What is your liability for unauthorized use of your credit card? :If your credit card is stolen, or is lost, or if someone uses the card without your permission, –you are only liable for charges up to $50. This liability protection is guaranteed by federal law, –the federal Truth in Lending Act. Therefore, it is not necessary to purchase credit card insurance for amounts over $50. However, if you discover that your card has been stolen, or lost, or used without your authorization you are required to immediately report this to your credit card company so they can cancel the card and prevent more purchases from being made. The company will normally issue a new card to you at that time. A good practice is to create a list of all your credit cards, account numbers, and credit card issuer phone numbers and keep this in a safe place where you can locate it easily. This list should be available to you when you travel in case your credit cards are lost or stolen.
What if billing errors occur? :While they seem to be rare billing errors can occur on your credit card statement. You should always inspect your monthly statement for accuracy. Some types of billing errors that can occur include:
Bill amount is greater than the amount you actually Charges for items you did not order or purchase Charges for items not delivered per your agreement with the vendor Unauthorized use of your credit card
If you believe billing errors have occurred with your credit card then take these steps immediately:
1. Inform the credit card company in writing of the error. This must happen within 60 days of the credit card statement date. Send this to the “billing inquires” address included on the statement. Do include your name and account number, the date and amount you are disputing, why the bill is wrong.
2. Pay all correct parts of the bill on time. You are not required to pay the disputed amount, or any finance charge or minimum payments that may apply to it.
The credit card company is required to investigate your reported error. If they find there was indeed an error you will not be required to pay the disputed charge or any related finance charges. If they find there was no error, the credit card company will send an explanation along with the amounts you owe, which will include any finance charges that may have accumulated while your claim was investigated.
What if something you ordered arrives damaged?: The federal Fair Credit Billing Act allows consumers to withhold payment for damaged or poor-quality goods and services purchased with a credit card. This is allowed even if you have already received the goods or services, if you have attempted to reconcile the problem with the vendor. The limitation is that the purchase must have been for an amount of more than $50 and must have taken place in your home state or within 100 miles of your home address. If this happens you must notify the credit card company in writing and explain why you are withholding the payment. The payment may be withheld while the credit card company investigates your claim. If you pay the charges for the goods on your credit card bill before the dispute is resolved, you will lose your right to make a claim.
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