A billing error is every credit card holder's nightmare. It can be frustrating and stressful wiring out problems arising from unauthorized use and erroneous charges. With a little patience and a lot of organization, though, you can win the battle. How do you dispute an unauthorized purchase you did not make on your credit card? Here are some pointers to remember.
1. Act fast.
Once you see any irregularity, complain IN WRITING immediately. It's not enough to just call the bank. The Fair Credit Billing Act of 2007 gives Filipino consumers the right to dispute a credit card purchase and withhold payment until it is settled. However, the disputes must be filed (in writing) within a month (30 days) after your bill is sent. While you are disputing a charge, you do not have to pay the disputed amount. The bank should not charge you interest on it.
2. Take note of details.
Every time you call the bank to follow up on the status of your dispute, not the name of the customer service agent you talked to and the time and date of your conversation. This will make it easier for you and the bank to trace back any promises made or actions already taken. By being organized and documenting everything, you make it easier to dispute a purchase on your credit card.
3. Prepare for possible arbitration.
When the dispute is not resolved among you, the merchant, and the credit card issuer, be prepared to go into arbitration. The issue will now be decided by either MasterCard or Visa. This happens very rarely. In fact, only 1% of disputes ever reach this stage, according to Visa.
4. Prevent errors in the first place.
- Prevention really is better than cure, even when it comes to finances. To minimize the risk of erroneous or unauthorized billing, be very careful of how and when you divulge your credit card information. Do not give details over the phone, and if you have to use it online, make sure that the website is secure.
- When in a mall, always look closely as the cashier swipes the card into the machines. Make sure that he / she swipes it only ONCE to prevent double or triple charges.
- Finally, keep the receipts until your statement arrives. Immediately double check each transaction.
5. Be patient.
Some issues are settled in a matter of hours, but some can go on for 6 months or more. Do not let this stressful situation take over your life. Just allocate an hour or so week for making follow ups.