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Credit Card Disputes: Meaning, When to Raise and How?

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November 24, 2023

Summary

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Ever found yourself playing detective on your credit card statement, trying to solve the mystery of that dubious charge? Imagine this: You ordered that new gadget online, eagerly waiting by the mailbox, but it's a no-show. Or, worse, your statement is doing the cha-cha with a charge you never approved. Cue the frustration.

That's where the credit card dispute steps in, like your personal financial investigator, ready to crack the case. In this blog, we will discuss what a credit card dispute is, how to raise it, and its overall impact. 

What is a Credit Card Dispute?

A credit card dispute refers to the process by which a credit cardholder questions or challenges a particular transaction on their credit card statement. This may occur when the cardholder identifies an error, discrepancy, or unauthorized charge on their billing statement. 

When to Raise a Credit Card Dispute? 

Knowing when to raise a credit card dispute is essential to protect yourself from unauthorised charges, billing errors, or other discrepancies. Here are common scenarios when you should consider raising a credit card dispute:

  • Unauthorised Transactions: If a cardholder notices charges on their credit card that they did not authorise or recognise, it constitutes an unauthorised transaction. This could result from a stolen card, identity theft, or fraud.
  • Billing Errors: Billing errors can occur for various reasons, such as double billing, incorrect amounts charged, or charges for goods or services not received.
  • Quality of Goods or Services: Sometimes, disputes arise from dissatisfaction with the quality of goods or services purchased using a credit card. This could involve receiving damaged goods, not receiving the promised services, or encountering other issues with the transaction.
  • Cancellation Issues: If a cardholder cancels a subscription or service but continues to see charges on their credit card statement, it may lead to a dispute.
  • Duplicate Transactions: Duplicate transactions, where the same charge appears multiple times, can also be a reason for raising a credit card dispute.
  • Fraudulent Activity: In identity theft or credit card fraud cases, a cardholder may dispute transactions they did not make.

When faced with any of these situations, it's crucial for the cardholder to take prompt action to resolve the dispute and protect their financial interests. This typically involves contacting the credit card issuer, providing relevant details and documentation, and working through the established dispute resolution process. 

How to Raise a Credit Card Dispute?

Raising a credit card dispute may vary from card provider to card provider. However, the below steps are usually common when you intend to raise a credit card dispute: 

  1. Contact the Credit Card Issuer

Reach out to your credit card issuer promptly. You can usually find the customer service number on the back of your credit card or on the issuer's website.

Clearly explain the nature of the dispute, providing details about the specific transaction in question.

  1. Provide Necessary Information

Be ready to furnish essential information, including the date and amount of the disputed charge, the merchant's name, and any relevant details about the transaction.

If applicable, have supporting documents such as receipts, order confirmations, or communication with the merchant.

  1. Complete Dispute Form (if required)

Some credit card issuers may have a specific dispute form to streamline the process. If required, complete the form accurately, ensuring all relevant details are included.

  1. Follow-Up in Writing

Send a written follow-up to the credit card issuer, summarising the details of the dispute. This can be done through email or traditional mail.

Retain copies of all communication for your records.

  1. Monitor the Dispute Process

Stay proactive by regularly checking the status of your dispute. Many credit card issuers provide online portals or customer service lines where you can inquire about the progress.

  1. Temporary Credit (if applicable)

Sometimes, the credit card issuer may provisionally credit the disputed amount to your account while the investigation is ongoing. This is not guaranteed and depends on the issuer's policies.

  1. Cooperate with the Investigation

If the credit card issuer requests additional information during their investigation, promptly provide the necessary details to facilitate a thorough review.

  1. Receive Final Resolution

Once the investigation is complete, you will receive a final resolution from the credit card issuer. Any provisional credit will be permanent if the dispute is in your favour. If not, you will be informed of the decision.

Will a Credit Card Dispute Affect Your Credit Score?

Initiating a credit card dispute for a legitimate reason typically does not directly affect your credit score. However, there are considerations such as temporary changes in credit utilisation during the dispute process. If the dispute is resolved in your favour, any impact should be reversed. It's crucial to continue making payments on undisputed charges to avoid potential late payment issues. Multiple disputes within a short timeframe may raise concerns with creditors. Always check with your credit card issuer for specific policies and guidance.

Raising a Credit Card Disputes on Fi 

You can raise a dispute/grievance in the following ways: Email help@fi.care or call 080-47485490. You can also contact the Bank’s Grievance Redressal by contacting the Bank’s Nodal officer at support@federalbank.co.in. Other Bank Grievance redressal channels are available here. Read more here

Conclusion

In the realm of credit cards, disputes are inevitable but manageable. Knowing how to navigate the dispute process is essential, whether it's an unauthorised charge, billing error, or dissatisfaction with a purchase. Key steps include prompt communication with the credit card issuer, providing necessary documentation, and monitoring the resolution process. While disputes typically don't impact your credit score, responsible financial management ensures a smooth resolution. Being informed and proactive in plastic transactions empowers consumers to safeguard their financial interests. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does “dispute a charge” mean?

Disputing a charge involves questioning or challenging a transaction on your credit card statement, typically due to errors, unauthorised activity, or dissatisfaction with a purchase.

2. How long do you have to dispute a credit card charge?

The time frame varies but is generally within 60 days of receiving the credit card statement containing the disputed charge. However, it's advisable to check your credit card issuer's specific timeline.

3. What happens when you dispute a charge?

The credit card issuer investigates the dispute, may temporarily credit the disputed amount, and communicates the resolution. You may need to provide supporting documents during the process.

4. Will I get my money back if I dispute a charge?

If the dispute is in your favour, you will likely receive a refund or a credit for the disputed amount. However, resolution outcomes vary based on the investigation results.

5. Who pays when you dispute a charge?

During the investigation, the credit card issuer may provisionally credit your account. If the dispute is resolved in your favor, the issuer may absorb the loss. If not, you may be responsible for the charge.

6. What happens if your credit card dispute is denied?

If your dispute is denied, the temporary credit may be reversed, and you'll be responsible for the charge. You can further discuss the decision with the credit card issuer and explore additional options if necessary. 

Disclaimer

Fi Money is not a bank; it offers banking services through licensed partners and investment services through epiFi Wealth Pvt. Ltd. and its partners. This post is for information only and is not professional financial advice.
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