Credit Card Errors? Five Smart Strategies to Prevent And Resolve Them
Most of us have and use credit cards of one sort or another. For the sake of this article, we will include bank debit cards and retail department store cards that are all used to purchase items in place of cash.
For the main part, we seldom look at the statement in detail, we just pay it or use it without considering if the expense items listed are correct. The truth is credit card errors are prevalent.
I want to give you some ideas on resolving and making sure that there are no credit card errors that were not originated by you.
1. Minimize your number of credit cards
This might sound like having nothing to do with resolving credit card errors. The truth is that it is resolving them from a management perspective before they happen.
The more cards that you have and use, the harder it is to keep track of all of your spending from these cards.
Do you really need ten different cards? Do you really need all those department store cards? Why not get just five or less to minimize or avoid credit card errors.
How about just having two major credit cards, two different debit cards and only one major retail department store card that you frequent. I for one only have American Express card. The idea is the less you have here the more you will be able to manage any errors.
2. Keep your receipts
Most of the time, you will have the option of getting a printed receipt. Always get it and keep it. At the end of the day or week, simply organize those receipts into an envelope for each card that you have.
Most brick and mortars stores nowadays offer email options for your receipt. You should take advantage of this, in fact, you should do both physical and email. If it was an online purchase, then make sure to print out the receipt that was emailed to you.
You will not have to keep these receipts forever unless you need them for tax or warranty purposes. You will only need them for monthly reconciliation.
3. Reconciliation day
Pick out a time each and every month where you are going to go over your budgeting or planned spending. Make sure you enjoy the time with your favorite beverage. This is part of your happiness routine.
Simply pull out the envelopes for each cards receipts and your monthly statement. Start checking off each and every line item on your statement with your receipt.
Once that is done, you really have no reason to keep the receipt and let it clutter your life. Throw it away or shred it as it is no longer needed in your life. The only reason you would keep it now would be for warranty or return or tax reasons.
4. Question any unreconciled items
If during this process you found an item that was not the same amount as your receipt, or an item was on the statement that you have no receipt for, then call the card provider and have them explain to you each and every line item that you cannot reconcile.
Sometimes there is a transaction fee associated with a particular item. Sometimes you had authorized an automatic recurring or one-time withdrawal and simply forgot.
No matter what, you will question and ask for any explanation from the credit card customer service for each item unresolved to you.
5. Contact each vendor
Lastly, after calling the card company to verify any unresolved items, you will dispute any and all unresolved items with the card company.
Ask them how to dispute it with them first, not the vendor.
You will confirm the address and phone number of each and every vendor you did not authorize or is still unresolved. This is in tandem with your same item dispute with the card company.
The issue here is that you now have the card company working on your behalf against the same vendor and you are also going to contact the vendor.
It is a two-pronged attack against the vendor. Finally, you will ask or should I say demand that any item that was not yours be credited back to you.
Demand how long it should take and confirm the process. As a side benefit to this strategy, it is the opportunity for you to make sure that your identity or at least card usage is not being used illegally by someone else.
Keep these ideas in mind and use them each and every month.