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Handling a charge dispute with a credit card company

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Maybe you’re the victim of fraud. Maybe a merchant unknowingly charged you more than they should have. Maybe it was blatant, or maybe it was an innocent mistake. Either way, you now have a charge on your credit card that does not belong there and you need to get involved in a charge dispute.

It’s time to call the credit card company and get that dirty little number removed. But how do credit card companies look at individual charge disputes?

How do credit card companies handle a charge dispute?

Most credit card companies have the same, if not very similar, time-tested process for handling a charge dispute. This always begins with calling your respective credit card company as soon as you discover the charge you are going to dispute. If the dispute was a simple and obvious mistake, such as the credit card company charging the wrong APR, they can usually reverse the charge then and there and your dispute will be resolved in a matter of minutes. Generally, however, disputing a charge on your credit card will is a process.

Here are a few things to take into remember when disputing a charge on your credit card bill which will make the process handling a charge dispute much easier:

  1. Call right away. If you know that the charge is incorrect, don’t put off calling your credit card company to speak with someone about the dispute. Doing so will only make the process more difficult.
  2. Have all of the information in front of you. This includes your most recent credit card bill as well as any relevant order numbers or receipts for the charge you are disputing. Anticipate any information that your credit card company will ask you for, and then some.
  3. Expect the worst. Hope for the best. If you have a good standing history with your credit card company, there is a very good chance that they will be able to reverse the charge. That doesn’t mean that it will take effect immediately. Some large disputes can last several months, but will eventually be refunded.

Lastly, whether you’re preparing for a charge dispute with your credit card company or already in the middle of a long dispute, it helps to step back, take a breath, and know that – most of the time – you are in well-equipped, competent hands.

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