What Can You Dispute on Your Credit Card?

Whether you were billed the wrong amount for something you bought or charged for a product you didn’t purchase, credit card disputes arise when a cardholder disagrees with a charge on their credit card bill.

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Fortunately, federal law allows consumers to dispute credit card charges under certain circumstances via the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA). However, this doesn’t mean you can dispute every charge that appears on your credit card statement.

This article will explore various types of credit card charges you can challenge, and if it comes to it, how to find the best credit repair in Houston

Types of Credit Card Disputes

You can dispute fraudulent credit card charges on your bill by calling your credit card issuer. This is often a swift process, during which the credit card provider cancels the card in question and issues you another one.

Are credit card companies willing to negotiate purchases you are unhappy with? Yes–you can challenge credit card charges for something you willingly bought if you’re dissatisfied with the services offered or not provided. For instance, if you buy an item online that arrives broken, your card provider can help you recover your money. However, there’s a formal process you must follow for non-fraudulent disputes, and you only have two months from the day you get your credit card statement to act. 

Unauthorized or Fraudulent Credit Card Charges

If someone uses your credit card to make a payment you didn’t authorize, that’s fraud. Per the FCBA, the maximum amount a credit cardholder is responsible for after unauthorized credit card use is $50, but most credit cards have zero liability policies, which state that card holders don't have to pay after unauthorized use of credit cards.

According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, you must file a police report. Even though this is unnecessary, a single unauthorized purchase on your bank account might be part of a bigger issue, and a report helps police and other government agencies track such crimes. 

Billing Errors

A billing error is any credit card charge you made by mistake–this includes payments for subscription services you’ve canceled or multiple payments for one purchase. Furthermore, the Federal Trade Commission stipulates that consumers can dispute credit card charges based on:

  • Mathematical errors

  • Credit card payments listing the wrong amount or date

  • Charges for products or services that didn’t arrive as agreed or those that you didn’t accept

  • Failure to send the credit card bill to your current address

If a merchant refuses to refund a billing error, you can challenge it.

Quality of Services or Products

Although the condition of items or services isn’t under the Fair Credit Billing Act dispute process, the regulation still offers some protection for issues with the quality of items or services you’ve purchased using your credit card. If you encounter an issue with an item or service you financed with your credit card and wish to stop or withhold payment, you need to make a reasonable effort to solve the problem with the merchant first. If you can’t resolve the issue with the merchant, you can withhold the payment while your credit card issuer investigates if the claim meets these requirements, with a few exceptions:

  • The purchase must exceed $50

  • The purchase must have happened within a hundred miles of your billing address or in your home state

If your purchase meets the requirements above, you can let your credit card issuer know you wish to withhold or stop the payment on an item or service you purchased because you’re unhappy with it while the investigation process continues. 

Final Thoughts

Federal laws protect credit card consumers when challenging billing errors and charges for unauthorized purchases. However, challenging a credit card charge doesn’t mean you won’t have to pay–whether you’re responsible for paying the disputed amount depends largely on the outcome of your credit card issuer’s investigation. Of course, if you’re unable to get a dispute approved and need help with credit repair, the experts at The Phenix Group are ready to help.

Wondering how a credit card can help improve your credit score? Take a look at our recent article.

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