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  • FIRST POST
    • mikbee314
    • By mikbee314 15th Sep 17, 2:20 AM
    • 3Posts
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    mikbee314
    Consumer Credit Act - Flight/tour refund after government suspended all travelling
    • #1
    • 15th Sep 17, 2:20 AM
    Consumer Credit Act - Flight/tour refund after government suspended all travelling 15th Sep 17 at 2:20 AM
    Hi,

    The Chinese government has suddenly decided for political reasons to temporarily suspend all travelling in Tibet for all foreigners for a couple of weeks next month.

    I have made these 3 purchases related to a trip to Tibet during the affected time, all using a UK credit card (Nationwide), and all of which above the £100 threshold:
    1) international flight from UK to China, which includes one leg flying out of Tibet (but not flying into Tibet);
    2) domestic flight within China flying from another region into Tibet;
    3) initial deposit payment for a package tour in Tibet (accomodation/internal travelling) with a China-based company.

    Note that I made the 3 purchases independently. I initially tried to find an ATOL-protected package with an UK based company (responsibletravel . com), however the only thing that they did was to refer me to a China-based travel agency, and pocket their referral fee without any further involvement (I'm not sure whether that might make them liable in any way?).

    For all these 3 purchases, due to the decision of the Chinese government, it would be impossible for the retailers to provide me the services that I purchased (unless unilaterally deciding to change dates, which would make them different services from the ones I purchased).
    Therefore I would think that I should have the right to receive a full refund, and if the retailers do not agree with that I should be able to request a refund to the credit card company under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 Section 75. Am I right in thinking that?

    The tricky thing is that if I try to request a refund to the retailers, get that refused, and need to dispute the transaction with the credit card provider, time might run out, my flight tickets will become a no-show, and if the dispute does not get approved I would lose all the money.
    I could alternatively decide to opt for an ordinary change of itinerary (which I could have done in any case independently of any government-imposed restrictions) with a change fee that should be around £150.

    I have travel insurance, however I suspect that these are no useful for these kind of events.

    I am planning to try first to talk with the retailers to find an alternative itinerary (and request these changes at no extra fee), if not possible then to ask politely for a refund, but failing also that demand a refund to the retailer, and then dispute the transaction with the credit card provider.

    Any advice?

    Thanks
Page 1
    • dj1471
    • By dj1471 15th Sep 17, 2:22 AM
    • 907 Posts
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    dj1471
    • #2
    • 15th Sep 17, 2:22 AM
    • #2
    • 15th Sep 17, 2:22 AM
    This should be covered by your travel insurance, I can't see that there is any breach of contract that S75 would cover.
    • bengalknights
    • By bengalknights 15th Sep 17, 9:36 AM
    • 4,158 Posts
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    bengalknights
    • #3
    • 15th Sep 17, 9:36 AM
    • #3
    • 15th Sep 17, 9:36 AM
    Claim it on your travel insurance thats what its for
    • bris
    • By bris 15th Sep 17, 5:04 PM
    • 7,033 Posts
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    bris
    • #4
    • 15th Sep 17, 5:04 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Sep 17, 5:04 PM
    The providers haven't breached the contract so s75 will not work.


    As already said insurance will cover it, probably.
    • mikbee314
    • By mikbee314 16th Sep 17, 1:09 AM
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    mikbee314
    • #5
    • 16th Sep 17, 1:09 AM
    • #5
    • 16th Sep 17, 1:09 AM
    Ok cheers, it seems that the consensus is that the travel insurance should cover this, I will contact them ASAP.

    I'm slightly surprised that S75 would not cover it, I must have misunderstood it, I thought that it would apply since the service(s) I purchased using consumer credit cannot be possibly provided to me (due to force majeure i.e. generalised denied access to the region by the local government).
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 16th Sep 17, 3:08 AM
    • 7,167 Posts
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    PeacefulWaters
    • #6
    • 16th Sep 17, 3:08 AM
    • #6
    • 16th Sep 17, 3:08 AM
    Ok cheers, it seems that the consensus is that the travel insurance should cover this, I will contact them ASAP.

    I'm slightly surprised that S75 would not cover it, I must have misunderstood it, I thought that it would apply since the service(s) I purchased using consumer credit cannot be possibly provided to me (due to force majeure i.e. generalised denied access to the region by the local government).
    Originally posted by mikbee314
    The airline will almost certainly have a "circumstances beyond our control" clause.
    • bigadaj
    • By bigadaj 16th Sep 17, 8:05 AM
    • 10,687 Posts
    • 6,980 Thanks
    bigadaj
    • #7
    • 16th Sep 17, 8:05 AM
    • #7
    • 16th Sep 17, 8:05 AM
    Ok cheers, it seems that the consensus is that the travel insurance should cover this, I will contact them ASAP.

    I'm slightly surprised that S75 would not cover it, I must have misunderstood it, I thought that it would apply since the service(s) I purchased using consumer credit cannot be possibly provided to me (due to force majeure i.e. generalised denied access to the region by the local government).
    Originally posted by mikbee314
    S75 is a very specific piece of legislation and just covers for misrepresentation and breach of contract. A change in government policy and legislation is outside the control of any parties involved so is unlikely to be covered.

    I'd be careful not to quote force majeure when speaking to your insurers, as this is an element frequently specifically excluded from contracts and insurance policies.
    • redpete
    • By redpete 16th Sep 17, 10:19 AM
    • 4,131 Posts
    • 3,640 Thanks
    redpete
    • #8
    • 16th Sep 17, 10:19 AM
    • #8
    • 16th Sep 17, 10:19 AM
    Ok cheers, it seems that the consensus is that the travel insurance should cover this, I will contact them ASAP.

    I'm slightly surprised that S75 would not cover it, I must have misunderstood it, I thought that it would apply since the service(s) I purchased using consumer credit cannot be possibly provided to me (due to force majeure i.e. generalised denied access to the region by the local government).
    Originally posted by mikbee314
    As I understand it s75 puts joint liability on the lender for failures *by the supplier* to provide what they contracted for. Actions by the Chinese Government should not be deemed a failure by the supplier (IMO).
    loose does not rhyme with choose but lose does and is the word you meant to write.
    • chattychappy
    • By chattychappy 16th Sep 17, 11:48 AM
    • 6,397 Posts
    • 3,375 Thanks
    chattychappy
    • #9
    • 16th Sep 17, 11:48 AM
    • #9
    • 16th Sep 17, 11:48 AM
    I'm slightly surprised that S75 would not cover it, I must have misunderstood it, I thought that it would apply since the service(s) I purchased using consumer credit cannot be possibly provided to me (due to force majeure i.e. generalised denied access to the region by the local government).
    Originally posted by mikbee314
    In general, and in the absence of force majeure clauses, a contract that cannot be performed has been frustrated rather than breached. You may well be entitled to money back if the contract(s) are formed under English law - but S75 is unlikely to cover it. On the other hand, if there are force majeure clauses which provide for some sort of compensation/return of deposit, then S75 would cover you for what you've been promised by those clauses.

    Anyone interested in frustrated contracts, can google "frustrated contract". 150 years ago, the OP would have had a better chance... but no 1974 act in those days!
    • bris
    • By bris 16th Sep 17, 9:08 PM
    • 7,033 Posts
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    bris
    I don't see why force majeure would come into this, the providers have not failed to fulfil the contract. Nor has the contract been frustrated because the contract with the supplier is complete, they provided valid tickets.


    The Chines intervening should be what you buy insurance for, when the unexpected happens outwith your control.
    • mikbee314
    • By mikbee314 19th Sep 17, 10:48 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    mikbee314
    I spoke with my travel insurance, they initially seemed willing to cover for this, however when calling them back again to file the claim they said that they are not so sure due to the fact that these travel restrictions are not explicitly reported on the foreign office website as "advise against travelling", so they are going to speak first with the underwriter and then let me know...
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