Refute The Credit Card Charge

Sometimes, we may need to refute the credit card charge. Have you ever gone shopping with your credit card and later notice that amounts charged to your credit card as listed in your bank statement or online banking are not the same as the amounts you signed for at the time of your purchase? How about charges that you don’t even recognize at all such as in cases of identity fraud? Both cases have happened to me. In fact, it happened to me again yesterday. I called to place a pizza order for pick up and I did what I always do which is to ask about their specials. The person who took the order told me they had a special deal of 2 medium pizzas for $13.95. I placed my order and went to pick them up. As I was paying for my pizzas, I noticed the total in the cash register showed $18.95. I immediately stopped him from scanning my credit card for the wrong amount and told him about the special deal I was told. He apologized and blamed it on the person who took the order for forgetting to write down the special deal price and agreed to grant me the special price of $13.95. I signed the credit card receipt, got my copy of the receipt, and went home with my pizzas. This morning as I checked my recent transactions on line, I noticed he had charged me $18.95. I’m now thinking how could this happen when in fact I signed the credit card voucher after making sure the total amount was $13.95? Is it possible, that the original signed transaction of $13.95 was cancelled after I left the restaurant and a new transaction amount was entered into the system? Well, if that’s the case, then I did not sign for it and I must now refute the credit card charge.

I have some options to deal with an erroneous transaction or refute a credit card charge. One option is to go back to the merchant and explain the error. If the merchant is a good business person, they will research the transaction and correct the error by crediting my account for the difference. After all, what is $5 to keep a good customer like me! We order pizzas from the same place all the time. And if the merchant lacks certain business skills, they may argue with me and tell me that’s the final and correct price.

My second option is to ignore the error and refuse to refute the credit card charge. Although, this is an available option to me, I’m not ready to accept this error in this case, especially since I detected this error once inside the restaurant right before the credit card transaction and now after the transaction. From time to time, I may consider this option because $5 may not be worth my headache and efforts to refute a credit card charge.

The third option is to call the bank or visit my online banking, find that transaction for $18.95 and refute it. With my original credit card receipt of $13.95, I can confidently refute this credit card charge that appears to be false and erroneous. Upon my initiation to refute the credit card charge, the bank will contact the merchant and asks them to provide a signed proof for the original transaction amount. Upon bank’s request, three things can happen; 1) the merchant can’t find the signed receipt, 2) the merchant finds a signed receipt for the transaction in question but for a different amount, and 3) the merchant finds a signed receipt for the same amount charged to my account. If I’m facing the third case, them I know I made a mistake and can’t refute the credit card charge. However, in the first two cases, the merchant must accept the error and credit my account for the difference.

What if you can’t find your copy of the receipt? In this case, the best option is to deal with the merchant directly and most likely they will accommodate their good customers by refunding the difference even if they find the signed receipt for the higher price. Or, similar to the second option, you may forget all about it.

If the charges on your credit card are not familiar to you, it is possible that you are facing a case of identity theft and identity fraud. When you refute the credit card charge with your bank, make sure that you state this charge is not yours. There is a big difference between refuting a wrong transaction amount and a non-existent transaction. If you refute an amount, that means you are not questioning that you transacted at the merchant’s location but rather disputing the agreed upon amount. In this case, your credit card receipt is compared to the signed copy provided by the merchant, and the amount on the signed copy usually wins. The reason your receipt is required is to identify the transaction in question and look up the amount in the signed copy. If you refute the transaction all together, then the merchant must provide a copy of credit card slip signed by you to establish the existence of the transaction and its amount.

You may wonder why not just refute the entire transaction whether you refute the credit card charge amount or the questionable transaction. You could do this but what if the merchant is able to submit a credit card slip signed by you to the bank, you will have to pay all charges in the signed copy as submitted by the merchant, even if you possess your copy of the transaction showing a lesser amount. Therefore, it’s always better to report the case as it is even if you lost the receipt.

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