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Missguided collapses: How do I get my money back?

·3-min read
A laptop and mobile phone showing the Missguided website.
Missguided's Australian website has been taken offline but the company is continuing to operate. (Source: Getty)

UK-based fashion outfit Missguided called in administrators on Monday, after efforts to find a buyer for the company fell through.

Suppliers in the UK claim to be owed millions of pounds, according to The Guardian, with some arguing the company continued to place orders even after they knew it was in trouble.

The Australian website has been taken offline and, although the company is continuing to operate while a buyer is sought, many customers have taken to social media to complain about orders that have not arrived and refunds they are owed.

So what rights do consumers have when companies go bust? What happens if you have ordered something and haven’t yet received it, or if you have a gift voucher or credit note?

It depends.

When a company has called in an external administrator, that means it is unable to pay debts that are due.

The administrator’s job is to help the company find a new buyer or, if this is unsuccessful, the administrator will help the company pay back its debts as the company dissolves.

That includes customers who may have paid for goods and are waiting for them to be delivered, or have a credit note or gift voucher they haven’t used.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), consumers are typically treated as ‘unsecured creditors’.

That means consumers are a lower priority than other classes of creditors, such as employees and shareholders, who will need to be repaid first.

Tech expert at Finder Angus Kidman confirmed that, unfortunately, customers with outstanding orders, credit notes and gift cards tended to be at the “bottom of the pecking order” when it came to getting their debts back when a company dissolved.

“So, the likelihood of people getting their orders or getting value for their gift cards is unfortunately pretty low,” Kidman said.

More options

However, there may be other ways to have your debts repaid.

For example, if you've paid via a credit card or loan, you may be able to request a chargeback on the transaction from your financial institution or bank that issued the credit card.

You’ll want to do this quickly, as there are often time limits on chargeback claims.

Kidman said people who had used buy now, pay later (BNPL) to purchase goods had fewer protections.

He said these buyers would most likely have to wait and see how the situation unfolded and hope for a buyer that would honour outstanding purchases.

The company may also continue trading during administration.

In that case, you’ll need to seek guidance from the administrators about recovering your money or goods.

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