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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 101130
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I opened a dispute with my credit card company over a charge

Customer Question

I opened a dispute with my credit card company over a charge of $1950.00 that was billed in error twice by the merchant across two cards. When asked to switch the card when I went to settle up the bill at the restaurant, I gave them the new card but they had already charged my previous card. Double the bill.
This happened back in march. In April I filled a dispute for the second charge. It took months for the credit card company to require data to make a determination and on August 15th I received a letter in the mail from Barclaycard saying "we have issued a provisional credit and the merchant has 90 days to respond."
Today I received a letter in the mail saying they will take legal action within 30 days if they do not hear from me. The letter was dated on the 20th of October and was addressed to the wrong address. I can only assume my neighbor returned the letter.
So I called the dispute department at Barclaycard and the merchant never responded to the claim. It has been 90 days since I received the letter from Barclaycard.
Does the merchant have any legal recourse to get the money back?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Also - the merchant claims to have a signed Amex receipt, but has never presented it to me or the dispute department.
Expert:  Ely replied 3 months ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.
"Today I received a letter in the mail saying they will take legal action within 30 days if they do not hear from me." I am going to assume that you mean the merchant sent this notice.
1) Yes, the merchant may still take legal action. Understand that the dispute is not litigation and all this does is ask the card company to charge back the amount. The company then does so if it believes that the charge was unauthorized or fraudulent.
2) However, the card company is not the court. It has no final say in the matter. The merchant can still pursue you in Court, but to win, they'd have to prove that the charge was valid. And it does not sound like it was - it sounds like at least part of the charge was a double-charge, i.e. a mistake.
3) The notice they sent to the wrong address is a private correspondence which has no bearing on the above.
4) Someone in your situation may wish to write back a letter, however, stating that if they dare to file suit, then you would defend yourself and also ask for attorney and legal fees, as well as sanctions for filing a meritless claim. This may make them think twice before filing anything.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.