Credit Card FAQ

How Can I Get a Refund on a Credit Card?

23 October 2010 by CreditCardsCo™

Most credit card companies offer you a "purchase protection" feature when you apply for their credit card. This feature allows you to get a refund on a transaction gone bad in the marketplace. To know how the credit card refund process works, you need to first look at the Fair Credit and Billing Act (FCBA).

The FCBA applies to any dispute about billing errors. Such errors include unauthorized charges on your credit card, charges listing the wrong date or amount, charges for goods that you did not accept or were not delivered, any mathematical or computational errors, failure to post payments or credits, failure to send bills to your current address (creditor must be notified of change in address at least 20 days in advance), and charges for which you claim clarifications or ask for explanations.

Most Creditors Are On Your Side

Like all other processes, getting a refund has a standard procedure which if followed will result in the credit card company giving you a refund on your card. Most credit card companies will work with you when it comes to getting a refund from a merchant. They like having your business and they want to keep your business. Plus credit card companies also have their reputation to protect. Most of the times, the companies will go above and beyond the call of duty to get you the refund on your credit card account.

Begin with the Source to get the Refund

The best thing to do to expedite an immediate refund is to talk to the merchant before talking to the company. Like most companies, merchants rely on the goodwill of their consumers and will help you get a refund if you are not happy with their product. If the salesperson is not responding to your requests, talk to the supervisor and keep escalating the complaint until you receive the refund. Make sure that you keep a track of the names of the people with whom you have had the conversations and if possible, keep records. These will be helpful in case you have to get the credit card refund from the card issuer.

Talking to the credit card company

Make sure to keep a copy of all the materials that you send to your credit card issuer regarding the disputed bill or amount. Always send the company a written letter of complaint about the transaction and attach the proof of transaction. Remember to mention your name, address and credit card account number in the letter. Send the letter to the "Billing Inquiries" address instead of the usual address to which you send your payments. If you do not have this address, call the customer service representative of the credit card company and request that he or she provide you the name of the person to whom the correspondence should be addressed and the mailing address to reach them. In the letter, specifically request for a refund on the credit card transaction.

The Process for the Refund

All disputes must be filed with the credit card company within 60 days of the transaction or purchase. Once the company receives your complaint (always send letters through Certified Mail and request return receipts), they have 90 days or two billing cycles to process your dispute and reach a conclusion. By law, all credit card companies are allotted 30 days to process any disputed transactions or purchases. 45 days are allotted to the merchant's bank to provide proof or legitimacy of the said transaction. Once the credit card company receives confirmation from the merchant's bank, they have to notify you in writing of the outcome.

If the dispute is settled in your favor, you will receive the refund on your credit card and no finance charges will be levied on the disputed purchase. If it is not settled in your favor, you will be sent a formal letter of explanation and the amount that you owe. The finance charges to be paid will most likely be included in this amount.

Following the standard procedure can be painstaking. The procedure is made keeping in mind that consumer have a right to get a refund on the credit card for a bad or illegitimate transaction and the merchant has a right to dispute the refund.

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