The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Response Center reports that billing disputes and error resolution problems and processes are the most common types of complaints it received in 2012 and 2013 related to credit cards. And, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, many consumers are confused and frustrated by the process of challenging inaccuracies on their monthly statements.
Checking your statements periodically also can help you monitor your spending. You may want to sign up for alerts on your mobile phone or through your email that inform you when your credit card has hit a specific balance amount or you are close to your credit limit. Other alerts can remind you about an upcoming bill.
If you notice a billing error, such as an unauthorized charge on your statement, contact the card issuer as soon as possible.
For additional information and guidance, see consumer information from the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0219-fair-credit-billing.
1. What might be some reasons for consumers to be confused and frustrated by the process of challenging inaccuracies on their monthly statements?
2. What are advantages of checking your monthly credit card statements?
You may want to use the information in this blog post and the FTC website to
- Have students make a short presentation with a summary of actions that might be taken to report billing errors to the credit card issuer and other federal consumer protection agencies.
- Draft a sample letter to dispute a billing error.
- Review the Fair Credit Billing Act to learn about protecting their rights if a billing error occurs.