I paid by credit card for a tattoo from a specialist artist a year ago, and the person who was meant to complete the work has left the studio. They told me that I can pick someone else to do the tattoo, but there is a massive wait time and I just want my money back. What can I do?

In this situation, you have a few options available to you, particularly if you only agreed to pay for the work based on a specific artist.

When you agree to pay a trader for goods or services you are entering into a contract. Each contract that you enter will have its own set of terms and conditions which usually include details of the goods or services and the timescales in which they will be provided.

This may include the name of the artist you chose, and in this instance forms an essential part of the contract you entered with the studio.

Switching Agreements

If you are happy to accept their offer of switching the agreement to another artist, you can highlight that the timescales from the original agreement should apply.

If you feel that the trader is taking too long to provide the goods or services, or the trader has surpassed the agreed completion date, then you have options.

What are my options?

You should set the trader a reasonable deadline to complete the work in a formal letter, known as ‘making time of the essence’. It is advisable to send any request in writing and by signed for mail, keeping a copy for your own records. By sending the letter via tracked mail, you can prove it was delivered to the trader.

If the trader fails to meet the deadline given, then you could hold them in breach of your contract using the evidence that you have now collated. This may allow you to seek a claim for a full refund in the form of damages if the work has not started.

Other Options – Section 75 / Chargeback

You should check the terms and conditions that the studio provided you with to see if there is any provision for cancelation of service.

If you have difficulty getting in contact with the studio to get your money back, you could potentially make a claim using Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. This states that a credit card company is jointly and severally liable for breach of contract or misrepresentation by a trader.

This means that a claim can be made against the credit card provider if a purchase was made with a trader that misrepresents the goods / services or breaches contract. Section 75 claims can only be made for credit cards and cannot be used for debit card purchases. Claims can only be made for payments that are over £100 but cannot be made against a trader if they use a third party to accept payment.

You should contact the credit card provider, preferably in writing, explaining the situation and telling them that you wish to make this claim, asking for the full amount that you paid.

Chargeback claims can be made in situations where payment has been made to a trader and the transaction has been fraudulent or disputed. Unlike section 75, it can be used for credit and debit cards, however, only for credit card purchases that were under £100.

The team at can help with consumer-related matters and are available on 0808 164 6000, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.