There is only one way to complain to your credit card company.
and it can be very useful when you are having a problem with a vendor.
One of the major advantages of credit cards is that federal law requires them to follow a specific procedure when you file a complaint with them. But this procedure does not work unless you file the compliant in writing to the address they give you and providing the exact information they request.
Mostly people call their credit card company when they have a problem. This often does not work. Credit card companies are under no obligation to do anything if you call in a complaint, and many simply do nothing.
Generally I tell people not to waste time calling. Use the form on the back of the bill you get every month. Do exactly what it says. And do it within 60 days of receiving your bill. This is very important. Following this procedure will require the credit card company to investigate your complaint and respond in 30 days.
They are set up to forward these complaints to the vendor (although you can also use the form to complain about errors made by the credit card company). While they wait for the vendor to reply they are NOT supposed to charge you interest on the amount in dispute.
Often vendors do not answer these complaints within the required 30 days, and if they do not, you win, for the moment. The credit card company will accept your word and remove or adjust the charge. BUT if the vendor responds later with evidence that they are right and you are wrong (in their opinion) the charge will be reinstated.
Difficult as it is, this is your only recourse when the vendor fails to stop automatic payments. You have to do it every month.
Here's what I recommend that you do:
Read the back of the bill. You will see that they invite you to call. This does NOT preserve your rights. In my experience, calling is often met with inaction.
In this case, after the boldface suggestion that you call, they show the form they require for writing. In this case, they use what I call “flyspeck gothic.” Here it is reproduced it in normal size type:
"Please do not alter the wording on the form and do not mail your letter or form with your payment."
CHOOSE ONLY ONE DISPUTE REASON:
1. The amount of the charge was increased from ____ to _____ or my sales slip was added incorrectly. Enclosed is a copy of the sales slip that shows the correct amount.
2. I certify that the charge listed above was not made by me or a person authorized by me to use my card, nor were the goods or services represented by the transaction received by me or a person authorized by me.
3. I have not received the merchandise that was shipped to me on (date). I have asked the merchant to credit my account.
4. I was issued a credit slip that was not shown on my statement. A copy of my credit slip is enclosed. (The merchant has up to 30 days to issue a credit.)
5. Merchandise that was shipped to me has arrived damaged and/or defective. I returned it on (date) and asked the merchant to credit my account. Attach a letter explaining how the merchandise was damaged and/or defective and a copy of the proof of return.
6. Although I did engage in the above transaction, I have contacted the merchant and returned the merchandise on (date) and requested credit. I either did not receive this credit or it was unsatisfactory. Attach a letter explaining why you dispute this charge with a copy of the proof of return. If you are unable to return the merchandise, please explain.
7. I certify that the charge in question was a single transaction but was posted twice to this statement:
Sale #1__________ Reference number _______
Sale #2__________ Reference number _______
8. I notified the merchant on (date) to cancel the pre-authorized order or reservation. Please note cancellation #and if available enclose a copy of your contract and a copy of your telephone bill showing date and time of cancellation. Reason for cancellation/cancellation #: _________________
9. Although I did engage in the above transaction, I have contacted the merchant for credit. The services to be provided on (date) were not received or were unsatisfactory. Attach a letter describing the services expected, your attempts to resolve with the merchant and a copy of your contract.
10. I certify that I do not recognize the transaction. Merchants often provide telephone numbers next to their names on your billing statement. Please attempt to contact the merchant for information.
11. If your dispute is for a different reason, please contact us at the above telephone number.
Best contact telephone number:______
They include a special address to which this form and enclosures must be sent.
When you have a dispute with a charge from a store, merchant, gym, newspaper or magazine subscription or anything at all that is paid by your credit card, you must follow the instructions on the back of the bill. Get a magnifying glass or a young friend with good eyesight and put it all in writing. It will take time, but remember the credit card companies are federally regulated, and must follow the legal requirements for dealing with your dispute.