How to Dispute Erroneous Credit Card Charges

credit card securityIn this day and age where online banking is already part of most banks’ services, it is also possible to have your credit card account hacked.  It’s highly remote, though, owing to the security measures that banks have taken to ensure the integrity of each customer’s account.  Then there’s the possibility of lost or stolen cards where charges may have already been made before you can report that your card has been lost or stolen.  That is why, when you notice that your card is missing, you must immediately report its loss to the issuer.  Otherwise, you will be held liable for purchases made before you report the incident.

If unauthorized use of the card was made after it was reported stolen (by phone followed by a written notification), you have proof that indeed the use was unauthorized.  The mistake therefore falls on the issuer who may not have notified its member-merchants on time.  Proof can also be seen if a merchant’s copy of the receipt corresponding to the questionable purchase has a signature that doesn’t match your own.  This time, the mistake is committed by the merchant, through the cashier, who didn’t check the signature that is supposed to be on the card – unless the thief or fraud is also a good forger.

There’s also the likelihood that for some technical matter, or otherwise, a purchase which you didn’t make, makes its way to your credit card bill.  Other reasons that your credit card bill registers an error is when a previous bill shows up again on a succeeding bill, which means you are charged twice for the same merchandise.  If you purchase online, you may not receive the merchandise but your credit card account says you will be paying for it.  In this instance, you need also to coordinate with the seller aside from the credit card issuer.  It would be good, though, if the issuer shall iron out the confusion in your behalf.

There are other reasons that your credit card is charged erroneously but you are given the chance to dispute it.  However, it should be backed by documentary proof that the charge is a mistake.  Luckily, credit card companies have systems, procedures and forms for clients to report an error in their credit card bill.  Once they’ve received your complaint, they’ll investigate the matter for about two to three months.  So, be patient on your end.  Disputed charges are usually not debited to your account when investigation is ongoing.  Always keep the receipt, in cases of direct purchases, and be ready to present them as proof when needed.

In cases where large purchases are made and delivery is entailed, keep the delivery receipt if the right item is delivered.  When it is not, refuse acceptance of the item and do not sign the delivery receipt.  This way, the merchant cannot present a signed delivery receipt signifying that you never got the item which was charged to your credit card bill.  In all circumstances, it is best to keep receipts, previous bills or printed copies of an online transaction.

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