Matchesfashion strikes a sour note as my £902 goes missing | Money


At the end of January I bought two coats from Matchesfashion for £902. I returned them, but the parcel has been lost and now Matches has gone into administration and I don’t have the coats or the money.

I used the DHL labels provided to send them back on 27 February, and followed up a week later as I had not received a refund. I was told my package was still in transit, so I returned to the drop-off point, where staff said it would have been collected that day.

DHL promised to investigate and, on 13 March, it confirmed the parcel was missing and that Matches would be eligible for compensation.

I then contacted Matches – which by this time had gone into administration – but was told that they could not return the products to me nor offer a refund. Instead, I was advised: “Contact your payment provider for further support.”

I had used PayPal, so I opened a buyer dispute, but it rejected my claim. Is there any way I can recoup my £902?

CG, by email

This a lot of money to have lost by any standards, and you are one of many customers caught up in a recent bout of high street indigestion that has claimed The Body Shop, Ted Baker and Matches.

The fallout has been particularly bruising for Matches customers, as it sold high-end designer gear costing hundreds of pounds.

When a company goes into administration, customers become unsecured creditors at the end of a very long queue of people trying to get their hands on their cash.

This has been particularly galling for Matches customers, as those wishing to return items bought just before it appointed administrators on 8 March are creditors and cannot get their money back, whereas someone placing an online order today can. If you had paid by credit or debit card, you could have made a section 75 claim, or asked for a “chargeback” respectively. But if you buy via PayPal, or another third party, this no longer applies, and your claim under its buyer protection scheme was unsuccessful.

Bar appealing against its decision, I think you have exhausted all options. It is best to use a credit card for big online purchases, which you have learned the hard way.

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