Dealing With Lost Or Stolen Credit Cards And Billing Errors


Consumers who have had their credit cards lost, stolen or found a billing error can find some useful advice below to help make the task of dealing with the issue much easier.

Lost Or Stolen Credit Cards

If your credit card is lost, stolen, or used without your authorization, you do not have to pay for any unauthorized charges greater than $50 under the Truth in Lending Act.

Call your credit card company as soon as you know you've lost your card or that your card number has been used without your authorization.

Keep a list of the customer service phone numbers for your cards in your files and carry it with you when you travel, so you have the numbers for all your cards in one place if your wallet or purse is lost or stolen. You can also check your monthly statement or your credit card company's websites for a customer service number to call.

Credit Card Billing Errors

If you believe your credit card company has made a billing error, or you are unsatisfied with a purchase, you have certain protections under the Fair Credit Billing Act. Examples of billing errors are:

1) a charge for something you didn't buy;

2) a purchase by someone not authorized to use your card;

3) an amount on your bill that is different from the actual amount you paid;

4) a charge for something that you did not accept on delivery;

5) a charge for something that was not delivered according to the agreement;

6) arithmetic errors; and

7) payments not credited to your account.

If you think your credit card bill has an error, contact your credit card company within 60 days of receiving the bill with the error. Some companies may accept e-mail; others will require that you put your dispute in writing. Be sure you have the following information available:

1) your name and account number;

2) a description of the billing error; and

3) the date and amount of the charge you dispute.

If there is an error, you will not have to pay interest charges on the disputed amount. Your account must be corrected. If there is no error, the credit card company must send you an explanation and a statement of what you owe.

If you have a general complaint against a credit card company, first try to resolve it directly with the store or your credit card company. If you are unable to resolve the problem, you may want to file a complaint with the federal agency responsible for enforcing consumer credit laws at your credit card company. If you are uncertain which agency regulates your company please contact the Federal Reserve or Federal Trade Commission or visit their websites.

Although all information is written in good faith and has been reviewed, please email us at [email protected] to report any inaccuracies.