A vital piece of advice that we know has saved the day for many Rip Off viewers is to, where possible, pay with a credit card.
Michele Shambrook from the Citizens Advice consumer service told us:
'If you use a credit card to pay for goods or services, you may be protected under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act if something goes wrong. This legislation provides that your credit card provider can be held jointly responsible for any valid claim that you might have against the trader, for example if goods are faulty, not what you were expecting or never arrive. We recommend approaching the trader first, but you don't have to wait until you've heard back from them before getting in touch with your card provider. Section 75 can be particularly useful if you've had difficulty contacting the trader directly, bought the goods from a company which has gone out of business or from on which is based abroad.
You can claim under section 75 if the total cost of the item is between £100 and £30,000, even if you didn't pay the whole amount on your credit card. If you decide to make a section 75 complaint then make sure you follow your card providers complaints procedure, and if it hasn't been resolved in 8 weeks you can take it to the Financial Ombudsman Service for more support.'
Citizens Advice provides a template letter
to send to your credit card company if you need to make a claim under section 75.
To find out more visit Citizens Advice