SHOPS maintains a central fund that aims to protect readers if an advertiser becomes insolvent or ceases to trade. SHOPS will refund the reader, subject to the limits of the fund, provided that the advertisement or catalogue is inserted in a national newspaper or one of its supplements, it describes a product, it specifies the price (without clicking through to a 'second stage' process) and it offers the opportunity to make a direct payment in advance of receiving the goods (and the advertiser is a member of SHOPS).
Our claims procedure
In the event of an advertiser becoming insolvent or ceasing to trade, SHOPS will consider readers' claims providing that the claim is made within three months of the advertisement appearing, and the claim can be supported by proof of purchase.
How do I make a claim?
First, contact the insolvency practitioner dealing with the failed advertiser and register as a creditor. Choose Current claims for details of the insolvency practitioner. In the event of a claim on the SHOPS fund, we will need to verify your claim as a creditor.
Secondly, if you paid by credit card and the goods cost over £100, you must claim from the credit card issuer rather than SHOPS. The credit card issuer is legally obliged to cover consumers under these circumstances. An excellent guide (including a template for a claim letter) can be found on the Money Saving Expert.com website here. If the goods cost over £100 and you paid by debit or charge card, you must claim from the card issuer under 'Chargeback' or similar scheme if applicable.
What do I do next?