No. of Recommendations: 3

Credit cards are have been tightening up the dispute process it seems. I don't know if they are trying to save money or are shovelling more of the chargeback risk onto the merchants. However, having been a merchant that accepted credit cards, I can tell you the following generally works when disputing charges.

1. Goods not as advertised. Submit supporting evidence or other documentation. Hearsay is not going to win this one, but the credit card companies are pretty liberal if you can clearly show the goods were not as advertised.

2. Not an authorized charge or unauthorized recuring billing. This generally is easy to fight once you contact the merchant and _ask_ for a copy of the contract or a credit card receipt with your signature. Most merchants can't find a pen in which to jot down your phone number, so you'll win if they can't find your contract. If it's a telephone order, then they won't have your signature on a contract nor a sales slip and telephone orders put 100% of the risk of a chargeback squarely on the merchant.

So what you need to do is first write another letter to the credit card company and explain that you're going to contact the merchant as requested. They should restart the dispute process.

Contact the merchant and ask for a refund. They'll probably refuse so you'll need to (nicely) ask for a copy of the contract or a credit card sales slip with your signature. If they can not find one, ask for them to fax, mail or email that fact to you. They probably won't do that, so be sure to get the phone number and name of the customer support representative that you speak with since that'll be about the only supporting information you'll have when you write letter number two to the credit card company. In that letter, you'll tell the credit card company that you asked for and have not been provided a copy of the contract/service agreement nor a credit card sales slip with your signature. The rules concerning telephone/online orders should then handle your dispute. Those rules are that the merchant is wrong until proven otherwise.

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