After Ilan successfully filed a chargeback on a company, the company decided to bill him directly for the amount that was refunded. What’s even sneakier is the company (which Ilan didn’t name) waited until after they reported the matter resolved to the Better Business Bureau. Now Ilan’s wondering what options he has to fight back.
Here’s Ilan’s full story:
My wife and I recently issued a charge back with American Express on a transaction with a merchant, as they had not provided the services we agreed to. AMEX reviewed the dispute and found in our favor. However, the merchant is now attempting to bill us directly for the balance AMEX awarded us. Do we have any recourse in this mater? We are concerned they may attempt to collect on this, and ding our credit rating. Can you offer any recommendations?
We had previously attempted to resolve the issue amicably with the merchant via telephone/e-mail, and then eventually with EECB and a complaint through the Better Bureau. At each of these steps the merchant dragged their feet on responding to our complaint. We eventually mentioned the issues in question to AMEX and they recommended we issue a charge back sooner rather than later. In good faith, we waited until the last possible moment to dispute the charges. We were hoping that the company would see the light and decide to work with us, on our credit card.
Up until the point that AMEX found in our favor the company was not responding to our complaints. As soon as we were credit for the amount in question, they responded to the BBB complaint (almost 60 days later). They indicated that the matter was “resolved” via our dispute at AMEX and asked that the BBB close the case.
Now we are staring at a bill that is dated weeks after their response to the BBB. E-mails and phone calls continue to go unanswered.
We appreciate any advice you can offer on what to do next.
First of all, we suggest you immediately re-open a complaint with the BBB and indicate that the company lied to the BBB about resolving the issue. You should also write a letter back to the company and make it clear that you consider the matter settled as per the terms of your original credit card purchase. As far as protecting your credit, you’ll just have to wait to see if it shows up on your credit report—if it does, then you can take action to dispute it and have it removed.
You may want to also check with legal services in your state (try your state’s Attorney General website) to see whether the company is committing mail fraud by billing you for a transaction that was already reversed.