Beleaguered Southern Rail commuters could be eligible for a refund on their season tickets after one passenger claimed he got £2,400 back from his credit card company.
The Association of British Commuters (ABC) said a passenger named "Sean" had reported that he used Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act to apply to American Express to dispute the sale of his yearly season ticket on the grounds of non-delivery of goods and services.
The ABC said he used punctuality statistics for Southern Rail to support his claim, estimating that 50% of his journeys were cancelled or disrupted and requesting 50% of his money back.
According to a blog by the ABC, Sean reported that American Express granted his claim for £2,400 and he believes that Southern Rail received the "charge back" instead of the taxpayer.
Credit card companies are bound under the Consumer Credit Act, meaning they are jointly liable for the provision of goods and services until they have been delivered.
Martyn James, consumer rights expert and spokesman for complaints site Resolver, said: "This case is very unusual as it's essentially saying that Southern Rail has systemically failed to provide a service.
"The industry will not be happy with this news but the fact this passenger got his money back is genius. This is exactly what Section 75 is for."
In December, the Department for Transport reported that 84,000 passengers with season tickets for Southern would be in line for taxpayer-funded compensation.
A Southern spokesman said: "We cannot comment on arrangements between credit card companies and their customers and we are unaware of any charge-back claim from American Express."