Dispute Charges Because BAD Service

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by exotic, Mar 5, 2003.

  1. exotic

    exotic New Member

    Hey Everyone! I had my windows in my car tinted two weeks ago, the tint job didn't come out to good, I went back and the guy had to replace the front because he put it on broken Duhh LOL, then the back tint fell off with the heat, guess they didn't clean the glass properly, now I'm having problems with the door tint, it's cut way short, I went today and they refuse to replace that door tint....I paid with my VISA CARD, can I dispute, so they won't get paid, I still haven't even gotten the bill yet, but I paid almost $ 200.00. If I dispute the charge and my credit card company doesn't pay them, can the tint shop come after me for the money???

  2. SDBoy

    SDBoy New Member

    That would be the wrong thing to do, although allowed by the CC company.

    The legal thing to do would be to send them a letter, CRRR, demanding a full refund within 5 days. If that doesn't do it, you need to go the small claims route. If you dispute the charge, they can and probably will just send you to a CA and then you won't be able to have as many options.

    Just send the letter, if they don't respond, go to court, they'll settle I 'm sure.
  3. keepmine

    keepmine New Member

    Here ya go

    Fair Credit Billing

    Have you ever been billed for merchandise you returned or never received? Has your credit card company ever charged you twice for the same item or failed to credit a payment to your account? While frustrating, these errors can be corrected. It takes a little patience and knowledge of the dispute settlement procedures provided by the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA).

    The law applies to "open end" credit accounts, such as credit cards, and revolving charge accounts - such as department store accounts. It does not cover installment contracts - loans or extensions of credit you repay on a fixed schedule. Consumers often buy cars, furniture and major appliances on an installment basis, and repay personal loans in installments as well.

    What types of disputes are covered?

    The FCBA settlement procedures apply only to disputes about "billing errors." For example:

    unauthorized charges. Federal law limits your responsibility for unauthorized charges to $50;

    charges that list the wrong date or amount;

    charges for goods and services you didn't accept or weren't delivered as agreed;

    math errors;

    failure to post payments and other credits, such as returns;

    failure to send bills to your current address - provided the creditor receives your change of address, in writing, at least 20 days before the billing period ends; and

    charges for which you ask for an explanation or written proof of purchase along with a claimed error or request for clarification.

    To take advantage of the law's consumer protections, you must:

    write to the creditor at the address given for "billing inquiries," not the address for sending your payments, and include your name, address, account number and a description of the billing error.

    send your letter so that it reaches the creditor within 60 days after the first bill containing the error was mailed to you.

    Send your letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, so you have proof of what the creditor received. Include copies (not originals) of sales slips or other documents that support your position. Keep a copy of your dispute letter.

    The creditor must acknowledge your complaint in writing within 30 days after receiving it, unless the problem has been resolved. The creditor must resolve the dispute within two billing cycles (but not more than 90 days) after receiving your letter.

    Your Name
    Your Address
    Your City, State, Zip Code
    Your Account Number

    Name of Creditor
    Billing Inquiries
    City, State, Zip Code

    Dear Sir or Madam:

    I am writing to dispute a billing error in the amount of $______on my account. The amount is inaccurate because (describe the problem). I am requesting that the error be corrected, that any finance and other charges related to the disputed amount be credited as well, and that I receive an accurate statement.

    Enclosed are copies of (use this sentence to describe any enclosed information, such as sales slips, payment records) supporting my position. Please investigate this matter and correct the billing error as soon as possible.

    Your name
    Enclosures: (List what you are enclosing.)

    What happens while my bill is in dispute?

    You may withhold payment on the disputed amount (and related charges), during the investigation. You must pay any part of the bill not in question, including finance charges on the undisputed amount.

    The creditor may not take any legal or other action to collect the disputed amount and related charges (including finance charges) during the investigation. While your account cannot be closed or restricted, the disputed amount may be applied against your credit limit.

    Will my credit rating be affected?

    The creditor may not threaten your credit rating or report you as delinquent while your bill is in dispute. However, the creditor may report that you are challenging your bill. In addition, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits creditors from discriminating against credit applicants who exercise their rights, in good faith, under the FCBA. Simply put, you cannot be denied credit simply because you've disputed a bill.

    What if...

    ...the bill is incorrect?

    If your bill contains an error, the creditor must explain to you - in writing - the corrections that will be made to your account. In addition to crediting your account, the creditor must remove all finance charges, late fees or other charges related to the error.

    If the creditor determines that you owe a portion of the disputed amount, you must get a written explanation. You may request copies of documents proving you owe the money.

    ...the bill is correct?

    If the creditor's investigation determines the bill is correct, you must be told promptly and in writing how much you owe and why. You may ask for copies of relevant documents. At this point, you'll owe the disputed amount, plus any finance charges that accumulated while the amount was in dispute. You also may have to pay the minimum amount you missed paying because of the dispute.

    If you disagree with the results of the investigation, you may write to the creditor, but you must act within 10 days after receiving the explanation, and you may indicate that you refuse to pay the disputed amount. At this point, the creditor may begin collection procedures. However, if the creditor reports you to a credit bureau as delinquent, the report also must state that

    you don't think you owe the money. The creditor must tell you who gets these reports.

    ...the creditor fails to follow the procedure?

    Any creditor who fails to follow the settlement procedure may not collect the amount in dispute, or any related finance charges, up to $50, even if the bill turns out to be correct. For example, if a creditor acknowledges your complaint in 45 days - 15 days too late - or takes more than two billing cycles to resolve a dispute, the penalty applies. The penalty also applies if a creditor threatens to report - or improperly reports - your failure to pay to anyone during the dispute period.

    An important caveat

    Disputes about the quality of goods and services are not "billing errors," so the dispute procedure does not apply. However, if you buy unsatisfactory goods or services with a credit or charge card, you can take the same legal actions against the card issuer as you can take under state law against the seller.

    To take advantage of this protection regarding the quality of goods or services, you must:

    have made the purchase (it must be for more than $50) in your home state or within 100 miles of your current billing address;

    make a good faith effort to resolve the dispute with the seller first.

    The dollar and distance limitations don't apply if the seller also is the card issuer - or if a special business relationship exists between the seller and the card issuer.

    Other billing rights

    Businesses that offer "open end" credit also must:

    give you a written notice when you open a new account - and at certain other times - that describes your right to dispute billing errors;

    provide a statement for each billing period in which you owe - or they owe you - more than one dollar;

    send your bill at least 14 days before the payment is due - if you have a period within which to pay the bill without incurring additional charges;

    credit all payments to your account on the date they're received, unless no extra charges would result if they failed to do so. Creditors are permitted to set some reasonable rules for making payments, say setting a reasonable deadline for payment to be received to be credited on the same date; and

    promptly credit or refund overpayments and other amounts owed to your account. This applies to instances where your account is owed more than one dollar. Your account must be credited promptly with the amount owed. If you prefer a refund, it must be sent within seven business days after the creditor receives your written request. The creditor must also make a good faith effort to refund a credit balance that has remained on your account for more than six months.

    Suing the creditor

    You can sue a creditor who violates the FCBA. If you win, you may be awarded damages, plus twice the amount of any finance charge - as long as it's between $100 and $1,000. The court also may order the creditor to pay your attorney's fees and costs.

    If possible, hire a lawyer who is willing to accept the amount awarded to you by the court as the entire fee for representing you. Some lawyers may not take your case unless you agree to pay their fee - win or lose - or add to the court-awarded amount if they think it's too low.

    Reporting FCBA violations

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces the FCBA for most creditors except banks. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at www.ftc.gov. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
  4. lakpr

    lakpr New Member


    I see two questions here ...

    (1) How to go about disputing the card?
    (2) Will the merchant come after you later on?

    Answer to first question
    You usually have between 30-60 days from the day you get your statement (depends on the card) to dispute any charges on this account.

    Important thing to remember is that disputes should be done ONLY in writing. You need to keep a good paper trail of how you attempted to resolve the dispute with the merchant, and send all that paperwork to the credit card.

    Take some photographs of the car if they can show the problem (badly tinted windows), a copy of the original bill from the merchant, any other bills etc. when you approached the merchant with an intent to resolve the problem first ... and send all this paperwork to the credit card company at the address specified for disputes.

    There is a high probability that you may not have to pay the amount in dispute -- most of such disputes are resolved in the consumer's favor.

    I think the kind of relationship you have with the credit card company also matters. Citibank, in my case, has been absolutely wonderful in resolving a problem with a travel agent (never delivered the tickets to me after accepting money) ..... I had never been late in my payments to them either ....

    Answer to second question
    This did not happen to me, as the merchant simply folded. But at the end of the investigation, you will get a letter from the credit card company indicating the dispute has been resolved in your favor. This, I think, can be used as YOUR defense in court, should it ever come to that. I hope you did not give your SSN to the merchant, did you ?

    Best of luck,
    -- lakpr
  5. jlynn

    jlynn New Member

    Call your cc company. Some of them have guarantees about such things.

    From the other side - was this a franchise? A chain? Or a mom and pop type shop? There is also the BBB, and the tint manufacturer that you can approach.
  6. exotic

    exotic New Member

    Re: Re: Dispute Charges Because BAD Service

    Thanks...No I did not give them my SSN, Nor my home address, But I think they can get this info from my credit card company or a lawyer threw my Card Number???
  7. exotic

    exotic New Member

    Hey it's a mom and pop place here in Florida.
  8. jlynn

    jlynn New Member

    OK, you need to find out the manufacturer of the tint. They might be willing to help you.
  9. lakpr

    lakpr New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Dispute Charges Because BAD Service

    I highly doubt it! You indicated that the amount of the bill is $200 in your original post, right? Do you think the merchant will employ a lawyer at $200+ hourly rate to collect measly $200 from you? And subpoena or otherwise demand the credit card company to reveal your private information such as SSN, home address etc. ? If it were $2000, then perhaps yes. As it stands right now, I don't think so!

    Relax, and get that paperwork in order, and mail it to the credit card company. I advise you to send it by certified mail, to make sure the card company got it.

    -- lakpr
  10. Epitomee

    Epitomee New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Dispute Charges Because BAD Service

    Why not just pay the item on your credit card and sue them in small claims court for reimbursement of a shoddy job. Take pictures of the item and appear in court like on people's court.
  11. HDAlex

    HDAlex New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Dispute Charges Because BAD Service

    Because most credit cards allow you to dispute the item with them saving you time, money and hassle.

  12. exotic

    exotic New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Dispute Charges Because BAD Service

    I'll rather have my CC company not pay them, the job is bad =)
  13. exotic

    exotic New Member

    Re: Re: Dispute Charges Because BAD Service

    Yea, I think they may be able to help, the manufacture is 3M Scotchtint, but there isn't many authorized 3M dealers, certified to install this tint, but on my warrenty it has an address to 3M, i'll write to them and ask for a list of authorized dealers in my area, it says installation and labor free of charge for limited lifetime warrenty. But till then I'll dispute with CC company. What do you think? =)
  14. exotic

    exotic New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Dispute Charges Because BAD Service

    Yea I know, but this is my first time disputing charges for bad service. =)
  15. HDAlex

    HDAlex New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Dispute Charges Because BAD Service


    Sorry for any confusion - my post was directred to Epitomee. Good luck, and know that for once the system is on your side!

  16. exotic

    exotic New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dispute Charges Because BAD Service

    It's ok Thanks =)

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