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The Advantages of Credit Cards

By: Christine Breen

There are many evils associated with credit cards, but there are benefits that are hard to ignore. One benefit is having the credit card company act in your behalf to recover funds from a disputed transaction. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act the credit card company has to investigate the dispute and either take the charge off your bill or explain why it is correct. Even better, you don't have to pay the portion of the credit-card bill or related interest charges while the dispute is being investigated.

The types of blling disputes/errors covered by the Fair Credit Billing Act are:

  • Charges that list the wrong date or amount.

  • Charges for goods and services you didn't accept or weren't delivered as agreed.
  • Math errors.
  • Failure to post payments and other credits, such as returns.
  • Unauthorized charges.

Before you dispute any of issues you must first contact the retailer and try to settle the dispute. If they ignore you, or the dispute is not settled then contact the credit card company. Usually you need to have your dispute in writing to the credit card company. The address for billing disputes is different then the address to send payments. The billing dispute address can be found on the back of your monthly statement. If it cannot be found, call the credit card company's customer service for the billing dispute address. You usually only have a certain number of days to dispute the billing error so make sure you mail in your dispute before the deadline.

If contacting the credit card company doesn't resolve the dispute, you may contact the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's Customer Assistance Group. Their website is www.occ.treas.gov/customer.htm and phone number is 800-613-6743.

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