This thread has arisen from the numerous other threads in this forum that call to prospective buyers to totally avoid and boycott certain websites, namely due to their bad experience. While I do not doubt that an individual has had a bad experience, and support voicing their opinion about such an experience, I think it would be helpful for everyone to know how and why to file a Visa (or other major CC) dispute.
Why would you want to even bother filing a credit card dispute
There are a number of reasons - the biggest being that you didn't get what you ordered in a timely manner (or ever)! Other reasons include scams, items on constant backorder ("in-stock"), or the simple fact that you got charged the wrong amount.
How can I file a dispute
For a debit card or card issued by your bank or credit union, call them. They work vis-a-vis with the card companies (Visa being the most common). Additionally, nearly all banks or credit unions have a special office solely dedicated to what is considered, 'fraudulent activity'.
Once you've been transfered to the fraud (or corresponding) office, explain your situation. Recently, I purchased a catalytic converter from http://autopartswarehouse.com
, which turned out to receive terrible reviews across the internet; nearly everyone received the wrong parts, at the wrong time, and were never issued a refund once they placed an order. Calls I made to cancel my order were refused as it was claimed the order was, "in processing" and could not be canceled. Anyone who deals with e-commerce knows this is usually the only time to cancel, and it is only when the goods have been packed for shipment that it is too late to cancel. Unfortunately, I had already authorized the charge (i.e. I bought it) with my Visa Debit card before knowing all of this.
Odds are that if you should find yourself here, your bank or credit union will probably tell you that at this point, there's nothing you, nor the bank can do.
Here's why: when you purchase something, both you and the seller create a contract for the goods or services paid for. In order to file a dispute, an individual has to void or disrupt the contract (here we are talking about the seller) to make the buyer eligible for a refund from the credit card company.
In my most recent case (the catalytic converter) the seller violated the contract by not sending the parts within the time period we both agreed on (i.e. the shipping date).
Once this date passed, I called my credit union back, and was sent a Visa dispute form. I filled it out, checked the appropriate dispute box, and faxed it back to them.
Within a week, I received a full refund.
Yes, it is generally that simple!
You, as a forum member, have every right to complain about a company or website that did not follow through with your order; in fact, I'm sure we'd all like to know so we don't purchase from that dealer/person/store - however, simply whining about your bad experience typically will not get your money back.
I do NOT believe that 'bad experiences' should go in the Stolen Equipment forum (unless it's similar to what happened here
). We have feedback for people, check it. We have stickies on guidelines for trading, read them (UTL has a great guide here
Remember, the best way to prevent having to file a dispute is to simply do the research on the nets regarding the website. Now, even Wikipedia has information on companies and their reps. Take the extra ten minutes and avoid a nightmare.
No matter your situation, I hope this helps...
06/18/2007 - Updated grammar and verbiage throughout post.
06/18/2007 - Added more information, looking to post a copy of a dispute form today or tomorrow (06/19/2007)