Sainsbury's Bank

So, I just want to write a little rant because they are making me lose my shit.

PSA: Do NOT bother with getting a credit card account unless your intent is to only use it at places where goods will be consumed quickly and checked upon arrival. Don’t use it to spend anywhere where you’ll potentially have issues after the fact.

For fairness, I will look back here tomorrow sometime after I’ve cooled off a little, because I’m actually bloody livid.

Now for the juicy bit: the failure of their Customer Service, their Disputes Team and their Complaints Team.

Parents went against my advice. Booked a holiday to Malta, in the midst of a pandemic. They paid everything, but during a bill heavy month they were short of the final payment. I covered it for them. This is the root cause of all my troubles.

They booked with LoveHolidays. LoveHolidays cancelled the holiday, but as it was a ‘self-service’ flight (in other words, the airline was RyanAir but, everything was booked through LoveHolidays) they wanted us to claim the money back from RyanAir. RyanAir however said “we ran the flight”. We have contacted them further since, but they’re not responding.

LoveHolidays won’t engage, but our belief is that when you cancel a package deal within a week of flying, any results of that cancellation is your liability, not ours. They have known RyanAir T&C would have meant their customers would have to pay to change flights (to the tune that it would have cost more than booking new ones). They have a responsibilty to try to limit our losses, at the very least. They failed to do this.

So, I aimed to file a S75 Claim with Sainsbury’s to recover the money that wasn’t refunded by RyanAir nor LoveHolidays. They said at the time “no, we’ll file a chargeback”. I didn’t believe that’s something I asked for, so I filed a complaint. I believe it is eligible for S75. They don’t.

I send off all the documents that they ask for, one, two, three, four times. Royal Mail supposedly lost them all. Bullshit.

Tell them I want to send it to an email. They don’t have an email. Complaints Team manages to sort one out. They tell me it’s actively monitored and any replies would be in the 15-20 minute time range. This is great, considering I’m normally on hold to someone for 30 minutes and the options menu is about 5 minutes.

To note: the prior was over a period of months. It’s actually my belief the chargeback eligibility period has ran out of time now, and that it’ll be rejected due to that.

Send off everything, they ask me for more stuff. Send off the same stuff, because they’ve not clarified and just asked for the same stuff again.

At some point the complaints team stop replying to the email. The disputes team aren’t easily reachable, every time I have to get to John Doe on the general phone line and get redirected and quizzed. Each call is 1-2 hours long.

I give the complaints team an email demanding information around my case or I’ll be going to the FoS. They don’t reply. I file FoS complaint.

Call up, lad apologise that everyone is useless. Tell the guy I don’t want to talk to either Complaints or Disputes anymore and he obliges and talks between us, relaying information.

I send off the stuff that he clarified, namely a cover letter. The other thing they asked for, was never a document we possessed.

They most recently took the money that was under dispute from my bank account. I called them up to inform them that FCA rules states that they shouldn’t have done this. They tell me to raise an indemnity claim and that they’ll file a fee waiver for the month on my account so I only pay the non-disputed balance.

So I did what they said. Now I have 12 pounds in non-payment fees sat on my account. I could nearly cry, I’m that fucked off. I have spent literally the best part of 10 hours on hold or talking to someone for these bastards to fuck up on the simplest fucking thing along this whole time. I don’t even want to call them to sort it out, I’ve just notified the FoS. The thought of spending another half hour on the phone to speak to some prick that couldn’t run a piss-up in a brewery is actually the most undesirable thing for me right now.

The FoS could bankrupt them to pay me compensation and I’d say they don’t deserve a licence to begin with. They should licence these operations to someone else, because they are incompetent beyond belief.

I know it’s going to probably seem incoherent, but they’ve made shit so confusing by making me jump between people all over the place. Like, this has even pushed my relationship with my mother to the floor because these fuckers keep giving me time limits to reply and then I have to hassle her for documents about it. This is part of the reason I’m moving out.

Credit cards are generally better for times when you buy things you can’t inspect in advance because of the S75 protection, which goes above and beyond a standard chargeback your bank could do

What was the reason for the cancellation, and how much did the flight component cost? Were they paid directly or through an intermediary (PayPal)?

I believe S75 would apply if the services weren’t rendered or aren’t as described. Now if the flight was run, then arguably it was the customer’s fault that they have not taken them, unless the advice was not to travel. Not sure about packaged holidays but maybe ATOL would cover any of this?

I’m not saying to avoid credit, I’m saying to avoid the shambles that is Sainsbury’s Bank

LoveHolidays cancelled it due to a few reasons: travel advice, hotels were shut in Malta and as such there’d been no accommodation open for us to stay at


Direct payment to LoveHolidays.

So do I, which is why my complaint details that I believe S75 is appropriate.

We had an option to change flight, but couldn’t take it because of travel restrictions and the lack of accommodation in the country. Because LoveHolidays left it so long, we were unable to change flights for free (RyanAir wanted >500£. It would have been cheaper to book new). They did not act in a manner to attempt to limit our losses.

I don’t believe ATOL covers this as all parties are still solvent, but even if that is the case I don’t believe it would stop LH/Sainsbury’s being joint liable for what we haven’t received in service.

I am convinced we will get the money back (the total £500ish) but by God Sainsbury’s is going in the bin for any non-Sainsbury’s spend. I need to get a credit card that isn’t with NewDay/Sainsbury’s lest I want to blow my brains out

Like, really, you can’t underestimate the amount of time I have spent on the phone with these idiots. I’m just slowly building my case day by day with the FoS. Every additional small failure makes a total fucking nightmare for me since it takes 30+ minutes to get ahold of even the front-line worker: let alone disputes or complaints.

Have you complained to Sainsburys directly, and received a final resolution? Otherwise the FOS might just bin your complaint.

From where I stand though, services were rendered – the flight was booked and was still running. It was a customer decision not to take it, and as unfair as it is, airlines have taken this view throughout the whole pandemic.

It will all depend on the terms and conditions of your booking whether the whole package will be treated as one, or if you agreed for separate services to be booked for you by the provider.

Disclaimer: I have no idea what I’m talking about but it’s what would make sense to me

I have complained to Sainsbury’s and filed with FoS after the 15 day allowance for them to provide a response for credit related complaints, I routinely update the FoS complaint with details and sainsbury’s of further issues

I believe FoS will wait until Sainsbury’s provide their final response before investigating

Now that’s bollocks. The service purchased was a package holiday, if one part of the service isn’t rendered and we can’t rebook without massive penalty due to the package provider’s inability to act in a timely manner, the service hasn’t been rendered at all. It’s a clear breach of contract to provide an elephant when promising a dog. RyanAir may be right to reject it, but LoveHolidays has zero legs to try walk on.

This is what Sainsbury’s thinks, which is why they won’t raise a S75 until/unless my complaint decides in my favour, but I’m of the mind that it wouldn’t stand in court: packages to people means package. It doesn’t mean “we act as a third party to remit money”. That would make them equivalent to PayPal.

But as it’s still a running dispute with both FoS/Sainsbury’s, we’ll see. If I billed them for every hour I’ve spent on the phone to them at market rates for my industry they’d have already covered the S75 shortfall. I don’t see LoveHolidays contesting the chargeback, either. I recall they said people who’ve been screwed they had no intention to challenge when they attempt to get money back.

You said the flights weren’t included in the package and you had to buy those yourself? I must admit I’m not sure if there’s some specific regulations around holidays but if you bought the flight and it ran then I don’t really see where there’s a claim? It wasn’t part of a package that you bought?

Sansburys though don’t sound that helpful at all

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Did you have to pay for the flights separately, directly to Ryan Air?

They sound a bit like Travel Republic. You pay through their website but really they’re just cobbling together services rather than offering them all themselves. Unfortunately these booking websites are renowned for these sorts of issues - transfers not being there when you arrive and it not being their responsibility to sort it, being another example.

This is an example of why the credit card company you choose is important I suppose, regardless of the industry wide protections you should have.

When FOS receive a complaint where no final response has been issued, they will usually set the financial institution a deadline to issue it to the customer, copying them in.

If this isn’t adhered to, they will assess the case without it.

Having worked on complaints, final responses and witnessed the ombudsman’s responses - I do find they often lack a real grasp of the situation. I get the impression they are heavily backlogged and overworked.

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According to MSE Loveholidays is one of those with a poor reputation for dealing with refunds.

If the flight was booked at the same time as the accomodation then quote the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 at Loveholidays which is also mentioned in their own T&C and which should be the basis of any claim.

Did your parents have travel insurance? Have they tried claiming that?

A chargeback may have been the better option if you were not travelling as I don’t believe Section 75 would apply in that case (and it was your credit card).

No, I said it was a package through LoveHolidays. The flights were self-serviced, but booked still through LoveHolidays.

Otherwise I’d have understood the clear situation of RyanAir being assholes, but indeed having ran a flight.


I have provided them a very detailed timeline to help them have the information required. Although since you’ve mentioned this I might provide them pieces of evidence myself.

Even if they did, it was booked after C19’s emergence as non-cover in travel insurance.

I just wish those planks would have listened to me, they’ve caused me so much hassle.

I believe it would as it was directly paid for on my credit card by me, vs bought on an additional card and not me as beneficial etc. but I will let Sainsbury’s / FoS decide.

Like, to be honest even if S75 isn’t appropriate and we just get the chargeback money: I believe the compensation deserved for customer service failure should be more than enough to cover the balance unrepaid (and more).


I work closely with with S75 folk but not directly myself. My understanding is that it may not apply if the contract with LoveHolidays is not with you (ie with your parents).

Chargeback in this case would be best. If that’s the case, it becomes very hard to put it through as you describe (due to the Ryan Air element). I’m not saying you are wrong to be annoyed but I think Sainsburys may have a hard time resolving this with Mastercards rules.

LoveHolidays have been the fundamental problem in my eyes.

There are a number of things to consider here:

  • If this was a Package Holiday you’d have better protection as this has a legal definition and you get the greatest level of protection.

  • A Linked Travel Arrangement (LTA) under The Package Travel and Linked Travel Regulations 2018 (PTR2018) are enforced by local authority trading standards departments in GB, the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland, and the Civil Aviation Authority. The invoice should make it clear whether the booking is considered a Package Holiday or an LTA. If it’s the latter, you basically only get insolvency protection of the supplier.

  • Section 75 can only be relied upon where the main account holder will expressly benefit from the purchase. So in this case because the main account holder was not also travelling S75 will not apply. Things also get more complex with the involvement of intermediary agency (hence things like ABTA, ATOL, and PTR2018 sometimes help).

  • Loveholidays is not an ABTA-registered travel agent.

  • ATOL registration doesn’t help as protection is limited to insolvency of the airline.

  • Loveholidays Terms and Conditions state it is a condition of making your booking through us that you obtain travel insurance which includes cover against any COVID-19 issues or incidents which may affect your booking.

So all things considered in this case, the travel insurance is the best way to recover your money, else a chargeback may work since S75 doesn’t apply.

I hope you get your money back somehow @recchan, but wonder whether it’s worth reconsidering the title and tagging of this thread? I’m not entirely convinced this is failure of Sainsbury’s Bank. Although I appreciate the experience you’ve received from them is driving you up the wall given the stress of this debacle.


I don’t know, I was under the impression that my benefit doesn’t matter so long as I’m the one paying for it, which I am. I could understand if it was bought on a supplementary card. I’m willing to say this could be wrong on my end.

I’ll have a look later, but I do believe by the sounds of it an LTA should be illegal for a provider to offer.

I don’t know about the insurance affairs but I still believe that they didn’t act in good nature due to the lack of giving us adequate time to rebook. No insurance cover would have saved us from a rebooking fee that was due to the grounds of leaving it too late.

Yeah, Sainsbury’s have raised the chargeback and LH have 45 days to contest it before MC will just funnel the money.

I think they made a statement saying that where people have been screwed unfairly they’d not be contesting them. We’ll see though.

I hope I do, too.

I will not be changing the title or tagging of the thread though, I believe the service provided is a clear indication of a problem that plagues the company. People should avoid them in any case there may be future problems, is what I said (pretty much verbatim) and I stand by that.

They take ages to answer, they don’t do things correctly, they take money they’re not entitled to take under FCA rules, they provide guidance to you and then charge you for their mistakes, which will take more time, they give you an email to make communication by and then don’t respond to it

If that isn’t correct then feel free to agree to disagree but the basic point stands: Sainsbury’s Bank has inadequately handled every aspect of my dealings with them. Even if I am wrong about the S75 protection, they made my life hell trying to raise a chargeback, lost my post several times (Royal Mail did not lose it 4x), asked for the same information several times, somehow didn’t manage to understand the concept of me telling them I want a black/white representation of exactly what information they wanted, lest they wanted the same information etc

There is a service issue with Sainsbury’s for sure in this case. But they directed you correctly to chargeback which has a high chance of failing if LH raise the point about T’s and C’s not being followed. I say this to manage expectations. The chargeback process is lengthy and riddled with rules. Remember, when asking for more information this is Sainsbury’s defending on your behalf, not against you. If LH provide evidence and Saisbury’s ask for more info they are paying a fee to challenge LH so it is not materially beneficial for Sainsbury’s to drag this out.

S75 has no coverage in this case.

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Any claim about the T&C not being followed would be knowingly misleading, since they’re not aware of any insurance that may or may not be had. Again, I’m not sure if insurance was purchased (I believe it should have been even if it wasn’t, although my parents are indeed always seemingly indifferent to the points of argument on this end) but regardless, they wouldn’t know to make any claim

45 days isn’t too lengthy, but we’ll see. I got £900 back from Huawei once and they didn’t even bother to contest. Weirder things have happened.

Potentially this is the case, I’d be willing to say most likely the case at this point. It still doesn’t really make up for the consistent service failures from 3 separate departments, I’ve checked today to see if maybe they dropped the charge from my account and it was just a delay kind of deal, but it’s still there. Meaning I’ll have to call on Monday.

I know, but when they ask for the same information this isn’t doing anything but wasting my time and wasting their money.

Like, they should at least highlight what would make my case stronger and request that. Not ask for everything they’ve already received on the same breath.

I hear you. This is why contact centre performance management fails the customer. If there is even the slightest complication the customer pays the price with repeat contact, duplication and delays. Allow staff to manage a case from start to finish or least allow outbound contact.

As part of the charge back LH can ask for proof of insurance just for your awareness.

On the bright side, it’s made me more sure with my venture of Emiru, I’ll be ensuring a Putin-style level of contact.

He has the Presidential Administration that people can contact for issues, similarly I will make myself available for contact and be obsessive with my own handling to avoid abhorrent service.

This is what AmEx does. I’ve never had to go from person to person. I could accept doing so in cases of departments specialising (e.g. Barclays Fraud department I spoke to the other day) but there should be a central case manager that knows everything about it.

Well, I’ll hope they don’t but I’ll ask my mother tonight to see if they did have it or not

Update: Sainsbury’s upheld (parts of) my complaint and offered me £55 compensation (£5 to cover stamps)

As people have mentioned and I accept, S75 wasn’t appropriate due to me not being of benefit from the holiday.

They acknowledge customer service failure and the long wait times, but won’t accept responsibility for “Royal Mail”.

I have told them that I would like to let the Ombudsman case run on as I believe the customer service failure was greater than they have compensated for, as well as my belief that Royal Mail was not at fault (three or four times). I also don’t believe the compensation valued my time correctly nor the strain it put on my relationship with my mother.

The ombudsman might up that depending on the stress. The time element should only be covered if you unavoidably missed work at rate of £10/ hour (guidance).

Any luck with the chargeback itself?