Filing My First Ever Credit Card Dispute
One of the benefits of using a credit card over a debit card is that it typically includes more protections. For example, in the event a company takes your money and doesn’t fulfill their end of the deal, you may be able to file a dispute, essentially deputizing the card company to help you get your money back. Incidentally, while I’ve dealt with the chargeback process on the merchant side, I had never filed one as a consumer — well, until recently that is.
Long story short: a few weeks ago when my wife and I were in Chicago, we placed a mobile order for a nearby restaurant and planned to go pick it up. Unfortunately, when we got there, we learned that the location was closed. While this would have merely been annoying in most cases, what escalated the issue is that our payment for the order had already been taken and there was no easy way to cancel it.
After poking around, I did find a Contact Us page for the company and sent a note about the situation. Then, a day later, I took to Twitter to see why I hadn’t heard back yet. That’s when I was told that it typically took 48 hours for a response but that they were experiencing high volumes of inquiries. Uh huh. One week and two more blow off tweets later, I decided it was time to escalate the issue by filing a dispute with my credit card — although I had no idea what this process would look like.
As it turns out, filing a dispute within Capital One’s app was actually quite simple. To start, all I needed to do was select the transaction and select the “Report a problem” option. From there, I selected what the issue was (“Never received what was paid for”), stated how and when I attempted to contact the merchant, and then confirmed the amount I was disputing. I also had to provide a few more details about what the purchase was.
After submitting, Capital One informed me that they’d be temporarily crediting my account the requested amount while they investigated the matter. Sure enough, this credit showed up a day or two later. But that’s when things got slightly more complicated.
Not long after I filed my dispute (although it’s hard to say whether it was a result of filing that got them to finally acknowledge me), the company in question wrote me back and said that they’d be refunding my transaction. This would be great news except that I didn’t know what this meant for my dispute. Moreover, part of me worried that I’d now be in trouble with Capital One.
Luckily, Capital One managed to get everything sorted out without me having to do anything. Earlier this week, we received a letter from them where they explained that they noticed that the vendor in question had issued a refund and, thus, they would be reversing their temporary credit. In other words, no harm, no foul.
With this incident behind me, I’m both relieved and nervous about what will happen if such an issue should arise again. On the one hand, it’s nice to know how simple the process of filing a claim can be. However, on the other hand, I don’t have any better insight into how long I should wait before making a dispute.
Any suggestions? Have you personally had to file a credit card dispute? Let me know in the comments or @Moneyat30 on Twitter!