Monday, June 15, 2015

How to Handle Credit Card Disputes

If you own a credit card, you should always check your recent transactions as well as monthly statement. Also, you should not trust the bank or credit card company to keep you secure from scams or unrecognized payments. You should be on your toe to keep track of your credit card usage.

To do so, I have 6 simple tips to offer:

1.  Make sure to download your bank's app on your smartphone.  This app will help you to check your credit card (and bank) transaction from anywhere anytime.
2.  Make sure to set "Alerts" for your credit card transactions.  For instance, as and when you swipe your credit card, you will get a text message on your phone.
3.  Don't wait for the credit card statement to come in the mail. Check your credit card transaction every now and then - at least once in a week.
4.  Don't wait for the due date. Pay as you spend.
5.  Always be suspicious and keep a copy of your credit card receipts for at least a month.
6.  When you see any unrecognized payments on your credit card, dispute it immediately. 

Let me share two recent disputes that I handled for my credit card.

Restaurant Charged More:
In January 2015, I went to a "big" restaurant for a dinner.  The bill at the end was for a total around $54.00.  I paid through one of my credit card. After a day, I checked my credit card account via iPhone app and saw that the amount is in "Pending" transaction.

After a couple of days, I checked my credit card account again.  To my surprise, the restaurant charged close to $95.00 and it was no more in Pending transactions.  Its the final charge -  a theft of around $41.00 of my hard earned money.  I looked for the receipt and called the restaurant manager.  To my utter dismay, the manager was rude to the point that he made me feel as if I am lying.  He asked a copy of the receipt.  I then stopped dealing with the manager as he has no interest in helping me - a customer.  Technically, he has a copy of my signed receipt in his accounting record.  Remember, its important to contact the restaurant first if you have the information.

Next, I filed a dispute with my credit card company.  When asked if I have a copy of the receipt, I said Yes.  After an investigation from the credit card company, I was refunded the lost dollars back to my credit card account.

Unrecognized Payment:
On May 19, 2015, I looked at my credit card transactions via iPhone app and was totally surprised to see an unrecognized payment (charge) of $64.95.  As you can see from the snapshot here, the payment was charged and received by Active Network from California.  I looked at all my recent credit card payment receipts and found no receipt for this payment.  I was very sure that this payment did not come from me.  Someone stole from my credit card.

Without waiting for another second, I filed a dispute with my credit card company.  Within 24 hours, I received an email from the company stating that, "The dispute was resolved in your favor." Below is a snapshot of the email body.

The purpose of sharing these two personal experience is to pass on the important message of staying alert when you own a credit card.  This could also happen to your debit card and bank account.  So, please remember, these cards come with a huge responsibility that needs constant monitoring.

If you see a dispute and don't know how to handle, feel free to reach out to Tenzin Consultancy Services at (347) 537 - 2479 or

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