Credit Cards:  How to Resolve a Credit Card Billing Dispute

The true story below is an illustration of how to effectively resolve a billing dispute with a major credit card company (in this instance, Capital One).

Facts:  "Joe" opened his Capital One statement and found that they had credited him with a $380.00 payment when he had actually sent then only $100.00.  Since it was their mistake and it was in his favor, he didn't bother to phone and tell them, knowing their billing department would catch and correct the error soon enough.  And they did, the next monthly statement he received showed that they had removed the $380.00 mistake, but they had failed to credit him for the $100.00 payment he had made. 

Joe sent them a certified letter, return receipt requested informing them of their mistake, along with a copy of the front and back of his cancelled check.  About a week later he received a reply informing him that the matter would be investigated.

The next month his statement arrived and he still had not been given credit for the $100.00 payment.  He once again sent a certified letter, return receipt requested, demanding that they correct the mistake and pointing out to them the fact that they were about to violate the Fair Credit Billing Act by not correcting the mistake in a timely manner.  He also threatened to inform the FTC of this if they did not immediately credit his account for the $100.00.

The error was corrected on his next monthly statement.

Would Joe have had the same results if he had simply phoned Capital One or would they have given him the run around like Providian gave Jane?  If you want to make sure you don't get the run around from a credit card company, communicate with them only in writing and send all correspondence certified mail, return receipt requested to make sure you protect yourself as the Fair Credit Billing Act requires.

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