A customer complains that an e-money business reversed a payment made into his account

Banking Disputed Transactions

We look at a problem with the resale of concert tickets, for a concert that was cancelled.

What happened

Keith bought a pair of concert tickets costing £150 each. The ticket agency sent him confirmation of the booking, and said it would post the tickets to him nearer the date of the concert, which was scheduled to take place the following year.

Several months later, Keith realised he wouldn’t be able to go. He’d forgotten that his wife's sister was getting married on the same day. He still hadn’t been sent the tickets. But he knew the concert had already sold out, so he was sure he’d get a good offer for them on an online auction website.

As he’d hoped, Keith quickly succeeded in finding a buyer. Chloe agreed to pay £500 for the tickets. But not long after her payment had been credited to Keith's e-money account – and while he was still waiting to receive the tickets – the promoter announced the tour had been cancelled.

Chloe asked Keith to refund her £500. But Keith said he wasn’t able to send any money yet, as he was still waiting for the ticket agency to send him his own refund. He said that as soon as this arrived, he would pass on the money to her.

It was several months before Keith got his refund. He then contacted Chloe to tell her she would shortly be receiving a refund from him of £300. At first, she thought this was a mistake and reminded him that she’d paid £500. But Keith said he could only afford to send her the amount he’d originally paid for the tickets – their face value of £300.

Chloe complained to the e-money business. It told her it would put things right by reversing the payment, which it did by taking £500 from Keith's e-money account and paying it to her account.

When he found out what had happened, Keith complained to the e-money business. He said it had no right to interfere. He also noted that the terms and conditions of his account stated that buyers should ‘raise any dispute within 45 days of sending a payment’. As it was longer than this before Chloe had contacted the e-money business, Keith thought it was past the stage where the business could take any money from his account.

But the e-money business told Keith that he’d failed to act in accordance with its ‘acceptable use’ policy. It therefore considered that it’d been fully entitled to reverse the payment, even though it had done this sometime after the original transaction.

Keith took his complaint to us.

What we said

We noted that the e-money business’ terms and conditions allowed it to reverse payments in certain situations.

Keith didn’t dispute that he’d received £500 from Chloe for tickets he’d never supplied. And he accepted that, because the concert had been cancelled, he wouldn’t be in a position to supply them.

We thought it was fair and reasonable for the e-money business to remove the £500 from Keith’s account in order to refund the full amount Chloe had paid. So we didn’t uphold his complaint.