In order to refund a transaction on your credit card your card issuer will need to process a chargeback. This will return the money to your credit card while debiting the merchant through the processing bank. Chargebacks require supporting documentation which your card issuer will compile with your assistance. The regulations which dictate how a chargeback must be substantiated are set by Mastercard or Visa and not the credit card company.
Here are some of the reasons you may want to dispute a credit card transaction, and how you can expect the chargeback query to be approached.
Services not rendered
If services have not been received, put all details of the transaction into writing and send this to your card issuer. Include what service, if any, has been rendered and how the agreement with the merchant has been broken. An attempt should have been made to resolve the matter directly with the merchant before contacting your card issuer, so include all details of your correspondence with them. Send the card issuer copies of any documentation you have with your letter.
Credit not processed (refund not received)
For a card issuer to perform a chargeback on your behalf when a promised refund has not been received from a merchant, proof must be provided of the retailer's intent to credit the transaction. This can be either in the form of a receipt (send a copy rather than the original) or a letter / email. If your credit card is Visa, this will need to specify the amount to be refunded. If you cannot provide this, the card issuer may be able to treat the matter as goods or services not received, depending on the circumstances surrounding the refund.
A retailer has 30 days to process the refund, so if you have contacted your card issuer before this time is up the chargeback will not be performed until after this period.
If you wanted a credit to your credit card but you have instead received a refund by other means, such as a credit note, your issuer will not be able to assist you and the matter will need to be pursued directly with the retailer.
Duplicated transactions – where a transaction appears twice on your credit card statement – are normally the result of human error on the part of the retailer. In most cases, the matter can be resolved straight away by a phone call to your card issuer. Occasionally, there may be a discrepancy in the way the second transaction appears which means your card issuer or bank will require you to sign a declaration form confirming you did not authorize the second transaction before they can perform the chargeback.
Changes of mind
If you are seeking a refund simply because you have changed your mind about a purchase of goods or services there is no recourse under chargeback regulations unless the retailer has then agreed a refund (see above, credit not processed).
What to do if a chargeback cannot be performed
Although your card issuer will endeavor to refund a disputed transaction to the cardholder, there are some instances where there is simply no recourse under chargeback regulations. If this is the case you should seek legal advice from Trading Standards – domestic transactions of over £ 100 may be covered by the Consumer Credit Act.