What is a dispute?
If you believe there is an error with a charge on your credit card account or an aspect of your periodic statement, explore these options to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
A credit card dispute is a process in which you assert that there is a billing error on your account or that a merchant did not honor their terms and conditions. Although this can include instances of unauthorized use, typically dispute issues or errors are with merchants that are authorized to charge your credit card.
- A dispute is not the same as requesting a refund from the merchant, which you should do in situations where you want your money back. For example, you should not dispute a purchase if you want to cancel plans or if you're dissatisfied with what you received. Capital One can't issue refunds on behalf of merchants.
- A merchant dispute is not the same as an unauthorized charge. In a merchant dispute, you recognize the transaction and you authorized the merchant to charge your card, but there’s an issue with the service, the amount of the charge, or the merchandise (for example, quality, missing items, or service wasn’t provided). In contrast, with disputes involving fraud, you and the users on your account do not recognize the transaction or merchant, or you or the users on your account did not authorize the merchant to charge your credit card.]
If you file a dispute about a transaction with a merchant, Capital One asks the merchant to review the disputed charge and its associated terms and conditions.
How to file a dispute
What should I do first if I have a problem with an authorized charge?
Before you dispute a charge, do a quick double-check:
Make sure the charge has posted to your credit card account. Capital One is unable to dispute a transaction while it is in a pending status. Enroll in Online Banking or download the mobile app to manage your account and keep an eye on pending and posted transactions.
Check with other people authorized to use the credit card account to make sure they didn't make the charge. For example, your authorized user may have charged your shared account while on a business trip before you have all the details.
Check your receipts—it’s easy to confuse similar charges or forget about tips.
Sometimes a recent charge is a free trial or a recurring billing service you signed up for. You will need to cancel your free trial or recurring billing service with the merchant to prevent future charges from these merchants.
If you still don’t think the transaction is right after checking with your authorized users, looking at pending and posted amounts and automatic billing, you can submit a dispute online.
Start with the merchant
Working directly with the merchant is often the fastest way to resolve your dispute. Merchants are sometimes willing to resolve a concern, even if it’s outside of their policy or terms.
When filing a claim through Capital One, and the merchant contests it, we may need to show that they violated their policies and terms that were agreed upon. That process can take up to 90 days and may require that you supply additional documentation.
Here are some tips for contacting the merchant:
Keep all documentation from the merchant regarding any cancellation or refund.
If this dispute concerns a subscription, make sure you ask the merchant to cancel the subscription and any future charges.
If you’re contacting the merchant via email or mail, you could use a message like this:
Hi [name of company],
I purchased [item or service] for [price] on [date].
I would like a refund of [full $ amount or partial $ amount] because [description of problem]. [Optional: I would also like to cancel any future services related to this purchase].
Attached are copies of [description of information you are including] that document this problem.
Please let me know if you need any additional information to process this request.
If you cannot reach a resolution with the merchant, your best chance of resolving the dispute through Capital One is to file a claim within 60 days of the date of your billing statement. Let us know as soon as you can so we can dispute the charge on your behalf.
What happens when you file a dispute through Capital One
It can take up to 90 days for Capital One to resolve a dispute with the merchant.
Here’s what we’ll do:
We’ll manage communications with the merchant during the dispute process.
When you file a dispute, we may provide a temporary credit on your credit card account for the disputed amount and related fees and interest.
We might also place a hold on your available credit for the same amount.
We might remove the hold before review of the dispute is finished, but you may ultimately be responsible for the disputed amount and have the temporary credit removed.
Here’s an overview of what happens after you file a dispute:
We may request additional documentation from you related to the dispute. This can include receipts, information about your attempts to return and/or cancel, emails between you and the merchant, and communications with the merchant to try to resolve the issue.
Make sure you hang onto all of your documentation until your dispute is resolved.
In most cases, we send information about the purchase and why you’re disputing it to the merchant and the merchant’s bank via Visa or Mastercard.
In those cases, the merchant either accepts the dispute or rejects the dispute and tells us why.
If the merchant rejects the dispute, we will review their response. Responsibility for the disputed amount is based primarily on the merchant’s policies and terms concerning the sale. You’ll also have the opportunity to submit additional documents and refute their response.
If we conclude that you are responsible, we will remove the temporary credit, and the original charge will be re-applied to your account. If the merchant is found responsible, we will make the temporary credit permanent.
What to do if the dispute charge is reapplied to your account
We understand that having a disputed charge reapplied to your account might not be the outcome you were hoping for. Capital One provides you a temporary credit for the original charge and any related fees and interest while we investigate your dispute. If the merchant provides information demonstrating that the original charge is valid—or that they gave you a credit for it—we add the charge back to your account (by reversing the temporary credit) and end our investigation. The charge will appear on your account and statement as a “purchase adjustment.” Depending on your paperless enrollment status, you’ll receive a follow-up letter, either online or in the mail within 7-10 days, that provides more details.
The letter we send you should provide information on what steps are still available to you if you're dissatisfied with the dispute resolution. The letter will list the additional documentation you’ll need to continue your dispute and how to submit that documentation to us via fax, mail or a secure link. You can obtain a secure link by calling us. While you wait for the letter, we encourage you to gather documentation that might be helpful, such as receipts, evidence of making a return or any communication from the merchant promising a refund.
And remember: you can always try to resolve your dispute and get your money back by working with the merchant directly.
Filing a dispute through Capital One
Your charge might be eligible for submitting a dispute online or on our mobile app, in which case the tool to do so can be accessed on our mobile app or our website.
Sign into our app or capitalone.com.
Select the account that has the transaction you would like to dispute.
Find the posted transaction you want to dispute in “All Transactions.” Keep in mind, you won’t be able to dispute any pending transactions unless they post to your account — generally this takes about 5 days.
In the mobile app, go to “Recent Transactions” and select “View All Transactions” to find the transaction you’re disputing. On the website, go down to “Posted Transactions Since Your Last Statement” and “Load Previous Statement” if the dispute transaction is older.
Select “Report a Problem.”
Continue answering questions regarding your purchase. If your transaction is not eligible to be disputed online, we’ll provide a phone number for you to call in and work with an agent directly.
You can also file a dispute over the phone by contacting us at the number on the back of your card or by calling:
From the U.S. or Canada: 1-800-227-4825
To file a dispute by mail, use this form.