Home > Credit Cards > Your Secret Credit Weapon: The Chargeback

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Credit cards can open numerous doors of opportunities, and many even offer great cash-back rewards. But credit cards can also give you a good defense against untrustworthy online sellers. In the event of a dispute with a merchant, it provides the ultimate ace up your sleeve: the chargeback.

What Is a Credit Chargeback?

If you didn’t receive something you ordered, if you received the wrong item, or you just feel otherwise wronged by a transaction, a chargeback can return the money you spend to your account when the merchant refuses to do so. To initiate a credit chargeback, you can file a claim with your credit card company against a merchant. If your card issuer deems your complaint has merit, it will remove the money you paid from the merchant’s account and put it back in yours. Your credit card company is kind of like a tough older brother, talking to the bully who took your lunch money and getting it back.

Is a Chargeback the Same as a Refund?

A chargeback isn’t the same as a refund and shouldn’t be viewed as an alternative. A credit card chargeback should be requested only when a seller or merchant refuses to return your money of its own accord. If a product proves defective or never arrives on your doorstep, your first stop should be traditional channels—that is, the retailer’s customer service desk or phone number.

If, after that, the merchant refuses a rightful refund, you can bring in your bank. Your credit card issuer should have clear instructions for formally disputing a charge, with options including a phone call, a written letter or an online form. There are often time limits and other criteria that must be met so you can’t request a return of funds for a purchase made years ago.

What Qualifies for a Credit Chargeback?

Before you request a chargeback, it’s important to note that some situations qualify and some don’t. The Fair Credit Billing Act is a federal law that dictates how credit card fraud and billing disputes are handled. It defines a number of situations as billing errors, including “goods or services not accepted by the obligor or his designee or not delivered to the obligor or his designee in accordance with the agreement made at the time of a transaction.”

In other words, if you order a product and it never arrives—or if you refuse delivery because it’s not what you expected to receive or it’s been damaged before getting to you—you’re entitled to your money back.

On the other hand, being unsatisfied with a purchase or a product isn’t a reason to request a credit chargeback. The National Consumer Law Center notes in its guide to credit card rights, “You cannot raise a complaint about the quality of merchandise or services you bought with a credit card in the form of a billing dispute.”

Your disappointment will probably help you get a refund, but involving your bank in petty grievances isn’t the way to go. Besides, cardholders who “cry wolf” too often and request too many credit chargebacks will have their requests taken less seriously and may even be put off for months.

Does a Chargeback Affect Your Credit?

A chargeback does not usually affect your credit. The act of filing a chargeback because of a legitimate cause for complaint against a business won’t affect your credit score. The issuer may add a dispute notation to your credit report, but such a notation does not have a negative effect on your credit. You may also be expected to make payments on the disputed charge until the investigation is completed, and late payments will affect your credit score.

However, if your complaint is illegitimate or determined to be fraudulent, your account can be closed by your credit provider, which can affect your score. Even if your charge is legitimate, sometimes the bank will side with the merchant, and then you’ll have to pay accompanying fees. Still, there usually isn’t any negative outcome for your credit score for simply requesting a credit chargeback.

How Do Banks Handle Chargebacks?

As long as the credit card issuer follows the guidelines set out in federal law, it can set its own procedures for how to handle disputes. Take, for instance, the timeframe in which cardholders must contact their issuers, which is set by the FCBA at a minimum of 60 days. Some institutions may extend the timeframe allowed to dispute a charge, but they cannot go below 60 days.

Banks can also ask for documentation to support the cardholder’s claim, including any documentation that will help the issuer fully inform the merchant about the nature of the dispute. So, don’t dispute a charge unless you have some evidence to back up your claim.

Think of disputing your charge like you’re going to court. If you want to make a case against someone or some entity, you need solid, concrete evidence to even have that person arrested and charged. You’ll need some proof of the validity of your dispute for a credit card issuer to even consider your chargeback case.

Finally, it’s worth noting that some banks may go above and beyond the general dispute resolution guidelines to achieve optimal customer satisfaction. Some may even provide a courtesy credit to customers at a loss for the bank.

How Does a Visa Chargeback Work?

Every credit card company handles disputes and credit card issues in a different way. Visa, one of the largest credit card companies, changed its chargeback rules and techniques in 2018 in hopes to streamline and speed up the process.

Visa defines a chargeback as “the reversal of the dollar value (in whole or in part) of a transaction by the card issuer to the acquirer, and usually, by the merchant bank to the merchant.”

At one point, Visa chargebacks took over a month and a half to resolve. However, the process is now mostly automated, meaning customers and merchants don’t have to wait weeks for an issue to be settled.

The process Visa follows is mostly like other companies. When a customer disputes a charge, Visa asks the customer for information about the transaction. An acquirer can then forward that information to a merchant, giving the merchant the option to dispute the customer’s complaint with evidence of its own. The acquirer then collects all of the information and decides who is at fault.

Visa now addresses these disputes from an unbiased perspective, in contrast with its prior perspective as a representative of the customer. Visa’s automated systems act impartially and assign liability to whichever party it deems responsible.

What Is a Return Item Chargeback on a Bank Statement?

A return item chargeback isn’t actually related to the act of disputing a charge through a credit chargeback. A return item chargeback occurs when a bank charges a fee to a cardholder or consumer because of a bounced or rejected check.

A bank will attempt to cash or accept a check for deposit, but the other bank will refuse to make the funds available or a problem will be encountered with the check itself. Thus, a fee will be charged to the writer of the rejected check.

These return item chargebacks will show up on a bank statement as a fee. Consumers want to make sure to avoid this by regularly reviewing their bank statements and always ensuring they have adequate funds before writing a check.

Credit Chargebacks as Consumer Tool

Chargebacks are a potent tool in the consumer’s arsenal, to the point that even threatening a chargeback may scare shady merchants into resolving the disputes themselves. After all, businesses can be seriously hurt if too many chargebacks are requested, even to the point of a bank shutting down its account. Every chargeback also costs merchants a fee, so it’s understandable that merchants want to avoid these if possible.

If the retailer still doesn’t blink, however, don’t hesitate to follow through and take advantage of this key aspect of consumer protection.


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  • Terrance Jackson

    Totally agree with this. Always have a generous return policy. Never force customers into some silly store credit. Give customers their money back and if they want more products from you they will purchase them.

  • demisx

    60-days only for the Blue American Express card. 🙁 I think my merchant new this and dragged it for too long.

  • Commenter

    put an ad on craiglist and give it away or put it on the curb with a sign saying ‘free’

  • Jeanine Skowronski

    Given the complexity of the situation, you might want to consult a consumer attorney.



  • Jeanine Skowronski

    Banks generally have zero liability programs in place that protect against fraud. You may want to contact them to ask how this might apply to the charges from the merchant. You may also want to consult a consumer attorney about your best recourse here. Here is some more information about what to do after identity theft:


    Thank you,


    Thank you,


  • Lisa

    Hi. Question for you. I bought a wig that was advertised as “unprocessed human hair”. I took it to a wig salon to have it dyed and cut. After the cut, the stylist tried to dye it, and then told me that it wouldn’t take the dye because it’s not actually real human hair. It’s synthetic. I paid 4K for this wig because I believed it was real!

    So, I tried to get the vendor to refund my money and she wouldn’t.

    So I filed a chargeback with my credit card company. I submitted all kinds of documents that prove she advertised the wig as “unprocessed human hair” and that prove that it isn’t. As part of the chargeback process, my credit card company asked me to send the vendor an email asking her to send a courier to my house to pick up the wig for a refund. She refused to do that, so I still have it.

    So now here’s my question. I don’t know if I will win the chargeback, but obviously I hope so! But what happens to the wig if I do? Am I required to send it back? Now that I have altered it and PAID to have it altered, it has some value to me (although not what I paid for it). Is there a way to reconcile this? (To be clear, I’m really not trying to run a scam. It’s just that I paid to have it cut and altered before I knew it was a fake, and I don’t want to lose that money.)

    Thanks for your help. I really appreciate this resource of information!

    • Jeanine Skowronski

      Every chargeback program is different. You may want to call your issuer and ask how theirs works specifically.

      Thank you,


  • adelin


    I bought 2 phone 1 week ago ,but the phones were never delivered. They tried to deliver the phone ones, but I was not at home. During this week there were supposed to deliver the phone and they didn’t do it( they said they “tried”, but I was at home during those days ). I tried to get a refund since I never got the phone ,but the rude customer service hangs up the phone every time that try to get my refund.

    I also called the carrier to return the package to phone company since they are not going to deliver( phones will stay 7 days carrier location and them it will be sent back)

    thank you

    • Jeanine Skowronski

      You can try disputing the charge with your credit card issuer, though each has its own policy requiring what qualifies.

      Thank you,


  • RKat

    I have a question regarding chargebacks. So I was using this online selling site called [redacted]. I purchased an item and the seller had 7 days to send me the item. The seller didn’t send it in the allotted amount of time so I received an email from the website saying that my order was cancelled because the seller failed to ship in time. The email said they had issued me a refund. Two days later I get an email from the website company saying that they made a mistake and the seller had finally shipped the item and now I was going to be billed for it after all. Can they do that? Days later reinstate an order that they already announced was canceled? I have emailed them multiple times about this and they keep saying they can reinstate a purchase like that. I think this is wrong. Anyone have any insight into this? Can a chargeback be put in place?

    Please advise.

    • Jeanine Skowronski

      You may be able to dispute the charge with your credit card company and get a refund, but each chargeback policy is different. You can call to ask if this would apply.



  • mayank singh

    Hi, I purchased a sofa and love seat from local furniture store. The sales person showed me a fabric sofa with recliner which was available the store. Since I wanted something in leather, he showed other model on one booklet and told it’s all same with the difference being it’s Leather. I purchased the items using visa credit card. Meanwhile my wife took pictures of that model and we came home. Next day we realized that model didn’t had recliners and the receipt I got didn’t mention any model number just “Sofa and Love seat”.

    Mistake on my part was that I didn’t carefully read description of the model salesperson showed me on booklet. I argued with shop owner but he refused to listen or understand. Salesperson told when he mentioned “it’s same” he meant by the quality and company of the sofa and not the features.

    1. Shall I file a dispute immediately or wait for the sofa to get delivered.

    2. What are the options merchant has to win the dispute.

    • Jeanine Skowronski

      You may want to review the terms and conditions associated with your credit card to see what their policy on chargebacks is.

      Thank you,


  • Jeanine Skowronski

    You may want to consult a consumer attorney about your best recourse.

    Thank you,


  • Ron

    I bought a shipment of screws from a merchant in June. I put the charge on my [redacted] card. The merchant charged me 1292.55 immediately, then 1163.30 about a week later. (The 1163.30 was the correct amount) After a few weeks the merchandise still hadn’t come and I was unable to reach the merchant by phone. I disputed both charges. Then the merchant contacted me and said that he had sent it to the wrong address and that I would get it promptly. Consequently, I agreed in writing to his bank that the charge for 1163.30 was valid.
    Meanwhile, he turned in paperwork to fight the dispute showing proof of delivery on the 1292.55. So [redacted] decided the dispute in his favor. Now I have lost on both charges. I tried explaining it at length to [redacted] and they encouraged me to get the merchant to issue me a refund since he was basically saying he would. Well, he kept putting me off and off until quite a lot of time had expired and then suddenly stopped taking my calls. Now [redacted] won’t take up the dispute anymore since it has been too long since the dispute started. Is there anything I can do? I’m kind of desperate and any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Jeanine Skowronski

      Hi, Ron,

      You may want to consult a consumer attorney for legal advice.

      Thank you,


  • kim peck

    I bought a pair of [redacted] shoes and within ten minutes of wearing the whole platform fell off resulting in me falling and being extremely embarrassed and now company won’t refund me because they are worn ( even though it was approximately ten minutes) and the were final sale. But all that shouldn’t matter because there is no way shoes that expensive should fall apart that quickly. It’s like they have been sitting on a shelf for years what should I do?

    • Jeanine Skowronski

      HI, Kim,

      If you’ve had the shoes for years, a chargeback may no longer be option since issuers typically require you dispute the charge within a certain timeframe.

      Thank you,


      • lakua

        I don’t think you understand. She said “It’s *like* they have been sitting on a shelf for years”. Try reading it again.

        • Jeanine Skowronski


          I see. If that’s the case you can try calling your card issuer to see what the process for filing a dispute may be.

          Thank you,


  • Lauren Dees

    I recently bought a costume on etsy that was no refunds. The costume came and it was a different color and style and some of the pieces were missing. I asked for a refund and she said she would fix it. I said no I really just want a refund this is nothing like we discussed. She said okay. As soon as I get it back I will give you a refund. The day it arrived she said I’ll give you the refund on Friday. On Friday there was no refund so I opened a case through etsy. She said close the case and I’ll make the refund. Of course once you do that I didn’t realize meant you couldn’t open another case on the same sale. I tried pay pay but she told pay pay it was as discussed and that I wore the costume (it’s not even halloween yet) so they declined it. I appealed to pp with a list of all the ways it was materially different and that is still pending. I also applied for a chargeback but I’m afraid she will keep saying it was the same. What are my odds of winning and could I call the police as she’s got the item and the cash now. Seems to me once she agrees to a refund in writing that amends the terms of the sale and her offering it to me to get the item back would be detrimental reliance. If I have to sue I’m not even sure what jurisdiction it would be. Help

    • Jeanine Skowronski

      Hi, Lauren,

      You may want to consult a consumer protection attorney for legal advice.

      Thank you,


  • xixy

    i owned a little website i so i received 3 complaints 2months ago 1 customer received the items but went ahead and opened a claim the second one i sent the stuff to her billing address instead of shipping and the third one didn’t even wait the 2-4 weeks required for delivery but went and files a claim the bank tried to take the money back despite the proof and tracking numbers but i didn’t have the funds in my account so they kept taking until i had massive overcraft and i had to close my website reimburse my bank and close that account i emailed my customers but none of them replied i am assuming they have been reimbursed i dont know i haven’t paid back the customer’s money thèse customers live respectively in canada england and france am i at risk of being sued?

    • Jeanine Skowronski

      HI, Xixy,

      You may want to consult a consumer attorney to find out what your liabilities may be.

      Thank you,


  • Vikki Campbell

    Well, I used to bank with [redacted], and a merchant did not fix my vehicle properly. I received two charge backs from [redacted] and now my account is closed due to overdraft fees. On top of providing them with a receipt from another merchant stating that I had the vehicle towed from the first merchant. Why was I responsible for the charges when I had to get my vehicle towed because they did not fix it?

  • Jetta Ward

    I disputed a charge for a furniture company that promised to take back the furniture after battling them for 5 months to give me a refund. I called the merchant and told them I was tired of their excuses and I was calling my bank to place it in dispute..which I did. After having called the Better Business Bureau and the Consumer Affairs of Florida..with not much help..I just wanted all of the frustration and aggravation to end. The merchant called me a day or so later and said they would remove the furniture and issue a credit to my account..a few days later the credit was applied. My next statement showed both the disputed charge as a credit and also the merchant credit. I thought nothing of it as this happens and the credit card makes the adjustment back to the merchant. Ten months later the merchant put the charge back on my account. In trying to find out information on the rules of the FTC..The credit card company has 60 to 90 days to credit back the merchant..and the merchant has 15 days to request an inquiry as to why it was not credited back to them. The credit card dispute department tells me it is the fault of the merchant because they never put any notice to the bank and their time ran out…The dispute department representative told me not to worry the merchant did not follow Visa procedure rules. Any one know about something like this ?

  • Jetta Ward

    After 5 months of disputing about my defective furniture and months of empty promises of a refund I disputed the charge with Capitol One. Then I called the store manager and said I put the charge in dispute..I had enough. The store manager would not speak to me but relayed a message from one of the sales people that they would pick up the furniture and give me a credit. They did take the furniture back and a credit was issued. My next statement had the credit from the merchant issued and also a credit for the same amount from the credit card. I had a credit balance. I assumed it would be straightened out between the bank and the credit card . ..All of the rest of the following statements showed the current charges and I paid the bill.;;always pay the full bill. TEN months later the merchant put the charge back on my statement. I immediately called the merchant and spoke to the manager and said someone is using my card ..I don’t buy anything from you. She said, quite nastily. . you did a dispute and we also gave you a credit and we want our money now.. .you better call the owner of the store and talk to him. I have disputed items purchased through the internet a few times and waited a long time for a return credit or never received an item charged and dispute the charge..The bank always took the proper measures.. . and made the adjustments. The issue was between the bank and the merchant. Now 10 months later the charge from the merchant has been put back on my card. I immediately called Capitol One dispute department and explained what happened. The representative from Capitol one said. . . The merchant can NOT put any charges on my card without authorization. They also said the merchant was at fault by the Visa rules. There is procedure to follow by a merchant and they did not do it properly. She gave me her word this would not be charged back to me…Any opinions from any one on this ?

    • Lilly

      Hi Jetta,
      The credit card company is correct that the merchant cannot charge your card, but legally, the merchant has 3 years to go after you and pursue the return of the funds and take you to court or sell your account to a collection agency, just like the IRS can, so can regular businesses. Hope this helps. You can google the IRS refund question and there will be more info on it. It’s kind of like just because you find money or get it by mistake as a refund, it does mean it’s yours to keep, bummer I know, but is true.

  • Renee

    Hi I just stumbled across this since I am currently disputing a charge with an online furniture retailer. I thought the process was going well and this was after I asked all the right questions: 1. Was the furniture new and where would it be coming from (manufacturer), 2. Which shipping company would it go to and would they deliver to my house and set this up, and 3. What happens if it is damaged and what is the time frame for the delivery and/or if a repair is necessary. Of course, the “family owned business” sales peoples said all the right things. I was excited when the furniture showed up in 3 weeks; however, it showed up in a Ryder moving van with some people who looked like might have just been hired right off the street. The furniture was damaged and they told us it came that way from the manufacturer. Upon many phone calls to the furniture company, I was told I had to accept a less than qualified (what I deemed qualityrepair) remedy (which is stated in their online policy) from them and that it would be weeks before the “manufacturer’s parts” came in. After doing some research, I found many other consumer had been taken by this company in the same manner. Upon further research and phone calls, I found that the furniture actually never came from the manufacturer as indicated. I have been documenting all of this (I am a CPA and auditor) and making the case to help my credit card company out when these scam artists try to defend themselves. I believe they are running a scheme of shipping defective furniture, saying they will repair it and when the repair isn’t acceptable and it takes the 4-6 weeks after the original ship date, your are now past your 60 days to dispute. I have been proactive in my case. I just hope the credit card company doesn’t give in and give me the loyalty credit since it is over $2,200 and these people do not keep their money!

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      Wow. We hope you’ll let us know how this turns out.

    • Jetta Ward

      That happened to me too. They sent a guy to my house with a small satchel..looked like a doctors bag. He pulled out a bunch of cotton balls and stuffed it into the back cushions of our chair and sofa. He over stuffed it and it now was worse…lumpy like cottage cheese thighs…
      I took pictures and sent them to the customer service department and they sent another guy …and he also just stuffed a different thing in there..not good. I kept complaining and for five months had brand new furniture sitting in my living room that looked like I bought it a Goodwill…Now in a dispute with them..read above.. Horrible people and they could care less how upsetting and frustrating they are making your life. I complained to the BBB in my town and the Consumer Affairs.. they did help some. Sent letters. Good luck to you.

  • casey cadwell

    I sold a dunk tank which is a carnival type throw the ball and dunk your boss piece of equipment to a party rental company. The buyer asked to see pictures of what he would receive. The pictures of the dunk tank were high resolution and of the exact dunk tank he was buying. In fact, my daughter and my back yard were in the pictures. My daughter was being dunked. It was in new condition and used once for a demonstration. He bought it with a significant discount. Once he received it, he used my pictures I sent him to market his new dunk tank on his website. He also quoted his customers that the dunk tanks was $295 per day to rent.

    Two months later he disputed the charge saying the dunk tank was not as described. However, he described the dunk tank to his customers using the pictures of the dunk tank with my daughter and back yard in his marketing materials.

    He received all his money back and never returned the dunk tank. I disputed his charge back yet lost the dispute. The invoice stated the return period is 7 days and that the buyer is responsible for freight both directions. I did not have his signature on the invoice but I did have email correspondence from him that showed he bought and received the dunk tank.

    I did a Googe search on this guy. He is mentioned numerous times in the http://www.ripoffreport.com for this exact type of scam with charge-backs. Unfortunately, the consumer (credit card) laws seems to allow him to get away with this scam. What can I do to recoup my $1500?

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      Can you take him to small claims court?

  • Steve

    It is not considered theft (it’s a civil matter), but you are entitled to contact Visa and request that the item be shipped back to you (at your cost). You generally have 60 days to make this request. If the buyer fails to send the item back, Visa may re-charge him. Your “no refund” policy doesn’t apply if the item is alleged to be not as described. Similarly, a car dealership may have a no refund policy, but if the transmission goes a week later, most states have a lemon law that entitles you to a refund.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    I am not an expert in fighting chargebacks from the merchant perspective unfortunately. I’d suggest you start with your representative at the organization that set you up with your merchant account. If they can’t help you then you may need to take the client to small claims court.

  • Paige White

    Before you go off simply filing a dispute keep in mind we the consumers spend hours and hours writing these reports. I have spent a tremendous amount of time simply because the customer does want comply to our policies. We fully insure parts and educate our customers on activating the insurance by notating damage on the delivery receipt. We highly advise all our customer yet they don’t want to read or listen to us until its too late and it is damage! Then we the small family own business suffer the lost business because of you lazy customers that do not want to activate your fully insured products!!! I am so sick of you complainer and curse you all that read this page! This is so sick this is why small businesses can not survive because of you pathetic customers dont want to do your part!

    • JB

      Curse all that read this page? I know dealing with chargebacks sucks, but LOL.

  • Brittany

    I have a question, if you guys could please help me out:::: I went to buy a wedding dress, but was upset that they had none in my size. The ladies told me that they could order a dress in a size 10, and could bring it down it down to a size 6, which would just fit me. I explained that I had just gotten off medication that caused me to gain weight, and I was losing weight as my body was getting back to it’s normal size. I asked about their return policy and they told me that there were no returns normally, but to let them know if I lost weight bc the dress would not fit me. They told me that I had to pay for the dress then or it would sell out fast and I would have no options. I was upset, and crying, the worst experience….. Anyway, I was planning on leaving on leaving mid-august for my wedding and they told me that the dress wouldn’t be in until the beginning of august to see if it would fit and start alterations (they had it order it from the manufacturer. In the meantime, I have lost more weight and am still losing it, the dress is a size 10 and I am closer to a size 2-4. I called them today to let them know that the dress won’t fit, like they had told me, and asked to cancel my order (the dress wasn’t supposed to be in until august). I told them that I needed a lot of things altered and would do it through them and they could just refund me the difference. They refused and told me that I had to come get the dress, or not, but they would not refund me. They also said that the dress came in yesterday. The purchase was $1200, is there anything I can do to get a refund? I told them that I would pay any shipping costs, but they said that’s not an option.

  • BBH

    I have major issues with a national retail store. I took my lawn mower to them for a spring tune up and specifically requested the electric start to be fixed. We paid a total of $117 for the repairs. Because we had not plugged in the mower to charge the battery we had just used the pull start. When we finally charged the starter and tried to use it the starter did not work. We tried to take it back in so they could complete the repair that was paid for but not done. We had also asked for the blade to be replaced and realized with closer inspection this was also not done. The retailer has since discontinued the service due to growing quality issues with the contractor they were paying to do the work. They referred us to a local repair shop and said their corporate offices would cover the cost. Now that the mower is repaired they are refusing to either pay for the local repairs totalling $211 or to refund the original amount for services they did not provide. The local shop documented it was obvious the work was not originally done. We have attempted to escalate the issue with the retailer but with no results. Would this qualify for a dispute?

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      It depends on how much time is elapsed since you made the purchase. You can generally file a dispute within 60 days of the date the original bill with the charge was mailed to you. There is another section of the law that gives you the right to file a dispute in the case of quality issues. Yours may qualify but if you’ve paid your bill in full since you received the bill with that charge on it, then you’re out of luck in terms of that section of the law.

      I’d say it’s worth a try though

  • terdsak Suphatharophatphong

    I did purchased the furnitures from Living spaces store and they were schedule to delivered on 06/14/15. The delivery guys left 3 items at my entry way and there are 3 more items to delivered in my place and assemply them. However, I requested them to have something to cover their shoes cuz my floor is carpet. They decide to leave without my signature which items were delivered. I called the customer service and they said 6 items were delivered to my house and they had charged me all at the day of the delivery. I decided to call AMEX to dispute the charges. Can you please advice if Living space need my signature for the proof of delivery for the right to charge me? I know that AMEX will ask for the proof from Living space but Is the signature for delivery is the first proof AMEX looking for?

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      Amex is going to simply try to establish whether you have a valid dispute. If what you are saying is correct–that you ordered 6 pieces but only three were delivered–then it sounds like you have a valid dispute. Have you tried returning to the store to talk with a manager? It’s a good idea, when possible, to try to resolve the problem with the merchant.

      • terdsak Suphatharophatphong

        I did stop by at the store yesterday and asked to talk to the manager but they said they will call back but i still havnt heard. I cakled this morning and ask for the update. An agent told me that the driver already dropped them off at my place so im not sure what to do and I havnt received those items.

        • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

          I’d suggest contacting your local Better Business Bureau and your credit card company to request a chargeback.

  • sherry

    Hi: I made a purchase at a store but did not receive the items the say day instead they were sending it to my house via Fed Ex with a required signature- The receipt did say no refunds only exchanges within 14 days. I contacted the store a few hours after I left and asked if they would cancel the order as I no longer needed the merchandise and refund my card as a one time courtesy. The manager said she would speak to her boss and call me the next day. Needless to say no one contacted me and the charge of $2400 is on my card. I placed a dispute on the charge. I later on received a package from FED EX from the store and I did not accept delivery from FED EX. A few days later they sent the box back and it was just left at my front door. Do I have any recourse here? The box is still sitting outside and I have not opened it.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      If I understand the situation, you bought something and agreed to a no refund policy at the time of purchase then changed your mind. If that’s correct, then unfortunately the chargeback is really not designed to cover buyer’s remorse. If, however, the items they sent you were materially different in some way from what you purchased in the store then you may have a valid dispute.

      By the same token the definition of a billing error does include: “(3) A reflection on a statement of goods or services not
      accepted by the obligor…” so you may have that in your favor. You’ll need to work with your card issuer to resolve it, and if they won’t help try the CFPB or your state attorney general’s office. Or a consumer law attorney.

  • MC

    I’m concerned about the 60-120 window to dispute a charge. This week I submitted in writing with evidence a dispute to Citicard for a refund related to cabinets I ordered and never received. The deposit ($8.7K) was made in 11/2014 and delivery time was supposed to be ~14 weeks. After 14 weeks we were calling and following up with the company and getting the run around. They had many excuses for the delays. We were then promised a delivery date verbally for first week of June, and it obviously didn’t happen. Now we are giving up on this company and want our money back. Will the fact it’s been over 6 months hurt us in getting a charge back? We submitted evidence of what was ordered, the payment made, and a log of the fact we’ve called 40 times since January.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      It’s worth a try. The 60 day time period is spelled out in federal law but your card issuer can attempt a good faith chargeback.

  • Janice

    My husband and I researched drug rehabilitation programs for our son, and decided upon a 90-day luxury resort program, for $33,200.00, which offered 24/7 Professional, Medical Detoxification Specialists, at a state-of-the-art facility, and charged the fee to our credit cards. Three days later we found that our son was taken to an old run-down house, with broken windows, dirty, etc., and that he was being monitored only by chain-smoking ex-drug addicts and that the program was sponsored by The Church of Scientology. We were HORRIFIED both by the conditions, the lack of medical specialists and that it was The Church of Scientology! Panic strickened, we removed our son after 4 days, with the protection of two police officers. (He was in California and we live in Maryland) VISA denied our claim as “… a quality issue.” We believe that we had complied with the dispute guidelines and that CapitalOne Quicksilver VISA, did not want to get involved for the $16,500.00. Do you think that we have any recourse with VISA?

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      Janice – This is a tough one no doubt. Visa doesn’t usually get involved in individual disputes–that’s the responsibility of the issuer.

      But you could complain to them about the fact that this merchant is able to accept credit cards when their services sound very questionable. (Gather as much information as you can–perhaps there are other complaints you can find.)

      As for your dispute, given the amount of money involved, I’d suggest you at least talk with a consumer law attorney.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    I sent you an email.

  • gonzocpfd

    I had a company recently call me about a purchase I made over a year ago. I have a copy of the receipt with a credit card authorization #. Apperently they never received funds. They are asking for a copy of my bank statement showing that funds were taken out of my account. I do not want to share such information. Do I legally have any obligation? Thank you.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      I don’t know if you are legally required to show them that, but my concern is that if you don’t the bill may wind up in collections. Can you take the statement to your bank and ask them to verify for this company that the funds were withdrawn?

  • Lisa Brains

    I had a family member steal my debit card because their reasoning was the bank would reimburse me for the fraud because that is what their bank did. Problem was this douche changed my pin so it looked like I gave it to him. I found out it was him because after the bank refused my claim he said they were wrong because it happened to him, he finally admitted to doing it after his girlfriend got mad an told me he did it. $200 lost but a better lesson learned.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler


  • Jared Schuren

    I have a customer who rented our property during SXSW in Austin. They paid $2,500, on-line, via a credit card. The day of their arrival, they claimed the place smelled like smoke and requested a refund. I had several unbiased parties conclude that it did not smell and I refused the refund. They processed a charge-back thru their credit card company and the funds were automatically withdrawn from my account during the dispute process. I do not have a re-fund policy and they were made aware of that. Will I lose the case and never see those funds again? Any help or thoughts would be greatly appreciated. – Jared

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      We don’t know. You’ll know when you get the results of the dispute process.

    • forum11

      Jared, what was the outcome of the dispute process? Did the bank find in your favor or the renter’s? If the bank found in the renter’s favor, have you considered legal action through small claims court?

  • R Reed

    Jan 2015 Citibank charged over $5000 to a local merchant. The merchant didn’t use my name, number, security code or zip code. I called Citibank as soon as I saw the statement and was told they were closing my card, filing a fraud investigation and issuing a new card. I contacted the merchant, who was extremely confused, for the reasons stated above. Fast forward to April 2015 when Citibank STILL won’t remove the charges, and won’t tell me why. Every time I talk to them, it’s “2 to 3 business days”… the merchant has attempted several times to run it thru as a credit to be posted, but Citibank doesn’t accept it. I am at my wits’ end.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      The Fair Credit Billing Act is very specific on deadlines for resolving investigations when you allege a billing error. Ideally you should put your dispute in writing (that ensures you are protecting your rights under that law. If you haven’t done so, we recommend you send them a letter by certified mail asap to the address listed on your statement for billing errors. You have 50 days from the date the statement containing the charge was mailed to you to assert a billing error, but there is no time limit for fraudulent charges so even if that time period has elapsed you may want to do so anyway. At the same time, it sounds like it would be a good idea to file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They may be able to help you get this resolved.

  • Kathy

    I ordered something from Best Buy on 12/8/14 (for Christmas). Item was never received. The tracking information from the Post Office shows it went to the post office, but never went out for delivery. I called Best Buy and was told I could not cancel the item because it was shipped. Told them it was never received and she pulled it up and said yes, it was sent to post office but shows it never went out for delivery. She transferred me to “the back office” and I was disconnected. Tried again; same thing; disconnected. I sent an email stating I never received item and I want a refund (on 12/24/14). Never got a refund. Opened a dispute with my credit card, amount refunded to my card in January. In March, I receive a collection notice for the amount. . . . I have all documentation and am going after them!!!

  • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

    Check your email. We have some questions.

  • Pogo74

    Visa dispute experts – In Jan 2015 I was scammed by a jeweler in Jerusalem who misreprented the quality and value of a pair of earrings and I bought it hook, line, and sinker with my Chase Visa. Upon return to the states I had a local jeweler confirm my suspicions that I was scammed and initiated a charge dispute with Chase. I had no expectations that this would be approved, but I figured it was worth a shot. A month later I check my account activity and see that they applied an adjustment to reverse the charge 2 days ago. Chase never even asked me for supporting documentaion. The online dispute record does not indicate dispute status and I received no correspondance from Chase, but it still gives me the option to cancel the dispute. My question is, does the adjustment mean the dispute is permanently resolved in my favor or could it be a temporary adjustment while the dispute is still pending? The obvious answer is to call Chase and find out, but my instinct is to let the sleeping dog lie. Thoughts?

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      Some card issuers issue a temporary refund while they investigate the consumer’s claims. It would be smart to keep your supporting documentation. You may be asked for it at some point.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Thanks for your perspective. We wrote about that problem in this story: Can You Shoplift Online?

  • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

    MissMandi —
    Sadly, such protections generally do not apply to debit cards. See Credit Cards Vs. Debit Cards: What’s Safer?

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    I am sorry but I am lost – I am not following the explanation. Is the problem that you never got the goods but they reversed the charge??

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  • Gerri Detweiler

    Matt –

    Great piece and good advice for consumers. I would add a couple of thoughts from my experiences helping consumers.

    1. If the dollar amount is at all significant, but your dispute in writing and send it certified mail, return receipt requested. Keep a copy for your records.

    2. While some issuers may give you longer to dispute a charge, the 60-day window is what is offered under federal law, so if there’s a problem make sure you file your dispute promptly. I say that because there are less-than-reputable companies that will sometimes drag their feet on returns or credits in order to allow those 60 days to pass by.

    3. I wouldn’t hold off on filing a dispute just because I didn’t have the documentation. Depending on what the situation is (goods never received, for example) it may be the merchant who has to prove their case – not you.

    Again, great piece and I hope consumers use it to help protect themselves.


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