How to dispute a credit card charge

Written by ehow contributor
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An unrecognized or incorrect charge on your credit card statement can be alarming, but it's often easy to put out the flames.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Telephones
  • Credit Cards And Loans

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  1. 1

    Identify incorrect charges.

  2. 2

    Contact the merchant directly if the charge amount is incorrect. Explain the situation and ask the merchant to correct it.

  3. 3

    Contact your credit card company if the merchant is unable or unwilling to assist you. Tell the credit card company you would like to dispute a charge on your account.

  4. 4

    Give your information to the credit card company over the phone. Some companies will send you a form to complete, sign and return. These forms often require an explanation of the situation, as well as copies of any receipts.

  5. 5

    Wait to hear the resolution. Your credit card company is obligated to respond to you within 30 days of receiving your completed form.

Tips and warnings

  • Try to gather any relevant receipts before engaging in a dispute. These can often speed up resolution.
  • Try to resolve the disputed charge with the merchant first. The merchant's phone number is sometimes listed on your credit card statement next to the charge.
  • Most credit card account disclosures state that the customer can be liable for up to the first $50 in fraudulent charges. Few credit card companies actually assess this charge.
  • If your dispute gets denied, don't give up. Determine if there is additional information you can provide. Ask your credit card company about your options.
  • Check the dollar amount of the unrecognized charge, as some companies (particularly telemarketers) bill their charges under different names.
  • If there are multiple unrecognized charges on your bill, someone may have access to your account number, in which case you are the victim of fraud. Report this to your credit card company as soon as possible. It will cancel your account number and issue you a new one immediately. It will also usually require you to sign a form stating that you do not recognize, nor did you engage in the specified transactions.

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