Opinions sought please [credit card fraud]

We have a situation that on the surface (to me anyway) appears to be credit card fraud. It’s not the money that bothers me so much, but the principle and the way the business owner and our credit card company has handled things so far.

A local dry cleaner added 4 additional charges to our credit card recently, and didn’t bother to notify us. When my wife saw the additional charges ($55 total), she called the owner. He stated that these were charges from 2007 that they had ‘forgotten’ to process on our credit card. I asked him for receipts to prove that they are valid charges and he basically ignored me for weeks. I then decided to dispute the charges with the credit card company. The CC company says that if we don’t have receipts for the transactions, they cannot dispute the items. This makes no sense to me? The dry cleaner won’t provide receipts, so the credit card company won’t allow me to dispute the charges… I’m sorta screwed as far as I can see.

So far I have filed a complaint with the BBB (no response) and I’m thinking my next step is to file a small claims suit against the guy. My wife says I’m taking it waaayy too seriously. Any thoughts?

Wait, if you don’t have receipts for charges you think are fraudulent, then you can’t contest them? :smack: That makes no sense! I would call the CC company back and demand to speak to a supervisor!

Good luck!

It sounds like the CC company person is just trying to avoid doing any work.

My advice would be wait till you’ve exhausted all possibly options with the CC company before you goto the courts.

Also, your thread title is not very descriptive. I didn’t know if this thread was going to be about your Llama or your modem

I am a wholesaler who accepts CCs (26 years). I also charge about $6000 a month to my visa internationally. Any human holding a CC ought to have the basic good sense to keep statements from CC companies. Did you already pay these charges, or not? The merchant is under the same obligation. I don’t want to assist you in beating these charges if you owe them, but the rules of all CC agreements w/merchants have clauses that favour you in the matter as you have presented it here. Having said that, the CC companies have just added new fees to the merchant’s previous burden and it sounds as though since the economy started going South in a big way, every scheming debtor suddenly thinks the way to get out of her problems is to challenge every charge on the statement. I cannot imagine how they will ever handle the volume of geniuses that will overwhelm them. You may have trouble getting their attention.

Changed title to be more descriptive.

This doesn’t make any sense. The chief purpose for disputing charges is to take issues with erroneous transactions – i.e., ones that never happened. How on earth could you have a receipt for something that never occurred?

I would call the credit card company back and say you are disputing the charges not based on amount but because they are not valid at all. Of course you don’t have a “receipt” for something you never purchased or authorized, just like you don’t have a receipt for a dinner you didn’t eat from a restuarant you didn’t go to. No one could possibly have a receipt for something they didn’t buy.

If you continue to get this line from the credit card company, escalate to a supervisor and continue to escalate until you’re talking to someone who groks that they are asking you to produce something that does not exist.

You aren’t providing enough details, and the situation as describes does not make sense, as other posters have pointed out.

Are you disputing the charges because you believe you already paid them? Are you disputing them because the amount is incorrect? Or are you disputing them because you believe the transaction never happened at all?

There shouldn’t be a reason to keep paper credit card statements if you have online access to your account. You can check this if you are worried about the first two cases. In the case of the third, the receipt requirement makes no sense. There must have been a miscommunication when you called them.

>It’s not the money that bothers me so much, but the principle…

What principle says you have to go after money people effectively stole from you?

I agree it doesn’t make any sense that you need a receipt for a transaction to contest the fact that it ever occurred.

But you can’t turn much of a profit spending all this time calling and writing and consulting people, when the upside is a gain of $55. The fact that they should not have taken the $55 in the first place doesn’t change that. Moreover, though you point out the vendor is being unhelpful in figuring out what the charges might have been for, you didn’t say you were sure they should not have taken the $55.

It sounds like a losing proposition to me.

Though, it might not cost you anything to vote with your wallet, nor to share your story with other people you know, citing specifics so they too can avoid this vendor - assuming you’re sure the vendor is entirely to blame, that is.

Actually, let me share another credit card fraud story. We ordered furniture from the Crate Furniture company (CrateFurniture.com) and they charged my credit card $1400. The delivery date came and went and we started calling and only getting a message service, and they never returned any calls. Eventually I gave up and went to my bank and accused them of fraud, swore out an affidavit and whatnot, eleven weeks after they first took the $1400. The bank contacted them and gave them 90 days to respond, and they never did, so the bank refunded me the $1400 out of their general funds, and Crate Furniture kept the money for nothing.

Now, that’s fraud.

And, it’s apparently pretty common. Crate Furniture still seems to be doing business. Web searches show that many many people have accused them of fraud, but they also apparently do sometimes deliver products. People in the banking business tell me that lots of these semifraudulent companies practice this somewhat frequently, and the banks will pay for it, only organizing efforts to go after the greedier and more frequent offenders.

So, in any case, whatever you do, don’t order anything from Crate Furniture!

I would drop the credit card company. There are plenty of others who will give you the same rate and want your business.

I would drop the dry cleaner.

I would send them both letters letting them know why they lost my business.

I doubt that I would take it to small claims. Not because I don’t agree with you but because the ROI is low. You would have to take time off from work and the cost of that alone seems to be greater than 55 dollars.

If you are the type who might say it isn’t the money, it is the principle then I guess it is worth it to you. For me, I would weigh the 55 dollars low against my time and let it go. But would spend my money elsewhere.

Keep calling. Talk to supervisors. Write a real letter to the Pres/Ceo.

Well, first of all thanks for all the replies!

Now to answer a few questions:

I have canceled the credit card. I did it on the same day that they told me over the phone that without receipts they could not continue the dispute. I also plan to follow up with a complaint letter to them and probably file a BBB complaint.

Why go after someone who stole $55 from us? Principle. Plain and simple. If (as my wife tells me to do) we just drop the whole thing (after all, $55 is not that much) the f*cking dry cleaner gets away with theft. I’m not planning on doing all this work for nothing. I am adding the cost of my time to the amount I plan to ask for (44.75 an hour is my hourly wage) at a minimum of 4 hours. So I plan to seek close to $300, I think that should be enough to 1)Get the a**hole owners attention and 2) Teach him not to try to screw customers.

For those who replied that I’m not providing enough detail, here’s the bottom line: The dry cleaner added $55 dollars to our bill (without a signature, to the best of my knowledge) and so far, has ignored my requests for validation of those charges. The credit card company won’t allow me to dispute the charges without a receipt, but if the a**hole dry cleaner won’t provide those receipts it’s a catch-22 as far as I can tell.

I’m not a ‘sit back and take it’ kind of guy. If I don’t like the way I’m treated I definitely ‘vote with my wallet’ and I will write letters and file complaints. Call it petty to go after someone for $55, but where do you draw the line? $55? $155? $1500? Too many people seem to accept poor treatment and just keep their mouths shut, but I don’t want to be one of them.

Thanks again for everyone’s input.

I would think another point to the “principle” would also be preventing this from doing this again in the future, to someone else. And for a lot more money.