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I would have gone for the chargeback way sooner than that, roughly at the time I had the thought, "why am I jumping through this many hoops for their screwup?"



Definitely. The chargeback is an underutilized feature of credit cards. A couple of things about chargebacks:

1. In my experience, you don't need to provide any documentation unless the merchant disputes your chargeback. So you should keep documentation, receipts, screen shots, notes, but not worry about filling out a detailed initial incident report.

2. Some people have claimed that you risk running afoul of your credit card if you use this feature too often. I'd say I use it twice per year and I've never been hassled.

3. Morally, I think you're just obligated to make a single attempt to rectify a misunderstanding with a merchant.

4. My credit cards let me fill out a report online, which makes this extremely convenient.

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Despite all the hate for American Express's laughably weak passwords, they make incredibly easy to dispute a charge. There's literally a button by every transaction on listed in your account, just begging for you to click it.

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actually amex are also the best for chargebacks from a merchant's perspective. they have an online interface you can log-in to and instantly see inquiries, fraud and chargebacks, and respond immediately.

they're also excellent about managing chargebacks, like when a chargeback comes through and you've already given a refund. this is so frustrating with Visa -- they'll actually still process the chargeback and ding you $20, even though you've already given the money back.

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The standard chargeback fee for a merchant is $25 per disputed transaction, regardless of if the customer's dispute is valid or not.

AMEX not only provides the best interface to manage chargebacks, but they also don't charge a chargeback fee at all.

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weak passwords? 8 characters ought to be enough for anybody.

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My guess is that's a reference to this article http://trn.n0t.net/post/374883143/i-wish-that-i-could-use-a-... and HN discussion http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1108482 from a few months ago.

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It's funny I just noticed this the other day on my account -- they even tell you when you try to log in that your password must be 8 chars. Might as well tell you that all passwords must begin with A.

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Two chargebacks a year? Thats quite a bit. Do you deal with a lot of sketchy places? Do you file a chargeback if you're not happy with the service?

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Sketchy like Greyhound? Any company that I have to do a chargeback with permanently gets labeled a sketchy company in my mind. The ones I can remember though are big brand name companies.

I cancelled a subscription to XM and they kept billing me. I called to recancel and get a refund, but neither happened. So I did a chargeback.

That's typical of the experience that would lead me to file a chargeback. If I was billed for a service that I didn't receive and my first attempt to go through customer service fails then I immediately ask my credit card for a chargeback.

That seems fair to me.

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XM keeps doing this to me too. Thanks for reminding me to check for it again.

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As an added bonus I believe there is a fine to the company for each charge back. I'm not entirely true if this is correct, or if its only partially correct however even the thought makes me smile when I think about how frustrated the company had just made me feel.

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It's even better. In addition to the chargeback fees, there are steep fines for chargebacks exceeding some percentage of merchant's transaction total plus the risk of losing the merchant account altogether.

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Specifically, my merchant account charges $30 per chargeback and they say there's trouble if more than 1% of your transactions are disputed, regardless of the outcome.

Also it's a huge pain in the ass to dispute, even when the merchant is obviously right. Most small merchants fear chargebacks, not so sure about big companies though.

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But that makes for a boring customer service case study.

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