0:29:170:29:19

Weeks went on, no contact from her. Didn't reply to e-mails, texts, phone calls.

0:29:190:29:26

I finally sent her an e-mail threatening that I would take action if she didn't respond.

0:29:260:29:32

She said she was sorry and she'd sent a copy in registered post.

0:29:320:29:37

'After the third copy of the DVD did not arrive by post,

0:29:370:29:41

'the newlyweds paid a visit in person.'

0:29:410:29:45

We ended up at the address and demanded a copy.

0:29:450:29:48

Got a copy, which doesn't play on a DVD player, only on a computer.

0:29:480:29:53

And there's no sound. You can't even hear our vows.

0:29:530:29:57

It's all mix and match, not in any order.

0:29:570:30:01

You do have rights against her.

0:30:010:30:03

The law says that anybody providing a service should provide it with reasonable care and skill.

0:30:030:30:08

I advise you to to write her one final letter,

0:30:080:30:12

head it up "letter before action",

0:30:120:30:14

saying that you are unhappy with the DVD you were provided with.

0:30:140:30:18

"This is the last opportunity I'm giving you to give us a full refund, all the unedited footage,"

0:30:180:30:24

that you're asking for compensation, and give her seven days to respond.

0:30:240:30:27

Send it recorded delivery so you've got evidence it's been received

0:30:270:30:32

and keep a copy of it so you've got evidence as well.

0:30:320:30:35

If you don't get a response, you can fill in forms in relation to the court service online.

0:30:350:30:41

You can do it yourself, face-to-face in the Small Claims Court.

0:30:470:30:51

Or you can do everything online, if you don't want to meet her face-to-face in a court environment.

0:30:510:30:57

All the information's on Her Majesty's Court website.

0:30:570:31:00

-Are you going to do that?

-Yeah. We're not going to let it rest.

0:31:000:31:04

-We wish you luck with it.

-Thank you.

-And bin that!

0:31:040:31:07

Don't bin it! You need it as evidence!

0:31:070:31:11

GLORIA: 'If you'd like information about how to write letters of complaint,

0:31:110:31:16

'BBC Learning has got lots of tips on their Skillswise site.

0:31:160:31:21

'For further advice on this and more visit our website:'

0:31:210:31:28

When we use our credit cards, most of us do so safe in the knowledge

0:31:320:31:37

that should anything go wrong, we're better protected than if we'd paid by cash or cheque.

0:31:370:31:41

Thanks to the Consumer Credit Act, if we don't receive what we pay for

0:31:410:31:46

or it turns out to be faulty, we can probably get our money back.

0:31:460:31:50

There are some big exceptions you might not know about

0:31:500:31:54

that could mean that even if you've spent thousands of pounds, you've got no protection,

0:31:540:31:59

as this family found out.

0:31:590:32:01

'Your wedding day should be your happiest day of your life,

0:32:040:32:08

'family and friends gathered together to celebrate.

0:32:080:32:11

'Jennifer and Lloyd Cunningham spent years planning their special day.

0:32:110:32:16

'They decided to get married in Africa, with 25 of their nearest and dearest in attendance.'

0:32:160:32:22

We decided to get married in Ghana cos we'd been there and liked it.

0:32:220:32:26

It's a tropical place. We're also looking at relocating to Ghana.

0:32:260:32:31

We thought we'd have the wedding there and invite the friends and family, cos it's a beautiful place.

0:32:310:32:37

So my colour scheme was the yellow and the green,

0:32:370:32:41

and also to pick up on the Jamaican flag as well, the green and gold.

0:32:410:32:46

-This is my lucky colour.

-There we go!

0:32:460:32:49

'The guests began preparing well in advance.

0:32:490:32:52

'Jennifer's mother Beryl booked flights for herself, her husband

0:32:520:32:55

'and Jennifer's sisters, who were bridesmaids.

0:32:550:32:58

'Not being computer-savvy, rather than getting flights online,

0:32:580:33:02

'she'd booked them all through her local travel agent.'

0:33:020:33:05

They were wearing the burgundy...

0:33:050:33:08

I went to an agent.

0:33:080:33:10

I don't know about booking with an airline.

0:33:100:33:13

I tried it before and it seems very complicated for my age group.

0:33:130:33:18

I'm...quite old really.

0:33:180:33:21

'But a few months later, in May 2010,

0:33:210:33:25

'the couple and their wedding party had some shocking news.

0:33:250:33:29

'Ghana International Airlines,

0:33:290:33:31

'who they were due to fly with, had run into trouble and their flights,

0:33:310:33:35

'still months away, wouldn't be happening.'

0:33:350:33:40

I felt pig sick, really!

0:33:400:33:42

I thought my daughters didn't have the money

0:33:420:33:45

to go to their sister's wedding because of the recession.

0:33:450:33:49

They have mortgages to pay and they are single ladies.

0:33:490:33:53

And I paid all this money

0:33:530:33:55

and we are going to lose all this money not going anywhere.

0:33:550:33:59

-That's a nice one.

-I like the greenery.

0:33:590:34:02

'Over the next few months, Jennifer and her guests tried desperately

0:34:020:34:06

'to get their money back.

0:34:060:34:08

'They hoped they could book new flights and still make the wedding.

0:34:080:34:12

'Despite initial promises, they had no joy getting anything

0:34:120:34:16

'back from the airline.

0:34:160:34:18

'Beryl had spent over £2,000 on flights.

0:34:180:34:21

Because she'd paid with a credit card, she was confident that she'd be protected. But she was wrong.

0:34:210:34:28

'In the letter, they wrote back and said that we are not covered'

0:34:300:34:35

under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act

0:34:350:34:40

because I did not book directly with the airline,

0:34:400:34:44

I had booked through a third person.

0:34:440:34:47

I rang them to ask, "What is this third person?"

0:34:470:34:51

Because I didn't understand that at all.

0:34:510:34:54

They said I booked through a travel agent.

0:34:540:34:58

'In most cases, the Consumer Credit Act means the credit card company

0:34:580:35:03

'is jointly responsible for goods or services that customers have paid for but not received.

0:35:030:35:08

'Like most of us, Beryl had no idea that there's a clause

0:35:080:35:12

'that means that if you bought your goods through a third party you may not be covered.

0:35:120:35:17

'Because she'd booked through the travel agent, not the airline,

0:35:170:35:21

'she wasn't entitled to a refund.'

0:35:210:35:25

I've spoken to tons of people that travel a lot.

0:35:250:35:28

They go all over the place, and they did not know this.

0:35:280:35:34

You know? So I...

0:35:340:35:36

This was really a shock to me, really.

0:35:370:35:41

'A month before the wedding, none of the party had got their money back.

0:35:440:35:48

'Having spent thousands of pounds, Jennifer and Lloyd had no choice

0:35:480:35:51

'but to go ahead and travel to Ghana without their family.'

0:35:510:35:56

When I was walking down the aisle with my giveaway father

0:35:560:36:00

who took the place of my stepdad, there was definitely a void.

0:36:000:36:05

It was a sad day, but I tried to make the best of it.

0:36:050:36:08

We would have lost even more money because we'd paid

0:36:080:36:11

the money on all the things that we needed to pay for the wedding, so it was a sad occasion.

0:36:110:36:17

I wanted to be there for Jennifer cos I know

0:36:200:36:23

that she would be upset, she would not feel happy if we were not there.

0:36:230:36:28

But I just could not afford another 2,000.

0:36:280:36:31

The weather was perfect that day. It wasn't too hot...

0:36:310:36:35

'With just a handful of friends able to attend the wedding,

0:36:350:36:38

'the couple invited members of the church in Ghana to make up numbers.

0:36:380:36:44

'For the rest of the family, it's difficult to watch the footage,

0:36:440:36:47

'knowing they should have been there.'

0:36:470:36:50

-I love the beautiful colours.

-Yeah.

-I also love the greenery.

0:36:500:36:54

-The hotel looked like it would be right up my street.

-Yes.

0:36:540:36:59

You would have loved that...

0:36:590:37:01

'I was very sad that'

0:37:010:37:04

her giveaway mother and father

0:37:040:37:07

was her head teacher and her husband, and not me.

0:37:070:37:12

I felt really, really bad about it.

0:37:120:37:16

'And after everything the family's lost,

0:37:160:37:19

'the newlyweds are keen to warn viewers that there are some situations

0:37:190:37:24

'where you may think you're covered by using a credit card, but you might not be.'

0:37:240:37:30

'If you knew if you book with a third party you will not be covered,

0:37:300:37:34

'you'd get online and book directly with the airline.'

0:37:340:37:37

No-one knows about this. This is very, very strange to me.

0:37:370:37:41

I really would like to get this much clearer, the facts.

0:37:410:37:45

APPLAUSE ON VIDEO

0:37:450:37:47

'As we've been discovering,

0:37:520:37:54

'your credit and debit cards aren't always as safe as you thought.

0:37:540:37:59

'I've come to meet Jemma Smith from the UK Cards Association to shed light on the whole topic.'

0:37:590:38:05

So, Jemma, we've been hearing from people

0:38:050:38:08

who've fallen foul of this thing called Section 75.

0:38:080:38:12

Could you tell us what Section 75 does

0:38:120:38:15

and especially what it doesn't cover?

0:38:150:38:19

It gives a level of protection

0:38:190:38:21

that you don't enjoy with any other payment.

0:38:210:38:24

However, there are some basic parameters to the legislation.

0:38:240:38:28

You have to have purchased something that's over £100

0:38:280:38:32

or underneath £30,000.

0:38:320:38:35

People have been complaining that they thought they were covered

0:38:350:38:39

and turn out not to be because of the use of a third party,

0:38:390:38:42

people who've booked holidays through travel agencies.

0:38:420:38:46

It's deemed to be who you have the relationship with.

0:38:460:38:50

If you've bought something directly, a goods or service off somebody,

0:38:500:38:54

then you're covered.

0:38:540:38:56

If they are a third party supplier,

0:38:560:38:59

like a travel agent or they've sold you tickets

0:38:590:39:02

or, for instance, through PayPal,

0:39:020:39:05

then you wouldn't get the protection under Section 75.

0:39:050:39:10

Some experts are saying that the chip and PIN system

0:39:100:39:14

is not as secure as the credit card companies like to make out.

0:39:140:39:18

It is possible

0:39:180:39:20

a fraudster can get hold of your PIN and use your card, we see that.

0:39:200:39:24

Unfortunately, we see that happening in most situations at cash machines,

0:39:240:39:29

where a fraudster will overlook somebody's shoulder

0:39:290:39:33

to find out their PIN as they're tapping it in,

0:39:330:39:36

then subsequently steal their card.

0:39:360:39:39

It's very clear in the legislation.

0:39:390:39:41

A bank can't turn down a customer because a genuine PIN was involved.

0:39:410:39:46

However, every fraud claim is taken on an individual basis.

0:39:460:39:51

The bank will look at a whole raft of different information before they decide

0:39:510:39:56

whether to pay up or to turn down your claim.

0:39:560:40:00

The reality is there are customers who would claim it a fraudulent transaction when it's not.

0:40:000:40:07

What are the golden rules for people using their credit card?

0:40:070:40:11

Whether you're using your credit or debit card,

0:40:110:40:14

when you're typing in your PIN,

0:40:140:40:16

use your free hand to cover your PIN.

0:40:160:40:19

Second to that, make sure that you don't

0:40:190:40:22

let your card out of your sight.

0:40:220:40:25

It's valuable information in the wrong hands.

0:40:250:40:28

Thirdly, make sure that you check your statement.

0:40:280:40:32

If you see anything amiss, contact your card company straightaway.

0:40:320:40:36

If you're the innocent victim of any card fraud,

0:40:360:40:40

you should get your money back.

0:40:400:40:42

GLORIA: 'At Rip-Off Britain, we're always ready to investigate your stories.

0:40:440:40:49

'Confused over your bills?

0:40:490:40:52

'Trying to wade through small print that leaves you totally confused?'

0:40:520:40:57

I might have been stupid for not reading it or I've not took it in.

0:40:570:41:02

I could kick myself. I really could.

0:41:020:41:04

'Unsure what to do when you discover that you've lost out

0:41:040:41:07

'and that great deal has cost YOU money?'

0:41:070:41:11

"This cannot be true. It's totally unacceptable." I was so angry!

0:41:110:41:16

'You might have a cautionary tale

0:41:170:41:19

'and want to share your mistakes so others don't do the same thing.'

0:41:190:41:24

No-one knows about this. This is very strange to me and I'd like to get it much clearer.

0:41:240:41:30

'You can always write to us at...

0:41:310:41:33

'Or you can get in touch by sending us an email to...

0:41:410:41:44

'The Rip-Off team is ready and waiting

0:41:490:41:52

'to investigate your stories.'

0:41:520:41:54

That's just about it. We hear so much about how credit cards can get you into trouble.

0:41:550:42:01

-It's good to know they can get you out of it, too.

-You are so right!

0:42:010:42:06

It does give you peace of mind in these tough economic times

0:42:060:42:09

to know that if someone rips you off and you've paid by credit card,

0:42:090:42:13

all is not necessarily lost, and you will probably get your money back.

0:42:130:42:17

Find out more about your rights on our website...

0:42:170:42:21

-Check it out.

-That's where you'll find us all the time.

0:42:250:42:29

If you want to get in touch about anything that's left you feeling cheated or hard done by, please do.

0:42:290:42:35

We always want to help where we can.

0:42:350:42:37

We'll see you again soon, when we'll be investigating more stories.

0:42:370:42:42

-Until then, from the three of us, bye bye.

-Goodbye.

-Goodbye.

0:42:420:42:45

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:040:43:07

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:070:43:10

The series exposing rip-offs, raw deals and poor service returns for a new run, with Julia Somerville joining Gloria Hunniford and Angela Rippon to investigate why viewers have been left out of pocket - and trying to get their problems resolved. Whether it's rocketing energy prices, unexpected bank charges, or a catch in the small print that's had devastating consequences, they'll get answers from the companies responsible - as well as giving invaluable tips and advice on how to get the best deals, and avoid costly rip offs! Plus, the team have been on the road, tackling consumer complaints face to face at the Rip Off Britain Pop-Up shop.