How to Dispute a Credit Card Charge.
Always Check Your Statement.
The earlier you detect an unauthorized charge, the quicker it can be resolved. Check statements online at least a couple of times a month or before the next billing statement. If you need to return purchased merchandise, make sure that it’s credited to your account.
Determine If It’s Fraud.
Confirm if the charge is a mistake or an outright fraud. This is because the two scenarios are treated differently. If you determine the charge was fraudulent, call your credit card company at once and report the charge. Your credit card company will then cancel the card and issue you another one.
Contact the Merchant.
This could be the fastest way to resolve a charge dispute especially when it involves human errors. Most merchants will readily correct a mistake when you’re able to show proof.
On the other hand, they will have to pay for the investigation if its carried out by the credit card issuer. Therefore, it’s in their best interest to resolve the matter quickly and informally. Also, too many disputes could possibly cost a merchant his credit card privileges.
Assemble Your Evidence.
If you’re sure of the validity of your claims, ensure to gather all relevant evidence. Clearly articulate your reasons why the charge should be reversed and gather all supporting documentation to back up your position.
Put It in Writing.
If the dispute has not been resolved, it may be time to pursue your case formally. According to the FCBA, you must write to the card issuer to claim your rights as covered under the act. This letter must be sent to the card issuer within sixty days of the date the bill with the questionable charge was sent to you.
Your bank or credit card issuer is mandated to acknowledge your complaint in writing within 30 days of receiving it. If your dispute is then deemed valid by the Bank or card issuer, they’ll initiate a reversal. If the bank confirms that the disputed amount is a correct charge, they will notify you through a letter within two billing cycles, or within ninety days of when your bank or issuer received your complaint.
Include all relevant details:
- Your name,
- Phone number,
- Why you feel the charge should be reversed.
- State all the measures you have previously taken to get the dispute resolved.
- Attach all the documents–correspondences, receipts or any other relevant materials.
- Send them to the card issuer after making a copy of every document for yourself.
Ensure you send them to the billing office of your card issuer through a method that will submit proof of delivery and receipt.
Continue Paying Your Bill.
Unless the only outstanding charge is the disputed one, you will still be hit with late fees for not paying other portions of your bill.
You shouldn’t pay for the disputed charge, and your credit card issuer doesn’t have the right to demand it while the matter is still being investigated.
They also cannot close your account or flag you as delinquent. But when the dispute is finally resolved and against you, you’ll have to pay all the interest accrued during the dispute process.
The biggest problem nowadays is when companies have their security breached. This can expose credit and other private information of their customers. With regards to the credit card, dispute process shouldn’t be stressful. The key is to understand your right as a consumer under the FCBA, act quickly and keep your records.