How to dispute charges through your credit card
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A few weeks ago, I wrote about my epic ordeal canceling Sprint service and moving to Cingular (because of reception in a new house):
But then they told me my account had a $160.00 charge. For what, I asked? Wait for it…
“An early cancellation fee.”
Yeah, right. I knew I didn’t have a contract, and I had negotiated out of an early cancellation fee a long time ago. Cellphone companies make a lot of money from trying these shady moves, hoping customers will get frustrated, give up, and just pay.
As soon as I read these notes out loud, I witnessed a miraculous change in her ability to waive the fee. Within 2 minutes, my account was cleared and I was off the phone. Amazing!!!!! Thank you madam!!!
See the full article: Sprint tries to rip Ramit off? Oh my.
But here’s the clincher: Although I thought I was done dealing with them–and they told me they wouldn’t charge me–they did it anyway.
By this point, I was so fed up that I called in the big guns.
Many people don’t know that your credit card offers you excellent consumer protection. This is one of the reasons I encourage everyone to make major purchases on their credit card (not cash or debit).
I called my credit card and told them I wanted to dispute a charge. They said, “Sure, what’s your address and what’s the amount?” When I told them, they instantly gave me a temporary credit for the amount, and told me to mail in a form with my complaint.
I did so, including my notes and everything. 2 weeks later, the complaint was totally resolved–in my favor. In other words, that temporary credit became permanent, and I didn’t have to pay. Sprint had to eat the cost. And rightfully so, those jackasses.
What happens in disputes like this is that the credit card will go fight the merchant for you (it works with all major credit cards). This is the 1st or 2nd time I’ve ever had to do this, so I recommend waiting for something major. But in the case of Sprint, which had consistently lied, I was tired of it and decided to let the credit card company handle it. Keep this in mind for future purchases.
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