Cameroon Finance

Oct 16 2017

How to Stop a Credit Card Payment

Stopping a credit card payment may be necessary for several reasons. At times, a pre-arranged payment must be delayed when a paycheck does not arrive on time, or some sudden financial emergency means delaying that payment for a short period of time. Other times, a purchase may have been made for a damaged or defective product, and you may want to withhold or reverse the payment. Fortunately, there are a couple of different ways to go about stopping the credit card payment from being processed, provided that the card provider is notified within a reasonable period of time.

Steps Edit

Method One of Two:
Withholding or Reversing a Payment After It Has Been Made Edit

Understand your rights. If a payment has already been made to a vendor, there are certain circumstances in which you can withhold or even reverse a payment on a credit card. These rights are granted to you under the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA). [1]

  • Under the FCBA, if you make a purchase over $50, and the merchant is in your state, or, within 100 miles (160 km) you may withhold a purchase under various circumstances.
  • These circumstances include: If you order a goods and they show up damaged or defective (and the seller will not take it back or replace it), if you order goods and they do not appear within 30 days (and the seller is not dealing with it), if a package you did not order appears from a merchant which has your credit card information, or if you made a purchase from a merchant that went out of business.

Attempt to resolve the dispute with the seller. While the FCBA does indicate you have the right to withhold payment in the above situations, it also states you can only do so if you made a good-faith effort to correct the issue directly with the merchant.

  • What constitutes a good-faith effort? Firstly, attempt to contact the seller via phone. If they do not answer, or if they refuse to refund payment or refund or resolve the issue, this would constitute a good faith effort.
  • Keep records of your phone calls including name of person talked to, date, time of call, and outcome.
  • Follow up any phone call with a letter. Explain in detail the situation, the product, and your rights as previously mentioned under the FCBA. Mail the letter to the seller (or hand deliver it if possible), and retain a copy for yourself.

Ensure you do not pay the disputed amount. To withhold a payment is to not pay the amount in dispute. If you go ahead and pay the amount in dispute, this could complicate the situation, and at this point you would be looking to reverse a payment, which will be discussed in the following steps.

  • Be sure to pay any other charges to your account that are not related to the disputed amount. This could include other charges to your card or fees.

Contact the issuer of your credit card. If working out the situation with the merchant directly fails, it is essential to contact your credit card issuer to inform them of the matter and express your desire to withhold payment. [2]

  • Write the issuer of your credit. In your letter make sure to state your name, the card number, the name of the seller as it appears on the credit card statement, the date of purchase, the amount paid, and an explanation of your reason for withholding the purchase.
  • It is possible to conduct this by telephone. If you do so, make sure to follow up with a letter. As well, send a copy of this letter to the merchant to ensure they are aware that you have contacted the credit card company about the matter. Make sure to retain a copy of the letter.
  • Act as promptly as possible. The Fair Credit Card Billing act states that you have 60 days to take action after you received the bill for the disputed amount. The quicker you act the better your odds of success. [3]

Wait for a decision by your credit card company. The credit card company will analyze the required information and make a decision as to side either with your, or with the merchant. Often, because credit card companies want to retain customers, they will issue a temporary credit to your account in the amount of the disputed purchase. [4]

  • The company will then contact the merchant. After consulting with the merchant, if the credit card company agrees that you are in the right, they will either maintain the credit they already issued you, or issue one of they have no already. If they side with the merchant, you will be required to make the payment on your card.

Understand the limitations. The above steps should be sufficient to allow to withhold payment on your card. There are however some limitations in which you will not be able to withhold.

  • You can only withhold payments for consumer transactions. That is to say, if you are using your card to make a personal, family, or household purchase. If the card is used for business purposes, these benefits do not apply.
  • You can only withhold payments if you used your credit card as a credit card. What this means is that if no credit was extended (like if you use overdraft or cash advance feature), you will not be able to withhold payments.
  • You can only withhold payment if it is over $50 or if the sale took place in your home state or within 100 miles (160 km) of your home address.
  • You can only withhold payment on the balance of the purchase that is unpaid. That is to say, the remaining unpaid balance of the purchase on the day that you initially notified the seller is the only amount you can withhold payment on.

Reverse a payment that was already made. If you’ve already paid your credit card bill and are later unhappy with your purchase, you can request a payment be reversed or refunded. The steps to do so follow the exact steps as withholding a payment. [5]

  • Contact the seller first and request a refund. If unsuccessful, follow through with your credit card issuer as described above. If the credit card company deems your complaint to be valid, they will permit the reversal and issue a refund to your account.

Apply these same steps to any other form of disputed payment. For example, if you notice a charge on your card from a merchant that previously had your card information, or if you notice any other mysterious transactions on your card.

  • In cases of fraudulent payments (like if you notice a transaction you simply never made, or from a merchant you have no prior relationship) simply contact your credit card company and they will quickly resolve your dilemma.

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