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Web Site Review: DisputeMyCharge.com

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From Glen Bolofsky, the guy who brought you ParkingTicket.com to help you fight parking tickets, comes this new site, “which guarantees that you will win – or you pay us nothing.”

Sounds pretty good, huh?

Just launched three days ago, the site charges a fee of half the disputed amount on your credit card.

They return their take if you don’t end up saving money.

You have the option of paying a $29.95 flat fee to cover large amounts, but that doesn’t include the money-back guarantee.

I think this new service offers nothing but more headaches: more of my time, more email, more aggravation.

Remember Voltaire’s observation: “I have only been ruined but twice in my life – once when I lost a lawsuit, and once when I won one.”

On a related topic, you should know that if your credit card is used fraudulently, your liability is limited, by federal law, to a maximum of $50.

So don’t waste your money on those ridiculous offers that come attached to the return envelope for your credit card payment, the ones that offer you “credit card insurance.”

Because it’s a total bogus deal – you don’t need credit card insurance: the federal government already gives it to you gratis, for life, with a $50 deductible.

Here’s Jennifer Saranow’s Thursday Wall Street Journal article about DisputeMyCharge.com.

    Web Site That Helps You Fight Card Charges Meets Skepticism

    A new Web site aims to make it easier for consumers to dispute improper credit-card and debit-card charges, but some consumer advocates and card companies are skeptical about the site’s claims.

    DisputeMyCharge.com, which was launched yesterday, says it can help people with card-billing errors settle the matter with the merchant first.

    “If you go to your credit-card company, it’s an all-or-nothing proposition,” says Glen Bolofsky, president and founder of DisputeMyCharge.com, based in Paramus, N.J.

    “You are either going to lose 100% or gain 100%, but if you work with the merchant, you have a chance of different options.”

    Mr. Bolofsky earlier founded parkingticket.com, which helps consumers fight parking tickets.

    DisputeMyCharge.com’s fee: half the cost of the disputed amount, which is returned if the site doesn’t save the consumer money. Users also can opt for a $29.95 flat charge to cover larger disputes, but that doesn’t include a money-back guarantee.

    But some consumer groups and card companies say there is no reason why consumers should have to pay to get disputes settled.

    Visa USA Inc. recommends that consumers first go to merchants on their own for disputes over the quality of goods and services and then, if the dispute is not resolved, call the card issuer.

    In cases of fraud, Visa recommends going to the card issuer immediately.

    American Express Co., on the other hand, suggests consumers first come to it because of the nature of its merchant network.

    MasterCard International Inc. says it is best to go to the issuer first to get the dispute on record.

    “It seems extremely expensive for something that you can do yourself,” says Linda Sherry, editorial director of Consumer Action, a consumer education and advocacy organization in San Francisco.

    There is no reason, she says, why consumers can’t just go to merchants first themselves and if that doesn’t work, then go to the card issuer.

    An exception: She says consumers should always go to issuers first if they believe the charges to be fraudulent.

    Laws govern how issuers must respond to a cardholder’s complaints about billing errors.

    Generally, consumers have 60 days after they receive a statement with an error to notify the issuer.

    For credit cards, consumers don’t have to pay the disputed amount until the issuer finishes investigating it, and then only if the issuer sides with the merchant.

    For debit cards, if the dispute investigation takes longer than a certain period, issuers generally must put the money back into a consumer’s account until the investigation is finished.

    Mr. Bolofsky says criticism of his site from consumer advocates misses the point.

    He says that most consumers don’t call the merchants because they don’t want to confront them or don’t know what to say.

    Meanwhile, as to the idea that consumers can just go directly to the card issuer free of charge, he says most consumers are not experts on the rules and regulations to ensure that they will win the dispute.

    To use DisputeMyCharge.com, consumers sign on and enter information about the charge they want to dispute including the dollar amount, name of the merchant and the reason they want to fight the charge.

    Then consumers pick from a drop-down menu of dispute codes, which the site claims are the card companies’ official codes.

    Before the site takes action, users must pay half the value of the disputed amount upfront by credit card or money order.

    The site then sends a letter demanding a refund to the merchant.

    The merchant is asked to log on to the site within 10 days to either approve or disapprove a recredit, or to communicate online with the customer about the disputed charge and other resolution options.

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About bookofjoe

  • http://www.legalemail4u.com Top Attorney

    Thank you bookofjoe for your insight. I just got a credit card dispute resolved. Unfortunately, I lost. And I lost big. $160.00.

    I wish you had told me that I could have used disputemycharge.com before I went it alone. I would have gladly paid them $29.95 to keep my $160.00.

    I guess the old proverb “if a lawyer represents himself, he has a fool for a client”…..still applies……huh joe ?

    Your advice to go it alone may be good for some people but not for everyone. Did you know that after talking with my close friends each one of them sadly admitted they had lost credit card disputes? Perhaps you’re above average joe. I’ll stick with tax planning.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    This sounds like a straight-out scam. It’s already TOO easy to dispute charges. All you have to do is call your credit card company and they will either send you a form or some will even take the info over the phone.

    As a merchant who takes credit cards in his business I’m painfully aware of how many customers just forget what they bought a month ago, or don’t recognize the name of the company where they made a small online purchase and then dispute the charge without bothering to make any effort at all to contact the merchant. So I end up filling out paperwork and researching a sale and wasting time and money when it all could have been resolved with a simple phonecall from the confused customer.

    This is another example of someone taking advantage of the ignorant to sell something that’s already available to them for free.

    Dave

  • chris

    These guys are scammers!!!! Just like parkingticket.com Praying on gullable people looking to BEAT the system.

    The scam is in the guarenteed refund. They set the rules so tight you have no chance of getting your money back. See my email from them when I tried to get my refund after I was found guilty.

    I’ve heard this again and again. Time to fight back. Besides an email complaint to BBB. I intend to file a class action lawsuit on these scammers. If you have a similar story email me at espnfan at lycos.com ALso plan to host a website telling all the denial of refund stories. Interested? let me know.

    Thanks
    Chris

    Hi,

    This email is to inform you that in accordance with our Terms & Conditions, your request for a refund on ticket #341813113 was not approved for the following reasons:
    A review of the paperwork you submitted shows that our Copyrighted document(s) have been edited or modified in the following way(s):

    The parkingticket.com Copyright Mark does not appear on the Dismissal Letter. Refund Request not filed within 30 days of date of final Hearing Determination
    If you have any questions or feel this is in error, please contact us promptly by responding to this email. Please note, we answer all emails on a first-come, first-served basis.
    Thank you,
    The Support Team
    parkingticket.com