You know that there is no guarantee that you will win a credit card dispute and not pay anything, but understanding the entire process will definitely help you with the odds. If you do find a billing dispute in your credit card statements, you should immediately contact your credit card company.
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It is very important that you know all about your credit card rights, especially when you are involved in resolving the dispute with the credit card company. Don’t rely on any misinformation from friends and family. Become better informed and research how to go about handling credit card disputes before they happen.
What are the common credit card disputes?
Billing disputes are by far the most common credit card disputes that are reported. Many users using the credit cards at some point in time have been affected by it. The other common disputes that are often found may involve a service not delivered or things that you did not buy and accept. You may also come across disputes of quality and you have different rights for this.
You can also make a formal complaint disputing the charges and you have the right to withhold payment while the company investigates the disputed charges. Remember it is very important that the credit card company receive notice of your disputes within 60 days from the bill generation. You should check with your credit card company for more details.
According to Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA), billing errors may be related to:
- Unauthorized charges
- Incorrect amount and date
- Charges incurred because of payments not posted to the account
- Charges for goods and services that were never delivered
- Charges incurred if the credit card company did not mail the statement to your present address
According to the Cornell University Law School, a maximum of $50 for unauthorized charges is the limit to the cardholder’s liability. However, remember that the FCBA rules out any disputes pertaining to faulty and defective purchases and these will not be considered a billing error.
Financial advisors suggest that you monitor your credit card statements regularly and look out for any omissions or inaccuracies. If you plan to make a major credit card purchase, this is all the more important.
How do I file a credit card dispute?
If you are involved in any dispute with the credit card company, it is important that you proceed with all the formalities in writing. This will ensure that the credit card company does not claim that it was unaware of such issues especially when you are trying to set it right.
It is important that you give all details in writing within 60 days and include all relevant details like your name, account number, card details, and residential address along with a detailed description of the error or dispute.
The written complaint letter must be sent to the relevant billing inquiries department. You can always speak to the customer support to find out the details of whom to address the letter. It is very important that you keep the copies of the written communications made including those of any receipts received for future reference.
What happens after you file for the dispute?
It is only after submitting all necessary documents that the investigation will begin and the dispute might be ruled either in the favor of the merchant or in your favor. If you have it in your favor, you will receive a confirmation stating the dispute as valid with relevant corrections done.
If, however, the ruling is not in your favor, and the credit card company finds that it is not a billing error, then you will have to pay the entire amount. Of course, you have the right to disagree with the ruling and in this case, you must refute it within 10 days of getting the ruling. You may contact agencies that monitor credit card companies or file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
What are the things to look out for during the entire process of filing the dispute?
Don’t forget the pre-existing deals and agreements already made with your credit card company. Make sure you have not signed off your rights to dispute, while not being aware of it all the while. Always make sure you have dated copies of all communications made to your card issuers.
It is important to classify the type of dispute you are filing for, a billing error or an unauthorized charge along with following the proper procedures for the same. You must be aware of any time limitations, how long the investigation takes or if the credit card company threatened to report you to the credit bureaus while the investigation was in process. You can always seek legal help if you need more guidance.
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