ChargeBack Issues with Curve

Hello,

I booked a ticket using Curve card (underline Nationwide select credit card) from Birmingham-Mumbai and return flight from Mumbai-London. A big mistake. Shortsighted and tried to save few quids of credit card charges

A week before my scheduled return flight, Jet airways cancelled my flight as they were in financial trouble. I had to rebook the flight to return back.

Now, Jet airways had told me that they will provide ‘partial refund’ as I had used onward ticket already (but people have received only tax part of their ticket). I have raised a chargeback request with Curve saying that I did not receive the service I was promised and I would like refund for my whole ticket.

I had a lot of back and forth conversations with the Customer care executives over emails (more than 20 emails) and repeatedly was given either half or wrong information. In one of the most recent emails they told me my claim is not valid as airline tickets are not covered under chargeback scheme. I sent them the terms and conditions of charegeback which did not exclude air tickets.

Finally, Curve has rejected my chargeback claim saying “the merchant will provide me with partial refund so the chargeback claim is not valid”.

Now, Jet Airways has no money so even if I get some refund it will be minuscule as compared what I had paid. My argument was this is a failed service and I want a full refund. It looks like Curev did not even present my case to Mastercard, just replied saying they (Curve) do not seem it a proper claim.

Curve published there blogpost for Curve Customer protetction with a big fanfare but when you actually need it , don’t count on it, use credit cards. Even if you have to shell out extra charge for using the CC.

It seems going to the Financial Ombudsman is the only option left for me. In any case a big lesson here is never use Curve if there is a chance of using section 75 for your transaction. Can anyone please explain if I have a valid argument here?

Thank you

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For a chargeback to be successful the merchant bank has to be able to get the funds from the retailer in this case Jet Airways who are in administration so unlikely.

FOS will look if Curve have treated you fairly and reasonably in raising a chargeback. But as you been offered a partial refund I wouldn’t imagine the ombudsman doing anything more. S75 is complicated in that matter also as it depends on how it’s looked at if you should get all your money back or just have a return flight paid for.

It does seem like Curve have acted in accordance with all of their applicable rules here. Chargebacks and Section 75 are completely different things, and chargebacks do require the money to be available in the retailers account.

Section 75 protection only applies when you make a transaction using a credit card, and using any sort of intermediary (PayPal, Curve, etc.) invalidates your right to Section 75 protection, as from the perspective of the card issuer of your credit card your transaction is with the intermediary and they have done everything correctly.

I know it’s not what you want to hear, but unfortunately there probably is not much you can do. It is worth checking with you travel insurance provider whether you are covered for insolvency cover - although Jet are being incredibly unfair by not actually declaring bankruptcy.

In the future, it is worth nothing that Section 75 cover does apply if you part-pay using a credit card. Some providers make it a little difficult to claim in this case, but if you want to save on transaction fees it can be worth paying a small amount on a credit card and the rest through an intermediary.

I would advise anyone to properly research Section 75 protection irrespective of the likelihood of whether you might need to use it - it is good to know what you are and are not covered for.

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Thank you for the replies. There are a few points I would like to make

  1. Curve was giving me false information all along during my conversations with them. In fact they tried to reject my claim with reason being air tickets are not covered under chargeback which was not true.

  2. Curve is advertising and misleading people with their CPP(Curve Customer Protection) being superior to section 75 of the credit card. The problem is there is no legal backing to CPP so it can be rejected for any arbitrary reason and you can’t appeal against it. In my opinion this is an outright lie and dishonesty.

  1. It’s nowhere mentioned in the chargeback clause that to claim it the money should be in the retailers account. Even if it’s the case it defeats the purpose of chargeback. e.g. I buy something from a shop and that shop is closed down for random reason and the item is defective, I can’t go back to the shop hence I need the chargeback. This is a fundamental case for chargeback.

  2. The problem is Curve itself is the arbitrator to pass verdict on the chargeback. Obviously, if they have to shell out money, they would never accept the chargeback claim unless it’s very minor claim. I would be interested to see what the FSO thinks about it.

  3. It is clearly stated in the Curve Customer Protection clause that I can claim Chargeback for

  • :credit_card: Goods or services not received
  • :credit_card: Goods or services defective or not as described
    I fail to understand why my case does not fall into one of the above category? I booked a ticket for whole journey, even though I used part of the journey, I could not use the return ticket. The whole journey should be treated like a single service.

Thank you

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I’m afraid I’m not in a position to comment on most of your points, except:

  1. Not necessarily - Chargeback is primarily for times when you do not receive the promised good/services or they are not of the expected quality. It is a bank run scheme and has no legal backing, and as a result is limited to what the banks can recover from the retailer unless the bank decides on a case-by-case basis to pay themselves. You can attempt chargebacks against companies that have gone into administration, but they will only be successful if the money can be recovered. Section 75 is different because it makes the credit card issuer jointly liable for the transaction legally, and is why I always recommend that any transactions that might require S75 protection are made on a credit card.

  2. On point 5, taking an outsiders view I would personally blame Jet for this by putting you in the awkward position of refusing to admit that they are bankrupt and promising refunds that are unlikely to emerge. The way they have acted has put an awful lot of people in the same position, and the promise of refunds does hold up a lot of these cases because payment providers and insurers cannot do anything just in case they find some cash.

I’m sorry that this isn’t what you want to hear, and I hope that you still manage to make your trip.

In regards your comments about the Curve website, you may have a valid point and I’m sure someone from Curve will see this thread. Hopefully they will provide adequate comment or make changes. @Curve_Marie will know the best person to comment.

Have contacted our Head of Customer Experience for input and her expertise :slight_smile: :+1:

This is very good and correct advice. However, the difficulty here is not whether the card issuer honours its liability under Section 75, but whether the merchant allows you to pay with multiple cards for a single purchase. It is extremely unusual for a merchant to accept multiple card payments for a single purchase, particularly online.

True. Of course if you have no choice, then you have to make your own decision as to the likelihood of needing Section 75 and therefore which card to use to pay. To be honest, my advice is that if you can’t be completely sure, make sure you are protected somehow.

Carrying one extra card, or taking one with you just when you need it, or using a different card at home to make online transactions is not much of a hardship.

I think I was too naive in believing that I was protected by Curve and would save the 2% extra charge for using Credit card. If you look at the chargeback information there is no way one can conclude that my case would be rejected for chargeback. As there is no legal backing for chargeback, it’s completely arbitrary process. It’s just good for advertising and getting more customers I guess.

Here is MasterCard’s chargeback guide:

See the bottom of page 48 under the heading “Goods or Services Not Provided”. It lists lots of conditions on page 49.

Don’t be confused by pages 52 and 358, where it mentions additional conditions where a travel service provider goes into liquidation following an intra-EEA transaction. As your transaction was in India, it was outside the EEA and therefore these additional conditions don’t apply. Nevertheless the mention of intra-EEA transactions implies that this guide applies to EEA-issued cards such as Curve, despite the URL’s .us top level domain.

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It’s not correct to say there is no legal backing for a chargeback. A contract is legally enforceable and chargeback protection is part of MasterCard’s card scheme

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There is legal backing for chargeback. Chargeback is a contractual right, whereas Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 is a statutory right.

Where a merchant breaches contract:

  • Chargeback gives you a contractual right to a refund of the original transaction amount.
  • Section 75 gives you a statutory right to the cost of another supplier fulfilling the contract, which might be more than the original transaction amount, particularly for flights where prices for flights on the booked date generally increase after the time of booking.
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It’s worth noting that this isn’t just about chargeback. When Curve launched their customer protection, they made a big deal of claiming it was better than chargebacks or section 75 coverage. It doesn’t surprise me in the slightest that it appears to be somewhat less effective than they claimed.

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Has the Head of Customer Experience come back to you on this?

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One thing I’ve often wondered with CCP is whether Curve are being a bit sneaky with their marketing when quoting the £100k figure. The rules state the claim must be made within 120 days and whilst it can cover multiple transactions (as long as they are for the same purchase), does anyone actually have limits that allow £100k to be spent in 120 days?

Am I missing something here?

When comparing with section 75, if we worked through a number of potential scenarios, I’m sure Section 75 would be the better protection to have in place.

Edit: I wonder if Curve are putting themselves at risk of repercussions by saying CCP is better than section 75 without quantifying how and when. Almost like a mis-selling scenario which could result in someone (like the op) not being covered for something they would have been with section 75.

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Curve said their average customer spends £1500 a month on their Curve card. If you assume there’s a fair few cards sat unused in wallets, this must mean there’s a significant number of Curve customers with high limits and very high usage. Spending nearly £20k / year on ‘stuff’ is something that most Brits can’t do, considering the average salary and you can’t (sadly) use Curve to pay your mortgage.

Whilst I don’t disagree with most of your response, I’m not sure whether your saying you think some people might have high enough limits to spend £100k in 120 days or not?

Plus, if you were spending £100k on one purchase (even over multiple transactions) you’re not going to do that via your Curve Card. I don’t believe any of the retailers available for cash back sell anything that costs £100k. That purchase without a doubt would be going on my Amex.

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I notice that this is from the US Mastercard site, it is the same for Mastercard Europe customers?

The fact that it mentions intra-EEA transactions would suggest that it covers EEA customers using their cards in the EEA.

Its a very big document so forgive me for missing that :innocent: