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How to Dispute Credit Card Charges Successfully



Imagine you have just received your credit card and, anxious to make your maiden purchase, you have bought some expensive electronic gadgets to make your wife and kids happy. But all of a sudden, these gadgets break down or malfunction for some weird and quite ungodly reason. Now you realize that you have to pay monthly installments and bulky interest for a pile of broken stuff. This situation is really unpleasant, isnít it? Relax and donít panic.

Things may not be as bad as they seem because the purchases youíve made with your credit card are guaranteed under the provisions of the Fair Credit Billing Act. This piece of legislation offers the opportunity to withhold a payment on damaged or low-quality products. The law allows consumers to withhold payment on poor-quality or damaged products, as well as on wrongly billed items, until the issue gets resolved. The brief guide bellow suggests some steps to take.

Step One: Get in Touch with the Merchant

Go back to the merchant and do your best to resolve the issue with him. If you approach him with courtesy and respect, chances are that he will be quite willing help you out of this awkward situation. If the first representative you communicate with is unhelpful, ask if you can talk to the supervisor on duty or to some of the managers. Donít forget to keep a record of all oral and written communication and the officials you spoke to, together with date and time, so that you can make a good use of this information and quote it, if things go as far as hearings in a courtroom.

Step Two: Write a Letter of Complaint

If your first encounter with the merchant proves unsuccessful, do not hesitate to get down to writing the complaint - draft a brief and concise letter which outlines the particular dispute and mail the letter to the merchant. Use the ordinary ďsnail mailĒ, but not your email. The ordinary letter of complaint still has a tangible weight and undisputed gravity. Make sure to send a copy of this letter to top your credit card issuer, so as to assure them that you made an attempt to resolve the issue with the merchant. Then you should write another letter to your credit card company so that you officially inform it of the issue. Some of the credit card companies will send a form to fill in, sign, and return. Typically, the credit card company will require that you explain the situation and enclose copies of receipts. Your credit card issuer is obliged to respond to your claim within 30 days.

Under the the Fair Credit Billing Act, you should send a notice (not later than sixty days after you receive the bill) about the disputed charge. Do not forget to include a detailed explanation about the item you dispute, your account number, and the exact reasons for which you're withholding the payment. You have to also send a copy of the letter of complaint to the merchant, together with any other documents that support your claim.

Step Three: Donít Forget about Other Payments

The fact that you dispute an item on your bill does not exempt you from executing other payments. In case you have used your card for paying something else during this cycle, you have to make a promptly payment, or you will be punished with late-payment charges and penalty interest.

Step Four: Wait for Results

If you have taken all three steps described above, the only thing you can do is wait to hear the results of your case. Remember that the key to a successful credit card charge claim is your fast, adequate, and responsible reaction.

If your dispute claim is denied, think of other relevant information that you can provide. In case that you notice more than one unrecognized charge, you may be a victim of fraud. Report to you card issuer immediately, so that your account number is canceled. You have to just sign a form that you did not engage in the transactions.