Lost in Translation: Filing a Chargeback Claim on a Foreign Transaction

iEditorial Note: These blog posts represent the opinion of DoNotPay’s Writers, but each person’s situation and circumstances vary greatly. As a result, you should make sure to do your own independent research. Because everyone is unique, our self-help tools are never guaranteed to help with any specific situation. DoNotPay is not a law firm and is not licensed to practice law. DoNotPay provides a platform for legal information and self-help.

How To File a Chargeback on a Foreign Transaction

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you bought something from a foreign merchant? What if you were traveling? Could you get your money back if your purchase didn't work or broke, or what if you never even got what you'd ordered? Here, we 'll talk about s , whether you had placed an order online or had a foreign hotel overcharge you.

First, a warning --credit card companies really don't want the hassle of handling foreign disputes, and they ask you to jump through a bunch of hoops before they'll refund your money. What's worse, foreign merchants really, really, don't want to give up dollars and will hide behind a language barrier, which makes it even harder for you to get your money back.

Wouldn't it be great if you could give somebody all your documentation and let them deal with the credit card companies? Keep reading, and we'll share some of DoNotPay's tips for navigating the chargeback process with foreign merchants.

Can You Get an Overseas Chargeback

The Fair Credit Billing Act in the US also applies to foreign purchases--the biggest reason you should always pay by credit card rather than with cash when you are traveling overseas. If you're going to dispute a charge using the FCBA, you've got sixty days from the postmarked date of the bill to file the dispute claim. Your credit card bill will have instructions on the dispute process on the bill.

File the Dispute Promptly

But here's the thing. We live in the 21st century and most people check their credit card charges and balances online, especially when traveling. You don 't have to wait until you get the bill to take action, you can go ahead and argue a charge right away.

Make Sure the Dispute is Warrented

Even if you do all the right things, the FCBA does not always guarantee you 'll get all of your money back. Here are the reasons this might happen.

  • You changed your mind and the merchant has a clear "no refund" policy in English
  • Local law does not require merchants to give refunds
  • You bought an item that turns out to be worth less than what you paid

Still, it's always worth it to try to get a chargeback if you honestly believe you've been wronged.

Disputing Transactions: Chargebacks vs Refunds

People are often confused about the difference between chargeback and refunds. Both are pathways for consumers to dispute unauthorized transactions. Here's a breakdown of the key differences:

RefundsRefunds are processed and funded directly by merchants. This may require consumers to provide documentation and/or contact difficult customer support teams. Seeking a refund can be a slow option and it can take several business days for monies to be deposited.
ChargebacksChargebacks are processed by the bank or card issuer directly and serve to protect consumers from fraudulent charges. Every financial institution has its own system and timeline for processing chargebacks, but all chargeback policies protect consumer cash.

Why Foreign Chargebacks are More Complicated

The reasons you 'd request a chargeback from a foreign merchant are the same as in the US, with one exception--currency conversion.

  1. You were charged more than the posted amount
  2. You were billed for services that you did not agree to or were not provided
  3. The merchant ran the point of sale in dollars without your permission

Foreign chargeback involve currency conversions. This means that you're not refunding dollars to dollars, but whatever transaction's local currency.

Convert Currency on Your Phone

One way that credit card companies make a little extra money is by offering travelers the option of running their transactions in dollars rather than the local currency. The idea is that exchange rates are hard to understand, and you'd rather know upfront what something costs. The merchant's machine is actually set up to run the sale in dollars rather than Yuan or Euros, what could be easier?

How Merchants Make Money with Currency Conversion

What the merchants don't tell you is that this process, Dynamic Currency Conversion, costs you up to 7% more than using the local currency. Credit card companies have a rule that the vendor must ask which currency customers want to use, but many do not abide by that rule and tell Americans that their machines are only set up for dollar sales.

The bottom line here is that the credit card companies are making more money by immediately converting the local currency to dollars, and you pay for that "service". If this happens to you, DoNotPay can probably help you get those charges reversed.

How to File a Foreign Chargeback with Your Credit Card Issuer

You can file a chargeback request with your card issuer either online or by telephone. The contact info will be on your statement or their website. Make sure you have your documentation handy. Here is the information you 'll need.

  • Transaction details--vendor's info, time and date of purchase, receipts, amount you're requesting back
  • Reasons you believe the charge is fraudulent or inaccurate

DoNotPay Handles Chargebacks For You

Let DoNotPay do the work for you. Here's how.

  1. From your browser, access DoNotPay
  2. Scroll down and click on the File a Chargeback option
  3. Provide tehe transaaction details to the chatbot
  4. Enter the merchant's name
  5. Follow the prompts to build your case

DoNotPay will fax the chargeback request and supporting documentation to the credit card company for you. Expect the chargeback to take several weeks to process.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

DoNotPay is designed to save you time and frustration when it comes to disputing a charge, and the painless process can assist you well beyond disputing a towing charge on your credit card. There 's no reason to be intimidated by big business! With DoNotPay's 'File a Chargeback' product, you can also dispute a transaction from any of these companies:

With options like virtual credit cards that help you avoid fees after free trials, along with a wide variety of simplified refund and dispute services, DoNotPay is the proven way to level the playing field for the consumer.

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