The advantage of credit cards (and one of the major advantages that sets them appart from debit cards) is fraud and payment protection. Hopefully most of us won’t have to deal with either fraud or billing errors in our lifetimes, but if the worst should happen (like the great credit card theft that happened at a Large Retail Store last year) it’s reassuring to know that you will not end up being charged for errors or fraud. But how do you dispute a credit card charge?
Credit card disputes are fairly common. Whether because of human error, buying something that in the end is not delivered, or even fraud, there are plenty of charges that can happen on your card that you don’t need to cover. With about 15 million disputes being issued each year for MasterCard alone, this is a big business.
What credit card charges can I dispute?
Remember, you do have to pay for goods and services that you have received. Issuing credit card disputes is not a way to get out of debt. Still, there are several un-deserved charges that can be argued against. They include:
- Billing problems, like being charged twice for the same product, or being charged the wrong amount
- Returning something but not having the return credited on your account
- Items that were never delivered, shipped to the wrong address, or damaged in transit
- Service not provided after they are paid for
- Other persons making unauthorized charges on your account
Steps to disputing a credit card charge
Double check your numbers
Before disputing a charge in your credit card, double check your receipts and charges to make sure that the discrepancy isn’t on your end.
Learn More: Using a Microchip-enabled Credit Card
Contact the store or restaurant directly
If you are a regular customer at store or restaurant that has put a strange charge on your credit card, sometimes the easiest way to clear up the issue is just to give them a call. Whether they have charged you twice or gotten the price wrong for your pasta primavera, sometimes a quick call is the fastest and easiest way to clear up the issue. However, if you get charged for a place that you have never visited, credit card fraud is much more likely and you should take other steps.
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Contact your credit card company
If you haven’t been able to figure out the issue or resolve it in other ways, you should contact your credit card company. On your online statement, there should be the option to dispute a claim or a customer service number you should call. Once you have begun the dispute process, the credit card company will probably contact you again to get more information, and also contact the merchant to figure out what is going on. If the merchant or fraud is shown to be at fault, you will not be charged. If you are deemed to be responsible for the charge it will remain on your statement.
This investigation may take as long as two or three months from when you raise the issue, but you will not have to pay for the charges under dispute while the investigation is in process.