How to dispute a credit card transaction

10 May 2023 by National Bank
Woman opening a defective package she’ll get a refun for

There can be many reasons to dispute a credit card transaction. Maybe your package vanished into thin air, or a single transaction appears twice on your account statement. Here’s what you should do to obtain a refund in various situations.

If you paid with your credit card, you have additional avenues of recourse when it comes to disputing a transaction and getting your money back. This is known as a chargeback. 

You don’t have access to these same options if you choose another payment method, such as cash. Your National Bank credit card allows you to enjoy a number of benefits, including the ability to contest fraudulent or disputed charges.  

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

There are errors on your credit card statement 

If you’re reviewing your transaction statement and notice the same charge appears twice, don’t panic. In most cases, it’s an innocent mistake.  

For example, the retailer may have accidentally rung up the transaction twice, or instead of issuing a refund, they pressed the wrong button and charged you again.  

First off, you did the right thing by checking your statement. Contact us to dispute the credit card transaction. Our phone number is on the back of your card. 

But don’t wait too long. You have 60 days after your statement has been issued to flag any irregularities. 

The merchant refuses to issue a refund 

If you followed all the terms and conditions but the merchant still won’t issue a refund or credit your account, your financial institution can help.  

To simplify your life, keep as much proof as possible. It’s always a good idea to keep your receipts and a copy of your email conversations, and don’t wait before disputing a credit card transaction. You’ll also have to prove that you’ve returned the item. 

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

The item you received isn’t what you purchased 

Always start by contacting the merchant to discuss the situation. In most cases, you’ll be able to fix the issue fairly quickly. 

If you order a shirt but receive a pair of pants, you should be entitled to a refund.  

But if your discussions go nowhere, call your financial institution as soon as possible. And as always, be sure to keep your receipts and email conversations.  

Remember that, in many cases, you’re accepting certain terms and conditions when you pay for a purchase. This is a form of contract. Even if you click on “Accept” without reading anything, you’re still bound by these clauses. 

On the other hand, if you paid for a trip that includes a room with a view of the ocean but, once you get there, you find yourself with a view of the parking lot, you might have recourse. 

Your package disappeared 

You make a purchase online and expect your package to arrive at your home. But weeks pass, then a month, and the package is still nowhere to be seen.  

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 to help you dispute the credit card transaction, including the transaction receipt with the expected delivery date. 

If the merchant isn’t cooperating and your item still hasn’t been delivered more than 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. 

Your gym closed down 

If you signed a contract or accepted terms and conditions when you signed up for the gym, you have to respect them.  

Keep in mind that this kind of service is regulated by specific laws, depending on the province or territory you live in.  

Usually, if the company isn’t able to offer you the product or service you paid for, you should be entitled to a refund. Be aware that provincial and territorial, as well as federal, legislation is in place to protect consumers.  

What are the steps in disputing a credit card transaction? 

  1. If there’s an issue, always start by reviewing the contract and the applicable terms and conditions. Did you accept any 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. Still not satisfied? Go to step three. 
  3. Gather all the information you’ve collected (your receipts, the dates and times of your conversations, copies of your correspondence with the merchant, etc.) and contact your financial institution. They may be able to help you, especially if you’re trying to dispute a credit card transaction. If you’re looking for their contact information, it’s very simple: just look at the back of your card. 

For more information, consult our page about fraud prevention.

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