Best Practices for Disputing Credit Card Billing Errors

Errors happen. When it comes to financial matters, like credit card billing errors, the mistakes might feel like full blown emergencies. While you might feel like blowing your top when there’s a little too much red on your business’ credit ledger, keeping things calm and cool can help you solve the problem for your business faster and with far less stress. Learn what you need to do to fix those billing errors so you can get back to business in short order.

What Qualifies as Billing Errors?

Billing errors is a sort of catch all phrase that covers a lot of ground. Below you will find a list of items theFederal Trade Commission considered to be billing errors.

  • Failure of credit card companies to post payments and/or credits to your card.
  • Failing to send bills to your current address (remember you must notify them, in writing, of your change of address a minimum of 20 days prior to the end of the billing period).
  • Charges for the wrong amount or dates.
  • Unauthorized charges (federal law limits personal liability to $50 for charges such as these).
  • Simple miscalculations.
  • Charges for items or services you did not accept or that were not delivered as agreed.
  • Charges for which you’ve requested clarification or written proof of making the purchase.

Steps Business Owners Should Take to Remedy Billing Errors

As a small business owner it’s important to know that the Fair Credit Billing Act exist to help businesses and consumers alike keep things honest and resolve disputes in a manner that prevents abuse on both sides of the issue.

Mistakes, Miscalculations, Unauthorized Charges, and Fraud

The first place to turn when billing issues arise that you believe are the result of unauthorized purchases or mistakes by the credit card company, is the credit card company itself. Many times, a simple phone call is all it takes to at least begin the process of fixing the error on your bill.

While federal law holds consumers responsible for only $50 worth of unauthorized charges, many credit card companies will close the gap if you report the charges as soon as you discover they’ve been made.

Your current credit card, in situations like this, will probably be canceled and a replacement sent to you promptly to avoid further unauthorized charges.

Merchant Errors

When you suspect a merchant error, miscalculation, double billing, or misdeed, you have two options to consider. You have 60 days from the date of error discovery to notify the credit card company, in writing, that the error exists.

This means you have options. You can reach out to the merchant and give the merchant an opportunity to address and/or remedy the problem and if you don’t get a satisfactory solution, you then have the option of kicking things up a notch by notifying your credit card company.

Just remember to keep an eye on the 60 day window in case the merchant doesn’t respond quickly enough to meet your needs.

These practices, in addition to having adequate business insurance, can save you many headaches and plenty of heartburn if you’ll put them into action.