How to Dispute a Credit Card Charge

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How to Dispute a Credit Card Charge

What happens if the brand-new 4K television you took home is a dud? Or maybe your spouse’s new fitness tracker isn’t working? Or when you’ve been charged twice for something you’re sure you only got one of?

If you paid with a credit card, which is almost certainly the case these days, you’re in luck. Consumers have a lot of protection for their credit card transactions because to the Fair Credit Billing Act. This legislation permits customers to delay payment on poor-quality, damaged, or improperly invoiced credit card purchases until the issue is remedied.

Continue reading as we demonstrate how to successfully dispute a credit card charge.

key takeaways

  • The Fair Credit Billing Act protects customers when they use credit cards by establishing the processes that they and card issuers must follow.
  • In the event of a disagreement, contact the merchant first.
  • The next step is to call the credit card company and file a formal dispute within 60 days.
  • Although the Act’s requirements restrict complaints to transactions over $50 and within 100 miles, many card issuers waive these limitations in the sake of excellent customer relations.

Go Back to the Merchant

Your first step should always be to return to the merchant and try to settle the issue. If you offer them the opportunity to resolve your problem, they will almost always do so, particularly if you approach them with civility and kindness. Most big shops have customer service policies in place that err on the generous side, at least for a limited time and in “ordinary” conditions.

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The main line is that if you behave quickly and fairly, you will most likely be given the benefit of the doubt. If you are not satisfied with the first person you speak with, request a meeting with the manager or supervisor on duty. Keep notes of each conversation, including the person you talked with as well as the date and time, so you can refer to them if necessary.

Put Your Complaint in Writing

If the shopkeeper refuses to budge throughout your talk, it’s time to write your complaint down. Write a brief, thorough letter detailing your specific disagreement and send it certified mail to the seller. Make a couple copies before sending it so you may save one for your records and send another to your credit card company as evidence of your attempts to settle this disagreement.

Following that, you’ll write a letter to your credit card provider to formally notify them of the disputed transaction amount. The Fair Credit Billing Act requires you to do this in writing within 60 days of receiving the bill containing the disputed amount. Include your account number, the closure date of the bill on which the disputed charge appears, a description of the disputed item, and the reason you’re delaying payment in your letter.

Include a copy of your complaint letter to the business, as well as any additional proof that supports your stance. This letter should be sent by certified mail as well (return receipt requested).Make sure you submit it to the “billing inquiries” address at your credit card provider, not the normal payment address (since these are often two separate departments, and may well be in separate locations as well).

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Typically, you may phone your credit card company and request that a particular transaction be disputed. For further information, they may send you a form to fill out.

Maintain Your Other Payments

Even if you are contesting one item on your current account, it is critical that you meet your other commitments. If you charged anything else on your card during this cycle, you must submit that payment and any interest to the normal address, or you may be charged interest and late fees. What if the contested item is the card’s lone charge? Check with the card company to determine whether you’ll be fined if you don’t pay it.

You’re only waiting to learn the outcome of your challenge at this point. Many credit card issuers will give their clients the benefit of the doubt and grant a temporary credit until the dispute is resolved. However, this is not required by law, so don’t expect to obtain this treatment. Meanwhile, the card company will contact the merchant to hear their side of the story. Essentially, if they decide to side with you, you will get a complete refund. If you don’t, you’ll have to pay for the disputed item as well as any extra financial costs.

The Fair Credit Billing Act has a few caveats. Technically, the transaction must have been for more than $50 and must have occurred in your home state or within 100 miles of your billing address, which implies that purchases conducted over the internet (or by phone) may be excluded. Withholding payment for online transactions is governed by state law. However, few issuers enforce these limitations on purchases since, given the very competitive nature of the market these days, most credit card firms are keen to keep your business. However, there is always the possibility that your claim may be dismissed on these grounds.

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The Bottom Line

If you find yourself in the situation of disputing a credit card charge, you may have more rights and benefits than you know. The important thing is to respond fast and properly. Address the problem with the merchant in a timely and polite manner, and if required, follow up with your credit card provider. In most circumstances, the whole disagreement may be settled within a few weeks to your satisfaction.

If you suspect true fraud, contact your card provider immediately to suspend or cancel your card.

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