Read Your Credit Card Statements!
Look for bogus charges.
If you do not check your credit card statements monthly, you risk getting charged with goods and services you did not purchase. A few months ago, I checked my statement to find a bogus Disney Plus charge of $12.99. I called the credit card company to report the bogus charge, and they happily issued a temporary refund pending an investigation. I thought the card company resolved the issue. Unfortunately, the charge reappeared the following month. I called the credit card company again, reported and received a second temporary credit. The next month it happened a third time and when I called I asked for a supervisor. The supervisor discovered that the previous agents neglected to acknowledge it was a recurring charge requiring a proactive response. Now finally, I am not being charged for a Disney Plus account I did not ask for.
How long can you go before charges are undisputable?
Federal law allows you to dispute charges within 60 days. If I had not noticed the billing error mentioned above for three months, I could only dispute the last two charges.
Steps to initiate a dispute.
1. Check that the charge is really incorrect. I have an actual Disney Plus account through Verizon. So, I opened that account statement online to make sure it was not the same charge or account. It was not the same account.
2. If there are supporting documents, make sure you have them available and can send them in an email or upload as supporting documentation for your claim. Take a picture of the documents with your smart phone (you can use a document app like https://www.camscanner.com/) or use your scanner to create a digital file you can email or upload.
3. If a merchant made a mistake, contact them first before disputing. This could save you time correcting the mistake. If they do not correct the mistake within a week, file a dispute with your credit card company.
4. Contact your Credit Card Company. I use Citi Card (https://www.citi.com/credit-cards/home) because it allows me to file disputes online. Some credit card companies require you to call and the Federal Trade Commission recommends you send a letter snail mail to cover your tracks. When your dispute is received, most credit cards company put a hold on that disputed charge. You are not required to pay the disputed amount or pay interest on the affected charge. About two months after the dispute, your credit card company should send you a decision letter. The letter will explain the credit card company’s decision to accept or deny your dispute. If you disagree with the decision, you have 10 days to appeal. I never experienced a decision that went against a legitimate dispute.
Check each of your credit card statements monthly to make sure your charges are correct.
Reach out: Do you check your statements monthly? Anyone have an unusual credit card dispute story? Filed an appeal and won?
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