Disputing a Charge on your Credit Card

by : Thomas Zimmerman

Did you know that there is a procedure to follow when you dispute a charge on your credit card? Were you aware that if you do not act in accordance with the procedure as outlined below, your money could be lost... just short of a lawsuit with the company and merchant involved?

Let's say that you ordered a product from a merchant, but you did not receive the product as advertised or you were not happy with the product. Worse yet you may have not received it at all. The first thing that you do is try to resolve the matter with the Merchant.

What happens if the Merchant does not satisfy your complaint? Plus, they refuse to offer a refund or an adjustment to your satisfaction. You at this stage will have no other option than to file a dispute with the issuing Bank of your credit card. You than wait until your company contacts you.

When you are contacted make sure you find out how long your credit card company (Bank) will take to handle the dispute. Remember the Merchant has the opportunity to tell their side of the story after you told yours. Be prepared to tell your facts regarding the purchase and why you were not happy with the product. You will get only one chance at doing this so get all your facts organized and present it as they occurred.

Make sure you keep all the paperwork and communication between you and the Merchant. Should it be an online Company be sure to save all your emails. The latter is a very important point. Don't communicate by phone as there will be no documentation. Do all this by regular mail or email.

When you contact the bank that issued your credit card, be sure you get all the information that you need to protect yourself. This includes: Time frame for handling the dispute, and all the information they need to override any objection the merchant could possible have. This is very important. A solid case has to be built against the merchant if you are to win your dispute.

There have been some cases where merchants have intentionally lied because they know something you don't know...they have the last word after reading your story. How do I know this? I have been a victim of a particular merchant.

My company told me I could not rebut the rebuttal. However, because I was such a good customer they took off some finance charges that equaled the total of the dispute. I did let my Credit card Company know that the merchant made fraudulent statements regarding their rebuttal. Most reputable companies would obviously not lie about a transaction, but there are always the few that do.