PayPal leaves a hole in the net

I paid for a mattress by credit card via PayPay but when it fell apart, I found I wasn't covered by consumer protection

I have just discovered from Co-operative Financial Services that credit card transactions conducted on the internet via PayPal are not covered by section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. We bought a bed from a retailer via eBay. The mattress fell apart after a few weeks and we felt the bed was not of merchantable quality. A complaint to the retailer drew a blank, so we approached our credit card company, the Co-op, hoping to bring a claim. They have been investigating the claim since April. Last week they informed us that because we had paid via PayPal and not the company direct, we could not bring a claim under the terms of section 75.

I have checked the terms and conditions and there is no mention of this major omission. RJ, Swansea

We thought most web-savvy shoppers were aware of this omission, but it seems not, so your letter should serve as a warning to others. If you use any intermediary payments firm to buy goods over the internet (or in person) you don't get the section 75 protection that would hold the credit card supplier "jointly and severally liable" if there is problem with the purchase. The protection only applies to purchases over £100.

As your case shows, to get this protection, you need to pay the firm directly using your credit card, not making the payment via PayPal.

The retailer should be liable to refund you under the Sale of Goods Act, irrespective of which payment method you have used. But it has rejected your claim, leaving you with the small claims court as your other option.

We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at or write to Brignall & King, Money, the Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Please include a daytime phone number


Miles Brignall

The GuardianTramp

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