Disputing a Charge on a Credit Card

Have you ever been reviewing your credit card bill and noticed a transaction that was out of place for whatever reason? It might be that you returned a product and weren’t refunded for it, or perhaps you were charged double for the same product. Maybe the item you bought was broken, or, you never bought any such item at all to begin with.

If you have never faced one such problem there is a fair chance that you will at some point in the future. These kinds of situations are very common among credit card holders, mostly because our use of the credit card is so widespread. This is also why there are a series of steps for anyone looking to dispute a charge.

How to make a Credit Card Dispute

The FCBA, or Fair Credit Billing Act, exists to protect your rights while making necessary credit card disputes. Reviewing your billing statement as soon as you are able, and comparing it to your receipts, is a very important process. It is also essential not to waste time and to act promptly if you find a defect.

One of the very first things you will want to address is whether or not the charge was a billing mistake or made with fraudulent intent. It may or may not make very much of a difference to you but it is important. Making this distinction will allow you to handle the dispute in the correct way.

Tips for Disputing Credit Card Charges

If you decide that the issue resides with the merchant the next best thing to do is to go and talk directly to them in a timely manner. Politeness can go a long way and often times the merchant will do what they can to make things right for you. Usually they will want to solve the problem and keep your business. Of course sometimes the merchant, for whatever reason, doesn’t cooperate the way they should.

In such a case you should put the complaint into written words—this must be done within the first 60 days of the charge you are disputing. First, write an email to the merchant, and then file a written report with your credit card company. After your credit card issuer receives the complaint they will begin an investigation.

When you write this letter to the card issuer you will need to include your account number and an explanation of what happened complete with the details. Don’t stop paying. Even though you are making a dispute it is very important for you to continue paying your credit card bills, or you will end up facing late-payment charges.

If, however, you think that you are a victim of fraud there is an entirely different set of steps for you to take. First call your credit card issuer and explain the situation, then cancel the card and get a replacement. This will keep anyone from wracking up anymore expenses. In reporting the situation and getting it taken care of as soon as possible you are more likely to keep your money.

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