Disputed card transactions (chargeback)

Sometimes you may want to dispute a card transaction if:

  • The transaction was not authorised by you, or put through more than once
  • The supplier did not deliver the goods or services you paid for
  • The goods were delivered to you but were faulty or not as described

You should contact the supplier first and ask for a refund. If the supplier will not refund your money and you paid using a credit or debit card, your card provider may agree to reverse the transaction. This is called a chargeback.

In order to start a chargeback, you should contact your card provider (the bank or credit card company who issued the card) immediately. Give them details of the transaction you are disputing and request that they follow it up with the supplier’s merchant. This is the bank that processes card transactions for the shop or company that debited your card.

There are numerous reasons why a sale can be charged back to the seller, and these are set out under the rules of the various credit and debit card schemes, such as Visa, MasterCard, Laser or Maestro. Each card scheme has its own set of rules for chargebacks which can vary from scheme to scheme. In order to issue these cards, your provider signs up to these rules and they must investigate any transaction you dispute.

Most schemes offer full chargeback rights to consumers. But with some debit cards schemes like Laser or Maestro you cannot use the chargeback facility if you do not receive the goods. For example, if you bought something online and the business did not send on the goods, then you cannot chargeback what you paid if you used Laser or Maestro to pay for it. If you are buying online, think about using Visa, Visa Debit or MasterCard as these schemes offer a chargeback facility if the goods are not delivered.

Dispute rules for each card scheme vary. This can be important if a retailer or service provider you have done business with goes out of business.
If there is a transaction on your bank account or credit card statement that you do not recognise, contact your bank or card issuer straight away.

If you request a chargeback and you are not happy with the response from your card provider, you can make a complaint.

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