Can’t cancel your AOL? There is a way.

Credit card banks are required by law to act in your behalf to straighten out problems with vendors who charged items to your bill, IF (and only if) you follow a specific procedure to complain. [This does NOT work for debit cards that take money out of your account the minute you make the charge.]

It works like this:

1. Within 60 days of making the charge, you must file a WRITTEN complaint with your credit card company. (Calling your company does not protect your rights and is often a waste of time.)

2. There is a form on the back of your invoice that you can use to file a complaint. USE THAT FORM. If you need more space than allowed, you can add typed pages.

3. Check off ONE of the reasons for your complaint on the form. (A typical form offers10 choices, ranging from double-charging to claiming that you never received the item, to returned item, to defective item or service.)

4. Mail the form to the address shown and only that address. Keep a copy!

The credit card company has 30 days to check your complaint and respond. During that time, they will not try to collect the amount under dispute, nor can they charge you interest on the amount under dispute.

If they do not get an answer from the vendor, the credit card company will take the item off the bill, although they reserve the right to add it back should the vendor provide proof that the charge was legitimate.

If you have an automatic charge (like AOL or other subscription service), and you cannot get the vendor to notify the charge company that you have cancelled the subscription, the credit card company may keep charging you, even if you cancel the card!

The dispute resolution system described above is the best solution to this problem.

First send a certified letter return receipt requested to the vendor describing when and how you cancelled the service and demanding that they notify the credit card company. If the vendor does not do this, then every time you get a bill with the charge on it, fill out the form on the back and enclose a copy of the certified letter. The credit card company will remove at least that one charge.

For more information on credit cards, click here

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