Monday, July 7, 2008

What should I do when I don`t recognize a charge? ...or a practical giude to chargebacks

Most people check their charges only once a month or once every 3 months (3 months is not recommended however as it`s way too long and you might end up abused by fraudsters). Some other people check it online before the statements are being issued which is more adequate as one could thus see potential multiple billing, fraudulent charges so on..

Then the next thing that is advisable would be to check for the contact phone number next to the charge. The reason for that is simple - in over 40% of the cases the charges are legitimate just that showing under a different brand than what you are used to call the store. Say for example you had a charge for $7.55 showing from COFFEE RET. 888-555-2343 but you don`t remember having paid it to Coffee anything but do remember a $7.55 charge from STARBUCKS. It is just an example of how charges might show - I`m not by no means implying that`s how Starbucks charges show.

Considering it helpfully for Consumers and Companies both to be aware of this misunderstanding I have put together a list of merely suggestions on how can things get straightened out before any of the parties ends up with loss.

Step 1) Look for the phone number next to the charge.
Why would you do it? One good reason is because sometimes the Merchant that shows on your statement and the name of the store (online or not) may be different.

Step 2) Call the number in case you are having doubts on the legitimacy of a charge. Once you call that number ask for what that Company sells or what their area of business is. This way you ensure you will not dispute/ chargeback a legitimate charge.

Step 3) Once you know what the Company does or sells decide whether you or some secondary cardholder (usually family members) used it to pay for the respective Goods or Services.

Step 4) Check with your family (if you have a spouse, child or another member as authorized user of your account) if they purchased the respective product or if they know/ recognize the respective charge.

Step 5) If you do recognize the charge eventually than everything is clear and you don`t need to chargeback anymore. Usually chargebacks raise tension between a company and the respective chargeback account holder. The reason for that is the chargeback fee on top of the Amount. Companies cannot accept overlooking the chargeback fees as these come included in the monthly loss Amount. You might find yourselves in the situation that a Company will deny future business from you on the basis of a irresponsible chargeback.
is nothing but loss of time and money for both parties involved if you chargeback a legitimate charge that you temporarily don`t recognize and rush to report it to the bank.

Step 6) If neither you nor any other authorized user of your account recognizes that charge then go ahead and fill in the corresponding forms with your bank. The banks usually respond quick to chargeback requests and issue it without to much investigation solely upon Card holder`s request. Some other banks actually encourage their Customers to check with the Merchants before a credit card dispute.

Step 7) Even if a chargeback is filed that doesn`t make it final. The whole process entitles the Merchant to provide evidence that the respective person actually participating in the transaction. If pertinent proof is provided then it gets reversed and the Card owner gets billed again for the Amount of the Conditional credit he or she had previously been given.

No comments: