If you paid for an item but never received it, or it arrived damaged, you may be frustrated and want your money back, justifiably. As a result, you may try to dispute it with your credit card issuer through the process of a chargeback.
Chargebacks are different from refunds, but both can result in you receiving a credit for an order that went wrong or a fraudulent charge on your account.
Below, CNBC Select reviews what a chargeback is, how it differs from a refund and how to ask for one if a delivery goes wrong or you see a red flag on your credit card statement.
Chargebacks are a consumer protection tool that allow consumers to get their money back for fraudulent charges or purchases that don't live up to standards by submitting a dispute with their card issuer.
If you notice a transaction on your credit card account that doesn't look familiar or run into issues with a recent order, you may want to (and should) dispute the transaction. Generally, you'll have two options when disputing a transaction: refund or chargeback.
A refund comes directly from a merchant, while a chargeback comes from your card issuer.
The first step in the dispute process should be to go directly to the merchant and request a refund. This may require you to bring the item back to the store with a copy of your receipt, or you may be able to contact customer support and get a refund online.
For instance, I recently received an item from Amazon that didn't live up to standards. The item was unwrapped and said "try me out." I began the dispute process by directly contacting Amazon customer service via chat and explaining the issue. Moments later I received a refund for the item, but that may not always be the case. If Amazon wasn't willing to credit the purchase, I would have requested a chargeback with my credit card issuer.
Chargebacks should be the next step if asking the merchant for a refund doesn't work. You initiate a chargeback directly with your card issuer in the hopes of the transaction being reversed.
There are several situations that qualify for requesting a chargeback, such as:
If asking the merchant for a refund didn't work, request a chargeback with your credit card issuer. Many card issuers let you dispute transactions by phone, mail or online. You may also be able to submit a dispute directly through your card issuer's mobile app.
When you submit a chargeback, you may need to include supporting documents, such as copies of a receipt, invoice, contract and any communications you had with the merchant. Anticipate that the dispute can last up to 90 days or two billing cycles, whichever is shorter.
Once you submit a chargeback request, the exact process varies depending on your card issuer, network and situation, but generally results in some back-and-forth between various parties. Here's an example of how the process may go, according to Experian:
Information about the Chase Freedom® has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the cards prior to publication.