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How did I get the bank to investigate an unauthorized charge to my credit card?

Thousand Oaks, CA |

I recently discovered a charge for $944.65 to my Visa which I did not authorize. I called the bank's customer service and was told to explain the situation in writing. In November, I gave my credit card for a deposit of $944.00 on custom window treatments. I was not told by the sales rep that the credit account information would be put on file and the dealer would use it again nor did I authorize usage of the card for anything but the $944 deposit. In December, the installer showed up to our home with part of the order incorrect. We've contacted the sales rep several times but she has not gotten back to us. Meanwhile, my Visa was charged for the balance without my permission. The bank claims it's a "quality of service" issue and will not dispute the charge. Do I have any recourse?

The bank says I must do the following before it will intervene: 1) exhaust all efforts with the merchant 2) obtain a letter from another merchant stating service was of poor quality 3) get from that merchant an itemization detailing the dollar amount to be disputed 4) list dates of contact with the merchant with whom I have the dispute and names of people at the company. I do not understand why the bank won't attempt to substantiate that the merchant has no written agreement giving it permission to charge my Visa and no signature from me.

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Attorney answers 2


VISA is doing this because the vendor says they delivered what you ordered and were entitled to collect the balance due, and you're disputing the quality of the delivered goods. VISA is better at clearer cut disputes where you order something and it's never delivered.

There's some he-said-she-said to this dispute, so you need to jump through VISA's hoops. If only part of the order was incoorect, maybe you owe them something now for the part that's correct, if its severable from the incorrect part. You need to document your unreturned calls to the sale rep in an effort to get this resolved. You need to send them the info they've asked for, and it wouldn't hurt to send photos of what you did get from the vendor, and if it's not obvious why it's incorrect, explain it.

Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.


I fully agree with Ms. Koslyn's excellent answer. Follow her advice.

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