Credit card transactions can usually be cancelled on the spot prior to any merchandise being taken or service accepted. Once merchandise is taken from the store or received via the post or other delivery means, cancellations or returns must generally be accomplished under the rules established by the company that sold the merchandise.
When shopping for credit services, use the credit card chaser to make sure you have all the facts before signing for a new account.
For services that have already been provided, credit transactions are much harder to negate. Once again, the first recourse must be to get the service provider to back out the transaction. If the company is unwilling to do this, other legal steps may become necessary.
What if I didn’t order what I’m being charged for?
The Fair Credit Billing Act limits a cardholder’s liability for disputed charges and outlines a procedure for following up and deleting them from your bill. According to the Act, a consumer must:
- Send a letter to the “billing inquiry” address with your name, address, account information, and details of the billing mistake
- The letter must be sent within 60 days of your receipt of the erroneous bill
- The letter should be sent by certified mail and you must request a receipt (U.S. Postal Service now features on-line mail tracking and receipts)
- Letters should be sent to the Bank that issued the card, not Visa or MasterCard
The Bank has 30 days to acknowledge your complaint and must respond in writing. They must then resolve the dispute within two billing cycles or 90 days at the most, if the issue is not already resolved.
What if I paid for something with my debit card and never received it?
Debit cards fall under different rules and come under the protection of Electronic Fund Transfer Act. Federal guidelines strictly regulate the withdrawal of funds from protected bank accounts. Transactions may be reversed within a period of time but usually only with bank permission and after showing the bank sufficient cause to void the transaction.
What if I don’t like my purchase or it’s not what I thought it would be?
Some bankcards provide consumer protection or buyer protection service plans. For some cardholders, this is a free service. For others, there may be a nominal monthly or annual charge. Once again, every effort should be made to first settle a dispute with the retailer or other merchant before approaching the bankcard company.
Buyer protection plans work in one of two ways. First, they warrant that the merchandise is in good working order and if it breaks or fails in any way, it will be replaced by the card company. The other portion of the plan allows the cardholder to receive a refund for unwanted merchandise even if it is not the store’s policy to issue refunds.
What happens if my credit card is lost or stolen?
Generally, if a credit card is lost or stolen the cardholder’s liability is limited to $50. Lost or stolen credit cards should be reported immediately, either on line or by phone. Most card issuers provide a 24-hour, toll free number for that purpose. You should write down account numbers and emergency contact information for all credit accounts and keep it in a safe place.
The loss or theft of a card should be reported immediately or at least within the first 24 hours after the card goes missing. The credit card company will issue a new card within several days, with a new account number. At the same time, the company will deny all new transactions on the existing account.
What if I lose my ATM card?
That’s a little different story, since ATM cards give the user direct access to your bank account, and as much money as may be in the account at any given time. ATM or debit cards fall under the guidelines set by the EFTA, Electronic Funds Transfer Act.
If the loss of an ATM card is reported quickly enough, within two business days, an account holder’s liability is once again capped at $50. However, if not reported soon enough, the account holder remains liable for unauthorized withdrawals. This could result in a loss of hundreds, or even thousands of dollars.
What can I do to minimize any ATM card losses?
Account holders should review all statements and transactions in a timely manner. If you spot any transaction that appears to be in error, it could be fraudulent, and it is imperative that you report it to your bank immediately.
Use the credit card chaser now to compare credit cards that suit your needs!
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