What happens if a product you purchase with you credit card arrives damaged or is of poor quality? The chances are that filing a dispute will resolve the issue. However, you have to make the initial steps so that the outcome of the dispute is satisfactory. Keep in mind that certain pieces of legislation apply to disputes regarding credit card purchases. In Canada, dissatisfied customers can turn to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) which deals with dispute resolution. The bureau handles complaints involving business-to-business and consumer-to-business transactions. BBB recommends that consumers first try to resolve their complaint with the company but won’t reject complaints from consumers who choose not to take this step. All complaints are handled by local branches of the bureau and about 70 percent of the filed cases are resolved. In certain cases, the Better Business Bureau offers arbitration or mediation to facilitate the resolution process. As a part of the procedure, the complaint is forwarded to the company within 2 working days. The business is asked to respond within 2 weeks and upon failure to do so, a second request is made. The consumer is notified of the response when the bureau receives it, with complaints being closed within one month.
When to File a Dispute
Most products at the local store or e-commerce websites come with a return policy. Money-back guarantees apply when an item is of poor quality or damaged. The process of the dispute resolution starts when the purchaser contacts the merchant. At this level, the issue can get resolved as well. However, the dispute should be filed within a specified time frame – usually 30 days or more.
Allow the Credit Card Company to Resolve the Issue
If your efforts to resolve a dispute with some merchant go in vain, other major players may come into play for support. The credit card company is responsible for handling the dispute, as it is bound by law to intervene. Usually, the company steps in immediately in order to maintain a good company-customer relationship.
The players that may intervene include the merchant’s banking institution and major credit card companies such as VISA and MasterCard. However, the buyer needs to act first, contacting the credit card issuer and notifying it of the dispute. You can do this by mail, email, or over the phone. You should also provide documentation that is in support of your claims.
The chances of resolving the dispute at this level are quite high as companies want to maintain their credibility. The business can issue a chargeback that reverses the purchase. In this way, the debt is passed from the credit card user back to the merchant.
What Amount of Effort Is Required?
If the credit card holder does not provide supporting documents to justify the claims, the dispute will not be resolved in his favor. Some effort is required before the credit card company can intervene.
If the purchase was made online, the card holder should contact the merchant directly and demand payback. In case the merchant fails to act on his request, the crediting institution, the merchant’s bank, and the credit card giants may again step in.
The secret to the successful dispute resolution is to act immediately. Don’t wait too long before you contact the merchant or the credit card company. As soon as you find that a product is defective or low quality, start a dispute and get all parties involved.