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Ask Lane Your Own Question
Category: Finance
Satisfied Customers: 12194
Experience:  Law Degree, specialization in Tax Law and Corporate Law, CFP and MBA, Providing Financial & Tax advice since 1986
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I have been charged on my credit card for several years for

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I have been charged on my credit card for several years for a service that I don't think we use. I've attempted to call the credit card company to block the bill but was given a telephone number (XXX-XXX-XXXX Dispute Center) which was invalid. I've attempted several times to contact Microsoft Inc. but do not have/know an access number. Where do I need to go to inquire what these charges are and how to go about stopping them?

Lane :


Lane :

Here's an excellent resource ... I'll give you website in a sec ... but first see this:

Lane :

How to cancel a direct debit to a credit card

Step 1: Write a letter to the merchant stating that you are cancelling the direct debit. Keep a copy of the letter as evidence that you have cancelled the direct debit. A sample letter for you to use is available at Sample Letter: To Merchant Cancelling a Direct Debit Authority .

Step 2: Write a letter to your bank/financial institution saying that you have cancelled the direct debit to your credit card. This letter should be addressed to the Card Services Area of the bank/financial institution and should enclose a copy of the letter to the merchant. A sample letter for you to use is: Sample Letter: To a Financial Institution Cancelling a Direct Debit on a Credit Card. Keep a copy of the letter for your records.

Step 3: A few days later you should ring the merchant and check that the direct debit has been cancelled.

Lane :

I would add to this: send the letter cettified mail, return receipt requested ... it will cost a few dollars, but you'll have proof that they received it

Lane :

Doing thins in writing provide documentation and gives you the ability to take/threaten them with legal action is they don't stop

Lane :

Here;s what the FTC (Federal Trad commission) says to do ... Frm here:

Lane :

The Fair Credit Billing Act

To dispute a billing error on your credit card, you must:

  • Write to the credit card issuer at the address for "billing inquiries," not the address for sending your payments (the address for billing inquiries is often found on the back of your most recent monthly statement); include your name, address, account number and a description of the billing error. A sample letter is included on page 3.

  • Send your letter so that it reaches the credit card issuer within 60 days after the first bill containing the error was mailed to you.

  • Send your letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, so you have proof of what the credit card issuer received. Include copies (not originals) of sales slips or other documents that support your position. Keep a copy of your dispute letter.

  • It is important to send the letter to the correct company. In the case of Visa and MasterCard, you should send it to the bank that issued the card.

The credit card issuer must acknowledge your complaint in writing within 30 days after receiving it, unless the problem has already been resolved. And the credit card issuer must resolve the dispute within two billing cycles (but not more than 90 days) after receiving your letter.

Lane :

What happens while your bill is in dispute?

You may withhold payment on the disputed amount (and related charges), during the investigation, but you must pay any part of the bill not in question, including any finance charges on the undisputed amount.

The credit card issuer may not take any legal or other action to collect the disputed amount and the related charges (including finance charges) during the investigation. While your account cannot be closed or restricted, the disputed amount may be applied against your credit limit.

Lane :

Sample Dispute Letter

Your Name
Your Address, City, State, Zip Code
Your Account Number

Name of Credit Card Issuer
Billing Inquiries
Address, City, State, Zip Code

Dear Sir or Madam:
I am writing to dispute a billing error in the amount of $______on my account. The amount is inaccurate because the merchandise I ordered was not delivered. I ordered the merchandise on (date) . The merchant promised to deliver the merchandise to me on (date) , and the merchandise was not delivered. (In addition, when I ordered the merchandise, the merchant did not tell me that it would charge before shipping.)

I am requesting that the error be corrected, that any finance and other charges related to the disputed amount be credited to my account, and that I receive an accurate statement.

Enclosed are copies of (use this sentence to describe any enclosed information, such as sales slips, payment records, documentation of shipment or delivery dates) supporting my position and experience. Please correct the billing error promptly.


Your name

Enclosures: (List what you are enclosing.)

Lane :

And finally ......

Lane :

Contacts for Resolving Problems

If you have other problems with your purchase, try to resolve your dispute with the company. If that doesn't work, the following resources may be helpful:

  • State and local consumer protection offices. Contact the offices in your home state and where the company is located.

  • The Direct Marketing Association (DMA). Write:

DMA Mail Order Action Line
1111 19th Street, N.W., Suite 1100
Washington, D.C.NNN-NN-NNNN/p>

  • Postal Inspectors. Call your local post office and ask for the Inspector-in-Charge.

Lane :

Hope this helps

Lane :

It seems like a lot of trouble, I know, but the law IS on your side. Again, it's called the fair credit billing act ... it might not hure to mention in your communications with the folks that you know about it,,, but doing this in writing, and then sending it in a way thay gets you proof they've signed for it has been the best way to handl these things in my experience

Lane :

I still don'

Lane :

I still don't see you coming into the chat session, so I'll move us to the "Q&A" mode. … Maybe that will help … (We can still continue a dialogue there, just not in real-time chat, as we can here)

Lane :

BUT... PLEASE ... let me know if you have questions at all

Lane :


Lane and other Finance Specialists are ready to help you


Hi Janice,


... just checking back in here, as I never saw you come back into the chat


Please let me know if you have any questions at all....


The FTC is a great resource:


Let me know ...





Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I don't get online but once a day. I bet that makes you shudder! LOL.


Thank you for the information. Yes, it sounds overwhelming all of the steps you detailed but I understand the importance of documentation in writing. I have printed your information and will attempt to follow them "to the letter".


Thank you again.

That's great Janice.

(and no, if being in front of a computer all day is not what's MAKING you the money, sometimes having the discipline to do all of your computer stuff at one time during the day can be very efficient.)

And on your issue? Yes, it's those who persevere that get it done. They're counting on you giving up.

Stay at it and you'll win

If you'd like to ask for me again, you can go here: Lane

Go get 'em,