Step 1. Confirm the charge isn't valid
Make sure it’s a real mistake. For example, you may not recognize a transaction because it was posted late; or maybe the business uses more than one name. Check your files. Does the charge match your credit card receipts?
The quickest way to get a charge off your credit card bill is to speak directly to someone at the business. Call and explain what’s happened. Give them any evidence you have (such as a receipt number). They’ll often be able to fix things on the spot and refund your money.
Create a paper trail — or an electronic trail — of the dispute. Keep a record of everything that happened. Save copies of all emails and letters.
If you can’t solve the problem with the business — or if you suspect fraud or identity theft — contact the credit card issuer right away. The clock is ticking. There’s often a short time window to bring a dispute. (Your monthly statement will tell you if that’s the case.)
Many financial institutions have dedicated phone lines just for credit card issues. Do your homework before you call. Have all your details ready, including the date and description of the charge.
Step 4. Pay your bill
It may take your credit card issuer a few weeks to investigate. In the meantime, keep paying your credit card bill. Otherwise, you may be charged interest on the balance. You should get a refund if your dispute is successful.
You may be wondering, ombudsman, what’s that? It’s a person who resolves complaints from the public. If you’re still having problems, and your credit card was issued by a bank, a further option is the bank ombudsman. This is a bank employee who helps customers resolve their disputes with the bank.
Check your credit card issuer’s ombudsman policy. The Canadian Bankers Association provides a contact list for the ombudsman offices for most Canadian banks. Visit their website.