Service not as described - chargeback?

Hi all, I have a puzzle:

First: this is with a legacy bank, not Monzo (Monzo have always been amazing with chargebacks).

The puzzle is this: the retailer’s terms and conditions don’t allow cancellations. But after I paid, the service they were going to provide was substantially different to the one advertised. I have screenshots where they admit this in writing.

I cancelled, and they refused to refund based on their T&Cs.

The chargeback failed because cancellations aren’t allowed in their T&Cs. But they appear to have breached the Consumer Rights Act because the service was not what was advertised. I know the Mastercard terms are not the same as the CRA.

Final note - the bank didn’t disclose in the Mastercard dispute that the service advertised was different to the one offered (which was a key point of the retailer’s breach - and the central part of my argument).

What are your thoughts?

Can you be a little less cryptic and say what they did/didn’t offer? Was it massively different?

1 Like

But chargeback shouldn’t matter if you could cancel or not
You are claiming a service wasn’t delivered


That’s what I told the bank, but they said “service not as described” is not covered by the Mastercard terms.

I imagine they know best then. I guess the only way is the courts then

1 Like

Well actually I thought Section 75.

I’d love to know @Rika’s thoughts :blush:

A contract that didn’t allow cancellation at all would be unlawful I’d think and a slam dunk in court. Compounded with not providing a service and it’s precisely the kind of thing small claims court is for.


Generally a holiday is only non refundable if it’s cancelled quite late, and even then cancellations for things like medical reasons are normally covered.

You want to claim everything you can and let a magistrate decide which is important… give them the whole picture not just part of it and you’ll get a fairer (and probably better for you) result.

I think this is right. You aren’t cancelling, they haven’t fulfilled their side of the contract. One issue you might need to consider, is whether they could claim to have provided (or be willing and able to provide) a percentage of the service, so you may only be able to claim a percentage of the money paid.

I’m not a lawyer, by the way.


I doubt that this would stand up in court.


Take them to the Small Claims Court, if you think you’ve got a case.


IANAL, but;

My understanding is if you make a payment when one set of T&Cs is in effect, that’s your contract.

If the T&Cs are then changed, you have to be given the opportunity to agree with this. They cannot be unilaterally imposed on you.

This is most commonly seen with social networks and Paypal (in my experience at least), who will every so often email out a ‘changes to T&Cs email’ and you then have to accept it (either explictly, or implicitly by continuing to use the service).

In your case, it’s hard to give specific advice as you’re only sharing general information, but. My understanding is? When you paid your money, you made your contract at that point. While they can change their T&Cs for anything you may pay for going forwards, they cannot retrocatively change their T&Cs without you agreeing to do so.

I see you’ve had some advice so far to treat this as a ‘frustrated contract’. I’m not sure that applies, though. Frustrated contracts are where an outside force means the contract cannot be completed as intended - the company changing their T&Cs does not seem to be an ‘outside force’.

Probably your first line of action should be to go back to your bank stressing the argument above - that you made your contract under one set of T&Cs, and that your not agreeing to the revised T&Cs means your contract should be deemed invalid.

If the bank can’t help, then as also suggested, small claims court should be your next plan of attack. Best case, when you contact the company to inform them that you’ll be taking them to small claims court, they’ll belatedly realise they’ve messed up and resolve the issue at that point. Worst case, you’ve the hassle of going to small claims court but should have a decent chance of winning (they surely cannot hold you to T&Cs you didn’t agree to).

Again, IANAL. You may wish to seek advice from AL to confirm.

Ah, I managed to conflate things somewhat. This doesn’t materially change my reply - if you pay based on them saying they will provide service X, and they subsequently change the details to saying they will provide service Y, then my point about them breaking their contract with you still stands. You made a contract on the basis they’d provide X. If they can only provide Y (and Y is materially different), you have to be given the opportunity to agree with this change or not. Again, IANAL, but this seems pretty straightforward. It seems analagous to be to going to McDonalds and ordering a McChicken Burger and being given McNuggets instead. Doesn’t matter why they’ve done so, but if they can’t provide the McChicken you should be able to ask for a refund if the substitution doesn’t work for you, given they’re in effect breaking the contract they’ve made with you.

My view would be that you didn’t cancel the contract, as you entered into a contract on one basis but the company subsequently changed said basis of the contract, not you; see the McDonalds analogy above.

Another analogy; I enter into a contract with Richer Sounds to buy a 55" Sony TV. They give me a 55" LG TV instead for [reasons]. Doesn’t matter if their original contract said ‘no refunds’, if they’re supply something other than I specifically ordered, they need me to agree with the amendment. If I don’t, they either need to supply what I ordered or refund me.

If the bank won’t accept this line of argument, then it would be time to seek legal advice. Your local CAB should be your first port of call; and if they can’t advise themselves, they should be able to point you towards local lawyers who may be able to help.


This is right, and also you couldn’t get a refund and then keep the LG.
As Judge Judy would say, if you ordered the steak and don’t like the look of it, send it back, but you can’t order the steak, eat the steak and then say you know what, I didn’t like it I don’t want to pay for it.

Might come down to how much of the steak you ate @urban ?

They can’t get paid the whole amount for doing nothing. That’s unjust enrichment.
Give some consideration to whether the company did any work at all prior to you cancelling, and then make them a reasonable offer. Tell them you’re going to a solicitor. If they don’t play, then go get that solicitor.
I am not surprised chargeback was rejected to be fair though.

So they changed their service minutes after you paid…? That seems unlikely

That sounds very odd, curious why they offered the original one in the first place then.

Would you be able to share the email? With any personal information removed. Just curious how they worded it

Did you order a product or a service?

What is the sum involved?

Find some decent advice here: