Chargeback: Dispute a Credit Card Transaction

04 February 2021 by National Bank
Chargeback credit card

From a package that disappeared in the wild to a single, unique transaction appearing twice on your account statement, there are many good reasons for disputing a transaction or trying to get a refund for one of your purchases through a process commonly referred to as a chargeback.

If you paid with your credit card, you have additional options for getting your money back, which you wouldn’t have if you had made your purchase using another method of payment.

“Your National Bank credit card allows you to enjoy many benefits, such as the ability to contest fraudulent or disputed charges. It’s without a doubt the best method of payment when it’s used correctly,” asserts Martin B. Pouliot, Senior Director at National Bank.

Here are a few troublesome situations that your financial institution could help you with.

There are errors on your account statement

If you’re reviewing your transaction statement and notice the same charge appearing twice, don’t worry. “In most cases, it’s an innocent mistake,” Pouliot explains. “The retailer accidentally rang up the transaction twice instead of just once, or maybe instead of issuing a refund, they pressed the wrong button and charged you again. First of all, it’s a good thing you checked your statement. Contact us; our phone number is on the back of your credit card. But don’t wait too long. You have 60 days after your statement has been issued to flag any irregularities.”

The retailer won’t issue a refund

Of course, the vast majority of retailers act in good faith. Always start by checking the conditions for returning an item. Often, these are written on your bill.

But if you have the misfortune of following all the conditions and the retailer still doesn’t want to issue a refund or credit to your account, your financial institution can help. Remember to collect as much proof as possible to make your life easier. It’s always a good idea to keep your receipts and a copy of your email conversations, and don’t wait before flagging an issue. You’ll also have to prove that you’ve indeed returned the item.

The item you received isn’t what you purchased

Did you order a shirt but receive a pair of pants? Once again, be aware that you have options. The good news is that, at the very least, you should get a refund. If the store isn’t able to provide you with the product or service you paid for, you could be reimbursed by the retailer if you paid with your credit card. Always start by contacting the merchant to discuss the situation. In most cases, you’ll be able to fix the issue fairly quickly.

If the conversation goes nowhere, call your financial institution as soon as possible. And as always, keep your receipts and email conversations safe. Remember the golden rule: in many cases, as soon as you check out, even online, there are terms and conditions that you accept. It’s a contract. Even if you click on “Accept” without reading anything, you’re still bound by these clauses.

However, if you paid for a room with a view of the ocean, for example, and once you get there, you find out the room has a view of the parking lot, you might have recourse.

The package disappeared

You make an online purchase and await your package patiently at home. But weeks pass, then a month passes, and the package is still nowhere to be seen. What should you do?

The best thing to do is to simply contact the vendor. Keep your receipts and a copy of your email conversations, too. You’ll need as much proof as possible, like a copy of the transaction receipt with the estimated delivery date.

If the retailer isn’t cooperating and the item isn’t delivered over 30 days after the estimated delivery date, call the number on the back of your card. There’s a good chance that your financial institution can help you.

The gym closed down

If you signed a contract or accepted their conditions when you signed up for the gym, you have to respect them. Also, keep in mind that this kind of service, depending on the province or territory you live in, is regulated by specific laws. Usually, if the company isn’t able to offer you the product or service you paid for, you should be able to get a refund if you paid with your credit card. But since the rules often differ when it comes to gyms, it’s best to do some research before disputing such a transaction.

In sum, if you want to dispute a purchase or a transaction:

  1. If there’s an issue, always start by reading the contract and the applicable conditions. Did you accept terms and conditions? If so, you’ll have to abide by them. Otherwise, go to step two.
  2. Discuss the situation with the company that sold you the product or service. You may be able to come to a friendly agreement. If that doesn’t resolve the issue, go to step three.
  3. Gather all the information you’ve collected (receipts, dates and times of your conversations, a copy of your correspondence with the retailer, etc.) and contact your financial institution. They may be able to help you, especially if you’re trying to dispute a charge. If you’re looking for their contact information, it’s very simple: just look at the back of your card.

Need more information? 

View our Mastercard credit card FAQ , section Chargeback.

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