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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 118273
Experience:  Attorney experienced in commercial litigation.
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My issue is with my bank's credit/debit card visa. 4 months

Customer Question

My issue is with my bank's credit/debit card visa. 4 months ago I brought my dog to an emergency vet clinic in Phoenix AZ. They kept her overnight and performed some services I authorised. However in addition,they charged me thousands of dollars for services I did not authorise. I complained. They told me they would not release my pet unless I gave them my credit card.I gave them the card but refused to sign the charge. I took my dog home and immediately called the clinic to complain. They said they would not respond for 2 weeks.I immediately disputed their charge with my US Bank's credit/debit card company (cardmember services). 2 weeks later the vet clinic responded and told me they would not do anything. My bank card company disputed the charge and credited my account with the disputed amount. Now, 4 months later, my Bankcard company informed me they would not maintain the dispute and decided in favor of the vet clinic and debited my account for the chargeback previously credited. The documents which the vetclinic sent to Visa to support they opposition bore forged signatures. I did not sign the documents provided by the vet clinic, they were forgeries of my signature. Further the documents they provided were a mixture of estimates and fabrications together with the forged signatures the vet clinic assembled to support their position. Now that my Bank Card Company (US BANK VISA) has reversed the credit to my account and arbitrarily decided in the vet clinic's favor, what rights do I have to force my them to reconsider? I know I can sue the vet clinic locally, but Visa is now at fault too. I believe Visa has an obligation to me (especially now, that we are dealing with fraudulent signatures). Do I have aright under the cardholder's agreement to insist on an arbitration? If I sue locally, can I successfully join the US Bank Visa bank card. What are my rights with regard to Visa?
Please tell me with specificity as to law and practice. Bear in mind that the card I used was both a debit and credit card that I could use both ways. No pin was involved here.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
What you have here legally is a claim of breach of contract with the Vet. Yes, the bank card terms of service provide fraud protection, but they will not get involved in matters where there is a claim of breach of contract. You are claiming the signatures are forged, but the vet is claiming they provided service. Your true legal claim here is against the Vet for breach of contract and charging you for items you never agreed to pay for.
You have a right to appeal the bank's decision with a written appeal explaining your signature is not on those documents and is forged. Ultimately though, your proper legal recourse is suing the vet and proving in court the vet made unauthorized charges to your cards and seeking the money back from the vet. The credit card companies are not there to resolve civil disputes for breach of contract, that is for you to take up directly with the vendor and that is what you should do, sue the vendor (vet) in court for breach of contract for making the unauthorized charges.