Card networks entrust the resolution of the debit and credit card dispute process to the bank that issued the card.
Consumers can find themselves involved in a variety of debit card and credit card disputes. These may result from credit card fraud, identity theft or the illicit use of the card or card number. The technical term for such acts is “unauthorized use.” If and when this happens, the law does not hold the cardholder liable. Neither will the bank.
Disputes also arise regarding the bill itself. Genuine mistakes happen. Your monthly statement may include a charge for services or products you did not order. Or services or products you did order but never received. Or services or products that the merchant, for whatever reason, did not provide.
From time to time consumers may also notice an inadvertent overcharge for a legitimate purchase. Contact the merchant immediately if you discover this sort of problem. Keep in mind, however, that billing error rules recognize only certain specific billing error disputes.
Gray charges are those that you agreed to pay to the merchant when you bought a certain product or service. Not every merchant will inform you about them at the time of purchase. They typically appear in small print. Online, you typically find them under “Terms and Conditions.” Some examples are automatic renewals, mysterious subscriptions, cost creep, or “free” products that wind up costing money. There may be a symbolic or minimal initial charge. But after a period of time you may be paying for something you didn’t want. If so, you enjoy legal protection if this came about as a result of a credit card purchase.
And sometimes merchants may refuse a refund when one is justified. Like not providing the goods or services that you contacted. One example of a credit card dispute is the cancellation of a flight or another travel-related reservation. This problem became much more widespread with the COVID-19 pandemic. Many would-be travelers discovered that while booking their reservations was easy, it was far more difficult to cancel them afterwards. But if they paid by credit card or debit card, at least they had a chargeback dispute to fall back on.
As a consumer, you can minimize aggravation by doing the following:
You can dispute a charge that appears on your monthly bill by issuing a chargeback request. You should do so immediately if it is an expenditure that you did not authorize. You may submit your notification by phone, not only in writing.
A credit card network or its duly authorized agent must investigate your claim within a reasonable period of time once it receives your request. The ensuing investigation can include an analysis of the signature on the credit card slip, a review of any relevant police report or a comparison of your address with that of the merchant.
If, however, your dispute pertains to a charge that you authorized, but you didn’t receive the goods or services as promised, things get more complicated. First of all, your bank’s procedures for dealing with such a situation are less streamlined and straightforward. In addition, your banker may be less familiar with the intricate rules pertaining to such disputes. Just as one example, your credit card dispute time limit can vary considerably based on minute details of your particular case. Simply leaving out one such point as you dispute a credit card charge may mean all the difference between success and failure.
MyChargeBack advises cardholders throughout the entire lifecycle of complex card-not-present chargebacks. We know how to dispute a debit card or credit card charge, and we will provide you with a free no-commitment initial consultation. Contact us for more details.