There are all kinds of financial tools that you might find beneficial, like accounting software, credit cards, or a loan repayment calculator. They’re all potentially helpful, but credit cards can occasionally get you into hot water. For instance, a situation might arise where you need to dispute a credit card charge.
In this article, we’ll talk about the how and when of disputing credit card charges. When we’re done, you should feel confident about going through this process if you ever need to.
When to Dispute a Charge
The time when you’ll need to dispute a credit card charge is when you look at your statement, and you see a charge that you don’t recognize. It’s also possible that you did purchase something from a business, but the amount of the charge is inaccurate. You should also dispute a charge if you disagree that a business delivered the product or service to you that they promised.
If you believed that you were purchasing one thing but got another, that is grounds to dispute the charge. The key to credit card disputes is to start them as expediently as possible.
At a minimum, you should review your credit card statement every month to see if you agree with all of the charges that you see there. You may want to check your statement more often than that, though.
It’s a good idea to get in the habit of reviewing your credit card accounts daily or weekly. That way, you can immediately dispute any charge that doesn’t look right.
How Much Time You Have
There’s something called the Fair Credit Billing Act. It states that you should have a fair amount of time, during which you can dispute a charge on your credit card account. You have 60 days to do so. American Express gives you a full 120 days, though.
Sometimes, you can dispute a charge that you made even further back than that. For instance, Mastercard or Visa will give you 540 days if you’re disputing a charge because a company did not provide the service they said they would.
How It Works
You can start by contacting the bank through which you process your credit card payments. Explain to bank representatives what happened. They’ll start an investigation. You will not be forced to pay the disputed amount while they’re looking into it.
The bank contacts the merchant with whom you’re having the dispute. They will get that merchant’s response, then conduct an internal review of all the facts. They’ll then provide you with a letter that details what they concluded. They might also contact you either by phone or email.
The bank must decide whether they’re ruling in your favor or that of the business entity within two credit card billing cycles. If you disagree with what the bank found, you can still respond back to them within ten days.
Responding back is often a smart move. If the bank does not conclude in your favor the first time, they still might do so if you continue pursuing the matter.
Disputing a Charge is Not Very Complicated
If you see a credit card charge you didn’t know about, the amount of a charge is wrong, or you didn’t receive the service or product you requested, it’s usually worth it to dispute what happened. You now know how much time you have to dispute a charge under the law. You also understand that once you contact a bank and explain what happened, they will reach out to the merchant on your behalf.
If the bank does not rule in your favor, you can still respond to them if you disagree with what they found. Doing so might be what it takes to get a satisfactory conclusion to this business if the first investigation isn’t sufficient.