Reading through your credit card statement each month is a good practice to be sure you were billed correctly. Your credit card issuer expects you to pay for the charges listed on your billing statement, so if you spot an error, you should inform your credit card issuer right away to clear up the error.
Timeframe for Credit Card Disputes
You must send your dispute letter within 60 days that the billing statement containing the error was mailed to you. Your credit card issuer is not legally required to resolve billing errors that you dispute after these 60 days and you may be on the hook for the balance, even though it wasn’t billed correctly.
Many credit card issuers will investigate your dispute even if you make it by phone, as long as it’s within the 60-day window. Following up with a letter gives you an extra layer of protection and gives you an opportunity to provide proof that supports your claim.
Once the credit card issuer receives your dispute letter, they’re required to respond in writing within 30 days. They must also resolve the dispute within two billing cycles of receiving your letter. You’re not required to pay anything on the disputed charges while the credit card issuer investigates, but you do have to make any other required minimum payments and finance charges. Missing your required minimum payment will lead to a late fee, and possibly a late notice added to your credit report.
What to Put in Your Credit Card Dispute Letter
The dispute letter can be simple. In your letter, include the transaction or transactions that you’re disputing and the reason you’re making the dispute. Send copies of any proof, e.g. a receipt, that support your dispute. If you’ve already called about the error, mention the date and time of the phone call in your letter and the name of the representative who assisted you.
When you’re ready to mail off your billing error dispute letter, check your credit card statement for the credit card issuer’s address for correspondence. Note that this address is usually different from the address where you mail your payment.
Keep a copy of the letter with the original receipts or other proof for your records.