finance

How to Get Your Money Back if You Are Denied a Refund

NBC 7 Responds looks at a powerful tool for consumers -- chargebacks

NBCUniversal, Inc.

More people are ordering online. That means there's a better chance for something to go wrong. Maybe your package never arrives, or your item is broken. But if the company refuses to give you a refund, what can you do?

"You should always approach the merchant first and try and get the refund that way," said Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at LendingTree. "But if all else fails a chargeback can be a pretty useful tool."

A chargeback is when your credit card company steps in between you and the seller.

"A chargeback is essentially when you get money back from a credit card issuer if something goes wrong with a purchase or something that you bought," said Schulz.

You have to have used a credit card to make the purchase, and each credit card company has different policies in place. It is still a very powerful tool for consumers.

"There's no question that this is a major perk of having a credit card," said Schulz. "It can require a little patience, and you may have to jump through some hoops, but it's a good tool."

To start a chargeback, you will need to go to your credit card issuer's mobile app, website, or give them a call.

"Generally what you need to do is have documentation about the purchase, how it was received, and provide that information to your credit card issuer," said Schulz. "They will do the investigation, they'll make the judgment about giving you that credit back."

Schulz says a chargeback investigation can take a while, even a few months. He says if you aren't getting a refund from the seller, it's on you to do the work to get your money back. Chargebacks can also work in the case of fraud or of mysterious charges on your account.

"Nobody cares as much about your money as you do," said Schulz. "If you're not treated properly, if somebody doesn't live up to the terms of what they promised you, it's good for you to try and take some action."

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