How to Dispute a Credit Card Charge with the Credit Card Company

Posted over 4 years ago. Applies to , 1 helpful vote


To get the consumer protections of the Fair Credit Billing Act, a consumer must dispute credit card charges within 60 days of getting the first statement that shows the charges, must be in writing and must be sent to the correct address for billing disputes or billing inquiries.


Review Your Credit Card Statements Carefully Upon Receipt

Review your credit card statements carefully for any fraudulent or unauthorized charges or incorrect amounts. Make note of any such errors.


Submit a Written Dispute to the Credit Card Company within 60 Days from the First Statement

Send a written letter to the credit card company according to the directions provided in your statement for "billing inquires" or billing disputes. Typically, the back side of the first page of your statement will provide directions on where to send a dispute. Send this letter so the company receives it within 60 days of the first time the error appears on a billing statement. I recommend sending the letter by certified return receipt mail so you know that the company received your dispute and when.


Don't Submit the Dispute With Your Payment

Unless the dispute directions your credit card company provides says otherwise, do not send your dispute in with the payment. Send your dispute separately from your payment. The dispute address is usually not the same as the payment address. The payment address is typically just a clearinghouse for receiving checks, and no one will look at a dispute sent with a payment.


Let the Credit Card Company Conduct Its Investigation

The credit card company must then conduct and investigation into your dispute, and it is not permitted to attempt collection of the disputed amount during the time it is investigating your dispute.


Review the Results of the Investigation

The credit card company will send you the results of its investigation within 2 billing cycles but not more than 90 days, and it will either reject your dispute and demand that you pay the disputed charge according to the terms of your account or it will adjust your balance accordingly. You can pay the disputed amount or you can choose to refuse to pay the amount and deal with the credit card company's efforts to collect it. This could result in a negative mark on your credit report and delinquency charges under your account. The credit card company may also turn the balanced over to a collection agency or sue you for the unpaid amount.


Consider Whether You Need to Take Action With the Merchant

You may have rights against the merchant that ran the disputed charge to your card. Communicating with the merchant may help resolve the disputed charges.


Review Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Billing Act

The act provides much guidance on your full rights and remedies if you have a billing dispute or a creditor violates your rights under the act. My website and the Federal Trade Commission website has more information worth reviewing.

Additional Resources

Federal Trade Commission

Federal Trade Commission

Blog by Consumer & Employment Law Center of WI

Consumer & Employment Center of WI

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