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Most of us have been in situations where we have made purchases using credit cards and then returned those items and got refunds. Whenever refunds are initiated most shops tell customers that the refunded amount would reflect in their next billing cycle. How many actually go and check if the refund is reflecting or not? And if it has not been refunded what is the procedure to follow. Endless calls to the banks, calls to the customer service and promises of a refund that is never refunded. For all such issue the Fair Credit Billing Act also called FBCA was setup to correct credit card errors.

Bringing the refund to the notice of your credit card company will not help as most banks do not respond to such disputes. This is because the refund has to be initiated from the shop where it was initially charged. In the meantime, the card company will continue to charge the card holder for that purchase. So instead of spending time talking to customer services on the phone, the consumer should send his or her dispute in writing within 60 days of receiving the bill with the error. The letter should also include the complete name, address, contact details such as phone and email, account details and the billing error. Any proof that may support your claim should also be included in the letter such as the receipt or reference numbers. Make sure you send in photocopies and retain the original for your reference.

Mailing a copy of the dispute to the credit card company will help speedy the process. Once the company has received you dispute, they have 30 days to acknowledge the receipt of your dispute. From there on they have 90 days to correct the bill and credit any finance charges, late payment fees or any other fees they have charged or they send a detailed explanation as to why the billed is correct and justify the amount they have charged. If it turns out that there is no billing error then the consumer has 10 days to make the payment. If he is not satisfied or has any doubts he can re-dispute the error. The consumer also has the right to ask for any documentation that supports the card company's claim.

During this time, the credit card company cannot put any information against you in the credit report until the dispute has been settled. More information on the same can be found on the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) website.