One of the lesser-known benefits of using a credit card is the ability to seek redress with the credit card company if a product or transaction doesn’t quite live up to one’s expectations, and the merchant refuses to issue a refund.
It’s called a chargeback, and it’s for the following cases:
- Unauthorised transactions;
- Transactions signed under duress or threat;
- Instalment Payment Plan (IPP) transactions with merchants that subsequently cease business; and
- Non-delivery of goods/services or delivery of unfit goods/services
My friend had a bad experience with an online retailer when he got a defective product (Point 4) and managed to get a chargeback when the retailer refused to refund him.
1. File a complaint with the merchant
You first have to file a complaint with the merchant.
My friend bought a dubious-looking AirPods knock off which predictably did not work very well.
Despite being responsive when my friend initially enquired about the product before the purchase, the retailer ghosted him and ignored his requests for a refund, and so he moved on to the next step.
2. File for a chargeback with the bank
Time to send your receipts and proof to your bank in order for them to raise a chargeback:
You should also keep documentary proof, such as the merchant’s advertising claims versus the product you received:
You must also show that you have tried to resolve the matter with the merchant before requesting for a chargeback:
Three weeks after this – which is a relatively short time for chargebacks – Citi refunded the amount to my friend’s card.
3. Defend your case against the merchant (if they dispute)
Merchants are likely to incur administrative costs when they are dinged with a chargeback, and too many such requests would eventually cause the payment processor to cancel their ability to receive card payments altogether. Naturally, they would exercise their ability to dispute the chargeback:
Stay firm, and reiterate your stand as well as address whatever concerns and questions the bank would ask.
Check out this guide if you have more questions on chargebacks.