'Working from home' excuse doesn't cut it any more, M&S Bank


Since June I have been trying to get M&S Bank to carry out a £700 chargeback but, despite repeated promises, the money never arrives. It concerns two Virgin Atlantic flights that were cancelled. The airline would only offer alternative vouchers or rebooking, rather than the refund I wanted as the event I was due to fly out to had already happened without me.

I therefore asked the bank in June to make a chargeback to my current account. By September, nothing had happened, and I have been calling since. M&S staff promise to call me back, but nothing happens. I have been told the money is coming, but it never arrives. I am shocked at how poor the service has been.
VC, Cardiff

We are being inundated by complaints like this – all from debit- and credit-card holders who are being fobbed off by their bank after asking for chargebacks, or section 75 refund claims. A significant number concern HSBC, which owns M&S Bank and runs it as a joint venture. However, all banks need to get a grip on this.

The “everyone’s working at home” explanation is starting to wear a bit thin, given that we are many months into this, and many other organisations have found a way to keep systems operating. Having been sent many complaints this year from Virgin Atlantic customers also trying to secure refunds for cancelled flights, I can see why you went down the chargeback route.

A call to M&S’s Chester HQ prompted a swift resolution, and the money was soon back in your account. It says: “We apologise that the claim wasn’t progressed in a timely manner and that the service fell below our usually high standards on this occasion. We have refunded the full cost of the flights and also credited the customer’s account (with £75) by way of an apology.”

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