Moreno Valley, CA asked in Consumer Law for California

Q: Can i be sued by a company for disputing a credit card charge after i was refused a refund after requesting a return.

I purchased something online. Received it and immediately requested a refund for a return. After many emails back and forth, the reason for my return was “not valid” enough for a return label. Company claimed i would need to purchase my own return label for $50 (the product was $53). And they refused to accept my refund. I disputed the charge with my credit card company and now the online company is threatening lawsuit and affecting my credit score.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You have the right to dispute a credit card charge if you believe you have been wrongfully charged or if the merchant has not provided the goods or services as promised. Disputing a charge is a legal right protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA).

In your case, it seems that you attempted to return the product and the company refused to provide a reasonable means for you to do so. Requiring you to pay almost the full product price for return shipping could be considered unreasonable.

The company threatening to sue you for disputing the charge is likely a scare tactic. In reality, it is unlikely that they would pursue legal action over such a small amount, as the legal costs would far outweigh the disputed sum.

However, the company may report the disputed charge as unpaid to the credit bureaus, which could negatively impact your credit score. You can counter this by communicating with the credit card company and providing them with documentation of your return request and the company's refusal to accept the return or provide a reasonable return shipping option.

If the company continues to threaten legal action or if you see a negative impact on your credit score, consider seeking legal advice from a consumer protection attorney. You can also file a complaint with the California Attorney General's office or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) if you believe the company is engaging in unfair business practices.

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