A credit card chargeback is when someone disputes a charge to their credit card account and either does not have to pay the amount in question or gets a refund from their issuer. If a customer believes they were wrongly charged, they have 60 days after receiving their statement to notify the credit card company of the error. The issuer then has 90 days to resolve the issue one way or another. If they rule in favor of the merchant, the charge will stay on the statement. But if they rule in favor of the customer, they’ll void their payment to the merchant. And they’ll remove the charge from the customer’s account.
If you’re thinking about disputing a credit card charge, there are a few more details about the process that will be helpful to know.
Here’s what you should know about a credit card chargeback:
Credit card receipts are used to determine who is correct when there’s a disputed charge, so it is a good idea to save them. For example, let’s say that a you were sent the wrong item by an online merchant, and they refused to correct the error. If you saved the email receipt, you’d be able to prove what you actually bought.
If you believe you’ve been charged in error by a merchant you frequent, it’s worth calling them before formally disputing the charge. In the case of a genuine error, the merchant will probably be responsive, and you may be able to clear up the mistake faster. If all goes well, the merchant will void the transaction, and it won’t show up on your monthly statement.
If you see charges on your statement from a merchant you’ve never done business with, you may be the victim of identity theft. You should alert your card’s issuer as soon possible. Your current card will be deactivated, and you’ll get a new card with new security data. You should also keep eye on your credit reports, so you can dispute fraudulent information. You may even want to put a freeze on your reports to keep unauthorized individuals from applying for credit in your name. And there are a few other steps you could take, too, such as changing the passwords to your email and key financial accounts.
You can’t use the credit card chargeback process to avoid paying for items that you genuinely purchased. But both merchants and issuers usually are eager to help customers resolve any wrongful charges. Just make sure to check your statements carefully and register disputes as soon as possible, since you only have 60 days to do so.
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