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How to settle credit card disputes
If you’ve found yourself opening a credit card statement and realised you’ve been charged twice for the same item, or that your account hasn’t been credited following a refund, what can you do about it? It can be frustrating when something like this happens - especially if it takes you over your credit limit.
Well, before you decide to contact your credit card company with any queries, it’s best to check your receipts and ask anyone else who has a card on your account if you think there’s a mistake – they may be able to explain it. If that doesn’t get you anywhere, it’s time to make that call to your lender.
Sometimes mistakes happen and you may be charged a different amount to what you were expecting. For example, perhaps you thought something cost £9.99 but it shows up on your statement as £15.99. Or maybe you ordered a product online and gave your card details over the phone or via the internet, but then discover that the transaction has gone through twice.
When an error like this occurs, your lender will want as much information as possible about the purchase, including when you made it, the order or receipt number and how you paid; e.g. online, over the phone or in store. Your card provider uses all this information when they investigate your claim to find out whether there are reasonable grounds to refund you.
If you are unhappy with their decision, you can take this further in writing, and if necessary launch a formal complaint if there is genuine ground to do so. Be sure to provide all the evidence you have, including receipts to back your complaint.
Identity scams and fraud
These days scammers are finding smarter ways than ever before to get hold of your personal and financial details. There are also numerous tricks used online to make you buy products or services that don’t actually exist. If you lose your card and it has fallen into the wrong hands, a thief can still make transactions via contactless payment, until it’s reported and blocked by your lender.
Avoid falling victim to credit card fraud by protecting your cards from public view, guarding your PIN and never giving your digits out. When shopping online, always choose reputable retailers with positive customer reviews and make sure to always use a different password whenever you open a new account. You can get more information about staying safe online here. And again, check your statement to spot any suspicious transactions and contact your lender straightaway if you notice one.
Refunds through Section 75
Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act gives credit card users protection against being left with a debt for goods or services that they didn’t receive, were faulty or not as described. In these instances, you should contact the retailer first and if the matter is not resolved contact your credit card provider too. Both are jointly responsible under the act for any purchase valued between £100 and £30,000.
If a company goes bust before you receive an item that you paid for with a credit card, or if your concert or flights have been cancelled, you should still be covered by Section 75. The same rules apply for transactions made overseas, but, again, be sure to keep your receipts and check your statements.
Correct any disputes with the credit reference agencies too
A mistake on your credit card statement can affect your credit history, particularly if it’s caused you to go over your limit or miss a payment. Once you have resolved a transaction dispute with your lender, it is important to contact the credit reference agencies Equifax, Experian and Callcredit to get the error removed from your credit history if it’s showing up there.
You will need to provide the credit reference agency with evidence that the transaction dispute has been resolved. Because all three have independent systems, be sure to contact them individually. Equifax charges a fee to use its service, so take advantage of the free trial period to save yourself some money.
As part of your routine, keep an eye on your statements and spending. This will help you to flag up any potential transaction disputes, spot any possibly fraudulent activity and ensure you are paying enough money into your account to cover more than just the minimum payment. For more information on credit cards, keep checking the blog.