Credit Card Chargeback Rules

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When you see a charge you didn’t make on your credit card statement and call the credit card company to have the charge removed, the removal process is called a chargeback. Some of these chargebacks result from an innocent mistake, such as entering too much for a purchase. Others are the result of fraud. For a business owner, chargebacks are a business expense and can represent lost product or time providing a service that is being disputed.

Payment of Disputed Charge

If you see an error on your credit card, you have 60 days from the date the charge appears on your statement to contact the credit card company, according to the California Attorney General’s Office. While the charge is in dispute, you do not have to pay it. “You can assert a billing error even if you have already paid your credit card balance down to zero,” states the Attorney General's Office. In such a case, a chargeback in your favor would then give you a negative balance on your credit card statement.

Supporting Documentation

Both parties will be asked to supply supporting documentation for and against a chargeback to the credit card issuing bank. As a consumer, you should keep all receipts. If you have no documentation to support your request for a chargeback, then you will need to present a narrative describing your position and the problem with the charge, according to TM&S, an electronics payment company. Perhaps you were not in the city where the purchase was made or you can request a copy of the store’s documentation that might yield something to support your position.

Liability

If a company is found to have made an incorrect charge, the amount of the purchase must be credited back to the consumer. Some companies, like Google, will also assess the business account a chargeback fee.

Arbitration

If the bank decides against you after your initial request for a chargeback, you can fight the decision by requesting arbitration. You have 45 days after the bank rules against you to make your request, says TM&S. The parties involved present their case to an analyst with the credit card company. You will complete an arbitration form that makes your case and include copies of your documentation. According to TM&S, the party that files for arbitration pays the filing fee and the losing party pays a review fee.

Violation of Rules

The bank may say that you violated the credit card’s operating rule. Violations much show that the bank had or will have a financial loss because of the violation. This is a situation not covered in the chargeback process. It is more involved and goes immediately to arbitration with a credit card analyst, according to TM&S. Also similar to arbitration, you will fill out a compliance form and face filing fees and review fees.

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