Sponsor Robert Siciliano as he runs the Boston Marathon for Miles for Miracles, Children's Hospital Boston
ROBERT SICILIANO is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds.


Check here if you're human


The 4 Types of Credit Card Disputes

Pin It

Love’m my credit cards. I get points, mileage and one place to view all my spending. Who doesn’t love that!

But I hate having to go through the misery of disputing charges. In my own research, I’ve determined four types of credit card disputes to look out for.

Unauthorized use: Basically, this is fraud—unauthorized use of your card when someone steals the card, skims the card, copies the number, hacks the number or double charges on purpose. Under federal law, you are responsible for up to $50 as long as you refute charges within 60 days with your credit card company. If it happens to you: Contact your credit card company ASAP and begin the resolution process. BillGuard can also help you open a dispute, at no cost to you. Just click the red button on your BillGuard Scan Report.

Disputes on dollar amounts: Mistakes happen. But I often find they don’t happen in my favor. They seem to always happen in the merchant’s favor. Funny how it works out like that, huh?

You might be billed incorrectly for products or services you didn’t purchase, charged for products you ordered but didn’t get, or be overcharged. (For the record, I don’t think I’ve ever been “undercharged.”).  If it happens to you: Contact the merchant ASAP and go through the merchant’s process for resolution. Don’t want to deal with the hassle? BillGuard will handle the dispute for you, for free.

Problems with products or services: Sometimes it’s a quality issue: products break within 30 days, are delivered broken, or the merchant fails to provide services requested. If it happens to you: Contact the merchant ASAP. If the merchant is uncooperative, contact BillGuard.

Grey charges:Grey charges are often charges that, in a roundabout way (that is, in the fine print), we agreed to by purchasing products or services. A grey charge may include mysterious subscriptions, automatic renewals, free products that result in paid products or cost creep. The initial purchase may be pennies, but over time ends up costing big dollars. If it happens to you: Flag the charge on your BillGuard Scan Report. We’ll help you open a dispute.

Here’s how to reduce your aggravation when it comes to credit card disputes:

  • Always reconcile your bills diligently and on a timely basis.
  • Refute unauthorized charges immediately—within one to two billing cycles.
  • Use a credit card instead of a debit card, as credit cards offer more consumer protection.
  • Be patient—and be nice—when talking to customer support. Don’t yell like you’re some crazy Italian. (Disclosure: I am that crazy Italian.) Trust me. It usually doesn’t work.
  • Use BillGuard to watch your back and help you resolve unwanted charges.

Robert Siciliano is a personal security expert & advisor to BillGuard and is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video. Disclosures.

About the Author
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.

Similar Posts

  • Beware of Credit Card Micro Charges
    Micro charges are charges ranging from 20 cents to $10 and either are fraudulent, legitimate or fall into the category of “grey charges,” which describe sneaky recurring or unwanted charges. These charges often go undetected because they are so small. Nine out of 10 credit card holders don’t scrutinize their statements carefully, allowing these scammers to
  • BillGuard: Grey Charges Equal Legal Fraud
    Grey charge: When you buy something with your credit card and you get charged for something you didn’t want. Often a merchant will tack on additional products and services to a legitimate purchase you make, and you “sorta” know about the charge…but not really. For example, you might be in the process of purchasing something and
  • Resolve to Dissolve Credit Card Billing Errors
    Like death and taxes, credit card disputes are inevitable. The good news is, whenever there is a credit card dispute that results from a billing error, the credit card company often takes the side of the cardholder until getting a counter argument from the merchant. The better news is that all this is laid out in
  • Avoid Unwanted Credit Card Charges
    I think it’s safe to say that all credit card charges are unwanted, but today I’m talking about so-called “grey charges”—those out-of-the-blue credit card charges that sneak up on us and require our time, attention, persistence and aggravation to get rid of. A study by BillGuard shows the average dollar amount lost by grey charges
  • Card Issuers Losing $562 in Costs to Grey Charges
    Hey merchants, yes you, BillGuard released a report that examined the grey charge problem among US debit and credit cardholders and the service costs impacting card issuers and retailers. The report revealed 11 types of deceptive ‘grey charges’ that retailers use to mislead consumers in their sales and billing practices. Yaron Samid, founder and CEO of

Comments are closed.

Xtreme School

Featured in

Anderson Cooper John Stossel Robert Siciliano Featured in
Browse by Month

Browse by Category