Millions of people have credit cards. When statements come at the end of a billing period, many groan at the idea of opening their statement. It’s important to open it and pay attention to each transaction in the statement. While it’s easy to use a credit card, mistakes happen and so does identity theft. By not checking the transactions on the statement, millions of people assume responsibility for purchases and transactions that don’t belong to them.
It’s very important to check each transaction on a credit card statement. While many times, the balance can be overwhelming, the reason for the balance lies in the transactions. When a mistake is made, many don’t think they have any recourse but that’s not true. When an error is found, it’s important for the card holder to call their credit card company and dispute the charge immediately.
When to Hold and When to Fold
The idea of disputing a credit card charge seems daunting. Many people imagine credit card company employees as ruthless, money hungry goblins. That is not true. Most credit card companies are aware that mistakes happen, identity theft is rampant and sometime weird things just happen. When someone finds a fraudulent transaction on their credit card statement, a simple conversation can resolve it.
Some people have found charges they didn’t authorize on their account. It could be purchases made by their children accidentally or charges for goods or services the cardholder refuses to accept. When these things happen, it’s very important to understand the source of the charge before calling the credit card company. Most companies will work with their card holders to reverse the charge and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
There are times that people fall victim to identity theft and get a huge surprise with their monthly statement. When someone’s credit card account has been compromised, it’s not always obvious until the monthly statement comes. When this happens, it’s very important to contact the credit card company immediately and report the charges. If it’s a case of identity theft, there may be other hurdles to go through to help minimize the damages but it’s worth completing.
How to Correctly Dispute Errors
Most credit card companies will allow an initial dispute to be filed over the phone with their customer service representatives. Many times, these issues can be resolved with little to no fuss. There may be other times that other procedures have to be followed.
When disputing a charge, the best time to dispute it is the day that it’s noticed. The details are often fresh and can be recalled easier. Most credit card companies will allow their customers to dispute charges up to 60 days after the statement. While it’s best to place a call immediately, sending a written dispute is also great.
Written complaints demand an investigation and response. These letters should be addressed to the errors and disputes address that is given. These letters and complaints should be detailed and give as much information about the situation as possible. If necessary, request proof of purchase. Requesting the letter be sent certified with a proof of delivery isn’t unheard of in these situations either.
Once the dispute has been received, the credit card company has 90 days or 2 billing cycles to investigate and follow up with the complaint. Many times, communications may come in the form of additional phone calls to get more information. Once a decision has been made, the findings will be mailed. If proof of purchase has been requested, it will also be mailed. Once the dispute has been resolved, the disputed amount will be owed or dismissed.
When a dispute has been filed, consumers can’t be punished by having their accounts closed. They also can’t be told to pay the disputed amount until an investigation has been done. Disputing these errors can save millions of dollars each year if done properly.