You may be able dispute an unidentified charge on your credit cards statement. These guidelines will help you correct errors or prevent fraudulent charges.
It’s not something that anyone likes to do. It’s not pleasant to be surprised by an unexpected or incorrect credit card charge. You are determined to fix the problem ASAP, regardless of whether it is fraud or simple error.
The Fair Credit Billing Act allows you to dispute fraudulent or mistaken charges as soon as they are noticed. You can dispute credit card charges with the credit card company or merchant if your situation is not as described.
Continue reading to find out when and how you can dispute a credit card bill if there is a mistake in your statement.
Reasons to contest a credit card bill
Although credit card fraud appears to be getting more attention in the media, it is not the only thing to watch out for when reviewing your statements.
These are some common reasons why you might contest a credit card bill:
- Unauthorized Charges to Your Card
- Incorrect amount charged. Merchants may make mistakes when they process your card. If a merchant charges you incorrectly for a product or service, you can file a dispute.
- Double charging You can contest a double charge if you see it on your statement.
- You will not receive credit for returns. If you do not get credit to your account, or request a refund, you can file a dispute.
- Not receiving the items you have paid. You can file a complaint if you don’t receive a product or service you ordered. If an item is not delivered to the correct address, you can dispute the charge.
- Recovering damaged products
- Products or services not claimed. You might be able to contest a charge you have paid for services that weren’t provided as claimed. The more evidence you have to support your claim in this instance, the better.
However, in most cases you cannot dispute a charge.
These situations are not grounds for a dispute. If you do file one, it is unlikely to succeed.
- The service or product is not for you. If you pay in good faith and receive the goods or services you ordered, you cannot dispute the charge. You might still want to contact the vendor. You might be eligible for a credit or exchange.
- You had minor problems with service. You will have trouble disputing charges for minor inconveniences such as the bill for dining out after you waited for a table at a busy restaurant on a busy evening. Another reason to talk with the manager is this. You might be offered a partial credit for your inconvenience.
How to dispute a credit-card charge
You must follow the correct steps when disputing credit card charges . You should also ensure that you keep track of fraudulent or false charges by reviewing your statements as soon as they are received.
Note – Disputes regarding charges can vary depending on the credit card issuer and reason. Here are the steps for filing three types or disputes.
Dispute type 1: Fraudulent charges
You should immediately take action if you see a fraudulent charge on a credit card statement.
Check first to make sure that you and another authorized user have not made the charge. Contact your credit card company if you are certain it was not authorized.
It is crucial to contact your credit card company immediately. The FCBA states that you have 60 calendar days to contest the charge.
The FCBA does not protect purchases over $50. Many credit card issuers will protect you for any amount you purchase if you file a claim within the time limit.
Dispute type 2: Billing errors
Send a dispute letter to your credit card company if you find a billing error in your statement. Your dispute must be received by your issuer within 60 days of the charge appearing in your statement.
To confirm that the charge was received on time, you can either dispute it online or by certified mail. If the issuer of your credit card has not resolved the problem, it will contact you within 30 days. The credit card issuer has 90 days to fix the problem.
Type 3: Quality of goods and services
You can also dispute a charge for other reasons. For example, the quality of goods and services you received are not what was claimed. Before you file a dispute with your issuer, it is required that you first resolve the matter with the merchant. This is an important step that many consumers don’t know.
The details of your statement should be reviewed and you can then attempt to resolve the dispute with the merchant. While you resolve the matter, keep a record of all communications with the merchant.
You don’t have to contact your credit card company if the merchant agrees to rectify the problem. If the merchant is not willing to correct the charge within 60 days, you should contact your issuer. Your paper trail is a great help here.
Policies of credit card companies to dispute charges
Although they are similar, dispute policies can vary from one credit card company to the next.
Here are some highlights from the dispute policies of top card issuers:
- Citibank – You have the option to dispute a charge on your Citibank credit card by calling or going online.
- Bank of America – You have the option to dispute a charge online or over the phone using a mobile app. Most disputes must be filed within 60 calendar days after appearing on your statement.
- Wells Fargo Dispute a charge to your Wells Fargo Card by opening an investigation online or calling a customer service representative.
- American Express – The easiest method to start a dispute with American Express online is to log in to your account and navigate to the “Inquiry and Dispute Center”, under “Account Services”. Customers have usually 120 days to dispute charges after the transaction date.
- Chase If you see a fraudulent charge on a statement, please call the number at the back of the card. You can also file a dispute via your online account or write Chase if you have any other questions.
- Capital One – Contact customer service or submit a dispute online with your Capital One account. You may often dispute a charge within 60 days of the charge posting to your statement.
These credit card companies offer zero liability protection. This means that you will not be held liable for fraudulent charges, even if they are below the FCBA’s $50 limit.
What happens if you dispute a credit-card charge?
You can often dispute an unauthorized credit card charge quickly. The credit card company will cancel your card and remove the fraudulent charge. You can file a report with the police after you have resolved the problem with your credit card company.
Follow up on your dispute with your credit card company to verify that they have received your documentation or letters. It has 30 day to accept your dispute and 90 day to resolve the matter.
If your credit card company agrees to the dispute and acknowledges that it is incorrect, it will inform you of the changes it will make in your account. It will then remove the disputed charges from your account and any earned interest penalties.
What happens if the dispute is not resolved?
If the issuer finds that the dispute charge is not a mistake, it will inform you in writing what amount you owe and when it is due. You generally have a 10-day appeal period if you disagree with the decision.
Appeal by writing back to the vendor stating that you do not plan to pay for the dispute charge. Notify the vendor that you are going to file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau immediately. Keep track of all correspondence
If you appeal, however, your credit card issuer may begin collection proceedings.
We recommend that you review their statements as soon you receive them. If you have any questions or need to dispute charges, you should do so immediately.