How to Dispute a Credit Card Charge

  • 3 min read

Have you ever noticed a transaction on your credit card statement that is incorrect? It might be that you returned a product and weren’t refunded for it, or perhaps you were charged double for the same purchase, or you never made the purchase. One of the most common credit card inquiries is how to dispute a charge made to one’s account. There are many reasons that someone might want to dispute a charge; however, the avenue of approach is typically the same.

How to make a Credit Card Dispute

The FCBA, or Fair Credit Billing Act, exists to protect your rights in a credit card disputes. Reviewing your billing statement as soon as you are able, and comparing it to your receipts, is a very important process.

One of the very first things you will want to address is whether or not the charge was a billing mistake or made with fraudulent intent.

Tips for Disputing Credit Card Charges

If you decide that the issue resides with the merchant, the best thing to do is to go and talk directly to them in a timely manner. Politeness can go a long way and often times the merchant will do what they can to make things right for you.

If you can’t resolve the problem with the merchant then put the complaint into written words—this must be done within the first 60 days of the charge you are disputing. First, write an email to the merchant, and then file a written report with your credit card company. After your credit card issuer receives the complaint they will begin an investigation.

When you write this letter to the card issuer, you will need to include your account number and an explanation of what happened complete with the details.

Even though you are launching a dispute ,it is very important for you to continue paying your credit card bills, or you will end up facing late-payment charges.

Your credit card provider will likely provide you an electronic document. This document can be accessed online or emailed to you after you have called customer service.

It will give the credit card provider the necessary information to direct responsibility and reimbursement to the proper account. This document also gives the credit card provider a way to determine if the disputed charge is in fact a charge that should be removed from your account or if the dispute is wrongly established.

You must keep in mind that the success of your dispute is dependent on the interaction between the merchant, merchant’s bank, your bank, and your reason for disputing the charge made to your account.

There are federal laws that hold all parties responsible for their respective part in the product’s quality, exchange and/or reimbursement. These laws cover, but are not limited to, fraudulent charges, mathematical errors, improper billing addresses, and unauthorized charges.

If you think that you are a victim of fraud there is an entirely different set of steps for you to take. First call your credit card issuer and explain the situation, then cancel the card and get a replacement.

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Christopher - BSc, MBA

With over two decades of combined Big 5 Banking and Agency experience, Christopher launched Underbanked® to cut through the noise and complexity of financial information. Christopher has an MBA degree from McMaster University and BSc. from Western University in Canada.