If at any time, you notice a transaction on your credit card account that has not been authorised by you, you should immediately report such transactions to your card provider. You should ensure that the complaint gets immediately registered and acknowledged with receipt of a reference ID so as to enable the card provider to act on and track the complaint. The mode of reporting could be through email, phone, visiting the provider’s branch or online.
Disputing a charge on a credit card relates to the process wherein a cardholder wants to refute the charge levied, due to any transaction undertaken or a fee being charged, either in part or fully.
What could be the various reasons for disputes arising in a credit card?
Common reasons for card disputes include but are not limited to the below:
- Transaction not carried out by the credit card holder
- Fees incorrectly charged
- Payment of credit card dues not being reflected in the statement
- Wrong debits charged
- Issue/failure of a transaction at the point of sale
- Dispute with merchant
- Goods/services not delivered/rendered
It is, therefore, imperative that every cardholder should carefully verify the charges in their credit card statement. The cardholder receives a receipt of the transaction made for every offline transaction in addition to the acknowledgement of the transaction through SMS/email.
So, what is the recourse available to cardholders in case of a dispute on charge?
Steps to be followed to Dispute a Charge on your Credit Card
- Call the Customer Helpline Number of the card provider
- If there is a dispute on the amount charged, then you should immediately call the customer care centre of the card provider.
- Disputes which are of a more serious nature may require you to follow further steps for getting them resolved.
- Fill up the Online Dispute Form
- For serious disputes which cannot be resolved by the customer care executive, fill-up the dispute form available online.
- Either scan or courier it along with all documentary evidence like dispute form receipts, oral or written communication with the merchant etc. to your concerned credit card provider’s address. In the case of returned shipment, provide the receipt or tracking information from the shipping agency.
- Maintain a copy of all documents sent through post/courier.
- On receipt of your signed form and documents, the bank/card provider may require additional information.
- It is prudent for cardholders to approach the bank within 60 days of receiving the statement which contains any disputed charge/charges.
- Pay the Disputed Amount
- It is advisable for cardholders to pay the amount under dispute first so as to avoid paying up interest on it if the decision does not end up not in your favour.
- The same could be reversed if the decision is in your favour
- Resolve matter with Merchant for the Disputed Charge
- You could in some instances get the dispute resolved directly with the merchant.
- Without a clear settlement, the credit card provider would also not be able to refund you the disputed charge
- In the case of credit card frauds, a different approach has to be applied
- Fraudulent Transactions
- Disputes due to credit card frauds are of serious concern and should be immediately addressed.
- You need to approach your bank and the police (if required).
- Online Dispute Resolution
- You can also initiate online dispute resolution by applying through the online reporting processes of credit bureaus in India like CIBIL™, Equifax etc for resolving the dispute of credit card charges.
- Credit bureaus then follow up with the lender.
- The time period for this redressal is around 30 days.
- Legal Recourse or Banking Ombudsman
- If your bank’s response does not solve the issue, then you can escalate the matter with the banking ombudsman through a written filing of your complaint in writing.
- If the decision of the banking ombudsman is not in your favour, then you can take it forward through the appellate authority.
- If the appellate authority’s decision is disputable, then you could appeal through a consumer court.
If your dispute gets resolved, be sure to check your credit score by asking for a credit report to ensure that the disputed charge gets rectified. You can check your latest credit score for free through the online loan portal Credit Mantri, which provides your credit score within minutes.
Remember, you should use your credit card with the utmost care and bring any disputed charge to the notice of your bank provider immediately. Otherwise, you could end up losing money or paying unnecessary charges or even damage your credit score for no mistake of your own.