Disputing Credit Charges

If you're like a lot of folks the credit bills are starting to pile up so be sure to check over your statements carefully.

You can dispute charges, but consumer reports says it's important to know your rights.

Call for Action reporter Betty Sexton has some advice.

Rocco Panetta runs his own contracting business. Reading blueprints is easy compared to the effort it takes. Getting a bogus charge dropped from his credit card bill.

The charge was for a down payment on a vehicle. The sale didn't go through, but the $2,000 charge stayed until Rocco wrote repeatedly to his credit card company.

What it actually took was three letters, about 4 hours of phone calls and the last phone call was about an hour and 45 minutes.

Consumer Reports' managing editor, Kim Kleman says other credit card charges can be even harder to dispute.

Send the letter certified return receipt request and send a copy of the letter to your credit card company.

You need to act fast. Your credit card company needs your dispute letter within 60 days of the date your statement was issued.

You have a better chance of resolving a credit card dispute if you put the dispute in writing and enclose a copy of your receipt. Always keep the original receipt yourself in case the paperwork gets lost.

When you send your dispute letter, don't make the mistake that many people do and send it with your bill. What you have to do is send it to the special address for disputes that's listed on your statement.

As Rocco learned, resolving a credit card dispute takes persistence, but if you do it right your efforts can pay off.

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