Seeing an unauthorized charge on your credit card is infuriating. You know that you didn’t make the charge, but still see it on your bill nonetheless.
A credit card dispute can be an annoying process, and there’s no guarantee you’ll get your money back. Here, we outlined some tips you can use in the claims process to make sure you get the outcome you desire.
Know Your Rights
The most important tip we can give you is to know what your rights are in relation to disputing a charge. The Federal Trade Commission outlines the credit card dispute process, as well as what charges you are allowed to dispute.
The FTC allows you to dispute charges relating to billing errors. You can dispute credit card charge related to billing errors, unauthorized charges, charges to companies that didn’t deliver on promises, etc.
You can’t dispute the charge if it doesn’t fall under the wide billing error umbrella. There are periodical updates to the claims process, so make sure you know your rights and which kind of charges you can dispute.
Contact the Merchant First
The process of how to dispute a credit card charge should always start with the merchant.
There are several elements you can clear up without involving your credit card provider. You may have failed to account for a tip at a restaurant, for instance. The merchant might have double-charged you for an item.
Try to clear the situation up with the merchant before involving your credit card company in the ordeal.
Get Your Information in Order
Once you involve the credit card provider in your dispute, they’ll likely start compiling information for an investigation. You might even have to file a police report if someone stole your credit card information.
Make sure you have all the receipts and information you need before getting this process underway.
Don’t Give Up
It’s not uncommon that the credit card company will deny your claim the first time around. Don’t give up! Stay persistent with your claim – especially if it’s a high-value claim that’s over $100.
Do your best to remain calm when you’re talking with the credit card company or merchant. The claims process is incredibly frustrating – especially if you know you didn’t make the charge.
Don’t let the situation get the best of you. You’ll be constantly wondering “how long to dispute credit card charge?” Stay persistent and calm to maximize your chances of getting your claim approved.
Small Claims Don’t Trigger an Investigation
There is a particular threshold with each credit card company that triggers an investigation. If you fall under this line, your provider might not even contact the merchant to see if they have the accurate reading on their end.
Ron Lieber wrote in the New York Times that this number is somewhere around $25 for most credit card providers. If your disputed charge falls below this window (it’s different for each company) they will almost always credit your account without any followup investigation.
Winning Your Credit Card Dispute
Follow these above tips to make sure you give yourself the best chance of winning your credit card dispute. Don’t make the wrong move here, or you might find yourself paying for an item or service you didn’t receive.
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