Can I get a refund for filthy flat?
Six months ago I sent a claim to Nationwide credit card services under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
I booked a month’s stay in an apartment and paid the deposit by credit card for the protection it offers.
The balance was required in cash on arrival by the local agent. Knowing the location well, the apartment was specifically chosen for the exotic gardens, pool and proximity to the promenade.
However the apartment was filthy and in a poor condition and was obviously awaiting refurbishment. Immediate complaints to the agent were ignored and it withheld keys that were needed for garden access.
This meant we were not able to reach the secure garden for 15 days of our 28-day stay while the caretaker was absent.
The complaints were admitted by the agent in writing. The excuse for exclusion from the garden was on “health and safety” grounds, despite many other residents having full use of the pool.
Keys would have also provided an alternative emergency exit from our accommodation. There was also no fire safety equipment in the apartment.
Nationwide initially refunded the 30pc deposit money three months ago. Now it says it will retrieve that sum from my account. CLIVE SEELEY, SUFFOLK
The flat was awaiting refurbishment and was, you report, unsanitary.
Among the range of other issues was that, contrary to the information given, you could not go through a gate to walk on the promenade.
There was no plug for the bath. The beds were so uncomfortable you could not sleep in them and had to camp. The curtains were hanging off their rails and had black mould and the oven did not work. You had to wait in for workmen on four occasions and they did not always come.
Nationwide, your credit card provider, didn’t initiate a section 75 claim, as that requires there to have been a direct line between the consumer and provider of the goods and services.
You had actually booked and paid via an online booking agent so your relationship was with it. It might have been different if you had booked directly.
Nationwide instead tried a chargeback for the full deposit amount of £254 but, because you had used the accommodation for the full 28 days, it was rejected.
Then, after receiving some photographs and with me becoming involved, Nationwide tried to get redress specifically over the issue of the denial of access to the garden and pool.
It did not receive a reply and Nationwide decided to offer £212, which was 25pc of the overall cost of the accommodation.
It also made an additional payment of £150 due to the situation with the pool. However, it says it does not agree with all the elements of the claim.
You are happy with the resolution.