While everyone is talking about chargeback protection, no one is helping their consumers dispute a legal charge. Below is a step by step guide on how to dispute a charge:

First, review your credit card report on a regular basis so that in case of a problem you can contact your bank as soon as possible. Surprisingly, many consumers don’t check their statements and may even end up paying for mistaken charges. If you wait a month or more to dispute a transaction, the long chargeback settling rules of MasterCard or Visa may consider it too late for the bank to assist you. In case you realize a fault, contact the merchant who received the payments to carry out a chargeback.

For fraudulent transactions that you can’t trace or if the merchant is not willing to help, you can go ahead call the bank. Be prepared to give the details of the transaction to the bank staff to ascertain if you deserve a chargeback. They may also request for a copy of your credit card receipt, or any other documents to reinforce your case, that’s why you need to keep records of all your purchases.  Once they have the data, they will evaluate the dispute and come to a decision whether you should be paid back or not.

While most banks prove quite helpful, other cardholders have had negative experiences. Some customer care staff will lie that they can’t do anything to help you get back your money from an errant vendor simply because chargebacks normally cost the bank time as well as money. The way around it is to be relentless, especially if there is an obvious error and an agent at your bank says they can’t be of help; try talking to a supervisor who can assist.

In situations where it’s evident you’ll win a dispute, some banks will money back the cash immediately, while others may hesitate until the dispute is fully settled which may take 4-12 weeks. While most chargebacks are accurate and the cardholders receive their money back, at times it’s possible that the transaction is in fact valid. In such a scenario, if you claim that a transaction is fraudulent when the system shows otherwise; merchants may be called upon to present their version of the story. If this happens, your bank will contact you to clarify what happened and inform you if you’ll be paid back.

To avoid fraudulent transactions, always buy goods with legal vendors who own an account with protected service providers like EMB who ensure top security to prevent fraud.