Does Visa Signature’s Purchase Protection Benefit Truly Protect Your Purchases?

Purchase Protection is a Great Benefit When you Need it

broken box with fragile signI have had many credit cards over the years and never had a reason to access the Purchase Protection benefit – a great service that comes with a Visa Signature card. But I was finally put to the challenge when a new light fixture that I had purchased, still in the box, was totally destroyed.

This past spring, I asked my friend who was going to drive from her home in Baltimore to her house in Massachusetts to take up the new light fixture to my rental house. I never thought this simple favor was going to turn into something that I would reflect back on and wish I had just shipped the light fixture through the U.S. Postal Service.

My friend and her sister were careful when they packed my box along with their other boxes into back of their pick-up truck. As they were traveling along I-95 North, several large commercial trucks were traveling at a high speed and as one truck passed them, its speed and size seemed to create an unbalanced force, causing one of the boxes to be sucked out of the back of the pick up truck. She quickly pulled over to the shoulder of the highway, jumped out of the truck, and began to walk back to see if she could find the box or any evidence of its contents.

Not surprisingly, a Maryland State trooper pulled up behind them and told my friend to get back in the truck. It’s against the law for a pedestrian to walk on an Interstate highway. She explained their dilemma and asked for some ideas regarding the retrieval of some evidence of the loss. Since the box had landed in the middle section of the median, the trooper agreed to make his way over to the other side of the lanes and see what he could find. When he returned, he said that he found the box but that it was empty, and he wasn’t willing to put it into his car. Their hearts sank at the thought of having to explain this crazy mishap to me, especially since it was only my box that was missing. The other four items in the truck were fine. When they finally got me on the phone to tell me the bad news, I informed them that the box contained a $400 ceiling lamp for my kitchen.

I Needed to Access my Purchase Protection Benefit Immediately

Visa Signature’s Purchase Protection available on British Airways credit card

The first thing I did was to research my lamp purchase, and found that I had charged it on my British Airways Visa card last winter. I had the card transaction receipt, but couldn’t find the actual store receipt that described the item details and its value. Next, I called Chase to find out what steps I had to take to access my Purchase Protection benefit. I knew that time was of the essence as there are deadlines you have to work within to use this benefit.

I then received a letter from Chase recognizing their receipt of my Purchase Security Benefit claim with a Case ID and letting me know that I had to return the claim form within 120 days of the damage or theft. In addition to the claim form, the following documentation was necessary to process the claim:

  • A copy of the itemized store receipt. I didn’t have that so I called the store where I made the purchase. My luck, the store had some old system so the poor cashier had to go in their attic and search in boxes to locate my itemized receipt. She was super sweet and called me with good news that she found the receipt. Then I had to drive to the store and pick up the receipt.
  • A copy of the transaction card receipt. I had that. Whew!
  • A copy of the police report. My friends took the initiative and called the police headquarters and got a copy of the police report.
  • A copy of my insurance declaration page if the item is more than $250. I had to go to my files and locate my homeowner’s policy.
  • A copy of the receipt for the repairs if repairable. This was obviously something that could not be done.
  • The damaged item or a photo of the damaged item. Well that was a lost cause, since my friends were not able to retrieve the light fixture. Not even a packing peanut.
  • A completed Purchase Security Benefit Claim Form that was attached to the letter. It need to be returned within 90 days of the loss. Chase requested my personal and credit card information, the details of the incident, the lost product description and value, and proof of my homeowner’s policy. I filled out the form and sent it in along with the other items that were requested.

I then called the claims center and let them know that I did not have the fixture nor did I have pictures. They said it helped that I was accessing my Purchase Protection benefit for the first time and that the police incident report was validation that no evidence could be submitted and this claim was completely legitimate.

Next, I received an email that said I needed to show a receipt of purchasing the item again. I then went to the store and had to order the light fixture. I was notified a few weeks later it was in the store, purchased the item one more time and sent in the proof of purchase to Chase. They accepted my proof of replacement receipt as grounds for reimbursement.

This entire process of submitting documentation had to occur within 120 days of the incident. The lamp box flew out of our truck on April 30, and I received confirmation that Chase would settle the claim in my favor on August 4. There wasn’t much time to spare at all. It may have been an extraordinary amount of work, but it was well worth the battle. I received a refund for the entire purchase, including tax, for $422.94.

A Long Journey, but Purchase Protection Came Through for me

So when you do your homework about all of the added benefits to using your credit cards you will know to access them quickly as there are deadlines, paper trails and phone calls. My British Airways Visa Signature® Card also comes with Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Reimbursement, Roadside Dispatch, Travel Accident Insurance, Warranty Manager Service, Purchase Security, Cardholder Inquiry Service, Lost/Stolen Card Reporting, Zero Liability, and more. Just look up Visa Signature® benefits for more information, and be sure to take advantage of every benefit available to you.

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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.