Not Satisfied with a Credit Card Purchase

 In the United States, the Fair Credit Billing Act allows for consumer protection in the event of unsatisfactory purchases, and undelivered or misrepresented services/products. If you are unsatisfied with a purchase from a store, there are things you can do. If the merchant refuses to refund your money or replace the item, you may be able to take action against your credit card company. Your rights are established by law, but they depend on certain things, such as the purpose of your purchase (business or personal), how much the product cost, and how far from home you were when you made the purchase.

First, there are some factors regarding your purchase that must be considered to determine if the credit card company is legally liable:

  1. Type of card that you used – You must have charged the item by using the charge card issued by the store where you bought it or by using a bank card, rebate card, or travel card. Even if two stores are owned by a parent company, one store will not give you a refund for purchases made at another store (Gap will not refund your money for a purchase made at Old Navy, for example).
  2. Price of merchandise – If the merchandise was bought with a card notissued by the seller, then the product must cost more than $50. If you paid $49.99, you’re out of luck, legally. Then the dispute is between you and the merchant, and the credit card issuer doesn’t have to spend time resolving the matter.
  3. Form and timing of complaint – You must complain in writing within 60 days after the first bill containing the error arrives. Some bank cards will intervene on your behalf even if you don’t write them until after the time limit, but they may charge you an additional fee for doing so.
  4. Location of transaction – The purchase must have occurred within your home state or within 100 miles of your billing address, unless the item was purchased with the seller’s charge card. If you travel more than 100 miles from your billing address to make a purchase, your bank card doesn’t legally have to become involved in your quest for a refund. However, many card issuers will waive this mileage rule. You just have to ask, politely. Catalogues, Internet sales, and phone orders may be considered in-state purchases, since information is sent to your home or the merchandise was advertised locally. State law may vary, but these purchases are generally protected. Overseas purchases are also frequently covered under consumer protection laws.

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