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Dispute closed in my favour due to no response from merchant? (Canada)

Dispute closed in my favour due to no response from merchant? (Canada)

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Old Jan 17, 19, 7:27 pm
  #1  
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Dispute closed in my favour due to no response from merchant? (Canada)

So about exactly a month ago, I submitted a dispute with AMEX for a transaction over $1000. I had explained what happened (I purchased gift cards and the balances were depleted in other side of the country) and the AMEX rep opened two separate disputes with two different categories to allow the investigation team to decide which category fits best. The one they continued with was "goods/services not received". I submitted all relevant documents, receipts, pictures, etc. immediately and the charge was 'suspended' in the meantime. On December 26th, I received an email saying the charge had been reversed and to look for it in my next statement. I saw this reflected in my balance immediately. The status at that point changed to "Awaiting response from merchant". On Monday, this status changed to "In-progress" and the status showed that the investigation is ongoing. Yesterday, I noticed that the dispute had been closed with the following statement:

"As a result of our investigation, we have credited your account. This adjustment can be found on your next statement."

I called AMEX customer support and asked if that means that the dispute is closed and if I can move on with my life without having to worry about this matter. She told me that AMEX had decided in my favour and there is no way for the dispute to be reopened by anyone else in the future. Still not satisfied, I contacted AMEX on live support. They told me that the reason AMEX sided with me was because the merchant did not respond at all to AMEX' request for information/documents. They said that if the merchant does respond in the future, the case may be reopened but that the chances of that happening are extremely low.

I am the type of person that would rather proceed with cautious optimism than to assume that the case is closed and I can move forward. The merchant in question is a very large national retailer with billions in revenue. I am in Canada btw. I do not understand why the merchant would not respond to AMEX regarding a dispute for over $1000? Is it unusual for a merchant to respond a month+ after the dispute was filed?

In your guys experience, what would be the likely outcome here? If the merchant decides to respond within the next few weeks, next month, next 6 months, year, etc., could the decision be reversed and I can be hit with a surprise bill? Should I continue the dispute through outside channels (I had filed a police report with the RCMP and had filed a report with the anti-fraud department)? Or do you think that this is finally resolved and that I can assume that the credit will be there to stay?

I know this is not a black/white situation but I would love to get some input based on personal experience or anecdotes.

Thank you!
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Old Jan 18, 19, 2:11 am
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Originally Posted by AMEXTrain View Post
So about exactly a month ago, I submitted a dispute with AMEX for a transaction over $1000. I had explained what happened (I purchased gift cards and the balances were depleted in other side of the country) and the AMEX rep opened two separate disputes with two different categories to allow the investigation team to decide which category fits best. The one they continued with was "goods/services not received". I submitted all relevant documents, receipts, pictures, etc. immediately and the charge was 'suspended' in the meantime. On December 26th, I received an email saying the charge had been reversed and to look for it in my next statement. I saw this reflected in my balance immediately. The status at that point changed to "Awaiting response from merchant". On Monday, this status changed to "In-progress" and the status showed that the investigation is ongoing. Yesterday, I noticed that the dispute had been closed with the following statement:

"As a result of our investigation, we have credited your account. This adjustment can be found on your next statement."

I called AMEX customer support and asked if that means that the dispute is closed and if I can move on with my life without having to worry about this matter. She told me that AMEX had decided in my favour and there is no way for the dispute to be reopened by anyone else in the future. Still not satisfied, I contacted AMEX on live support. They told me that the reason AMEX sided with me was because the merchant did not respond at all to AMEX' request for information/documents. They said that if the merchant does respond in the future, the case may be reopened but that the chances of that happening are extremely low.

I am the type of person that would rather proceed with cautious optimism than to assume that the case is closed and I can move forward. The merchant in question is a very large national retailer with billions in revenue. I am in Canada btw. I do not understand why the merchant would not respond to AMEX regarding a dispute for over $1000? Is it unusual for a merchant to respond a month+ after the dispute was filed?

In your guys experience, what would be the likely outcome here? If the merchant decides to respond within the next few weeks, next month, next 6 months, year, etc., could the decision be reversed and I can be hit with a surprise bill? Should I continue the dispute through outside channels (I had filed a police report with the RCMP and had filed a report with the anti-fraud department)? Or do you think that this is finally resolved and that I can assume that the credit will be there to stay?

I know this is not a black/white situation but I would love to get some input based on personal experience or anecdotes.

Thank you!
Unlike say Visa or MasterCard, when it comes to chargebacks AMEX is basically judge and jury. That is because they are both the CC network *and* bank they pretty much have all information required when a chargeback in initiated. What they don't know can be found by asking cardholder and or merchant/retailer.

Terms regarding chargebacks are spelled out in every merchant agreement. Those who accept AMEX thus know or should know what they need to do in order to solve chargeback requests. That the vendor in this particular situation did not respond in time to Amex's request for further information could mean they just said "eff it" and figured no matter what they did AMEX was going to reverse the charge. Or, they couldn't supply requested information to substantiate the charge and thus prevent reversal.

Over years have had a few things needed sorting out via AMEX (goods ordered not received), and have to say once things were decided in my favor never heard a peep again from seller, nor AMEX about the matter. In fact the cases all ended with "dispute closed due to no response from seller".

FWIU Amex's decisions on these matters is pretty final. A seller would have to bring some serious game to convince Amex to reopen/reconsider a dispute once it's closed, especially due to no response. https://chargebacks911.com/knowledge...are-different/

If it makes you feel better keep necessary paperwork along with names and when spoken to in a file some place, then get on with life. Seller was tasked with doing something, they didn't so it's their loss, you did everything were supposed.
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Old Jan 18, 19, 2:50 am
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I was an independent retailer for over 30 years. Whenever I was notified about a chargeback, the first thing I did was mentally calculate the cost/time to look through old invoices, respond etc. Sometimes it was not worth the effort as my time was more valuable doing other things and I did not respond. Certainly, this does not seem to be your case, but it does happen often.
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Old Jan 18, 19, 8:19 am
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mia
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Originally Posted by AMEXTrain View Post
.... purchased gift cards and the balances were depleted in other side of the country...
Originally Posted by bigbuy View Post
....my time was more valuable doing other things and I did not respond. Certainly, this does not seem to be your case,.....
This type of gift card fraud would not involve only two cards that AMEXTrain happened to buy. It would be a slice of a larger incident, and the gift card issuer is likely responsible for the losses.
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Old Jan 18, 19, 8:26 am
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It is highly unlikely that the card issuer would bother to go to the time and expense of responding. Once that is the case, every second expended is a further waste of time and money. Thus, many chargeback disputes are simply resolved in the customer's favor by default.

Although it is hard to imagine that this matter would be reopened short of an investigation showing that OP is part of an organized gang which drains these cards, there is also nothing OP can do. He has disputed the charge, he has received a credit and that is the end of it. If something arises in the future, he can deal with that.

The advice to simply document everything is sound. Turn it all into a PDF file and archive it wherever you archive other such matters.
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Old Jan 18, 19, 11:46 am
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Originally Posted by BugsyPal View Post
Unlike say Visa or MasterCard, when it comes to chargebacks AMEX is basically judge and jury. That is because they are both the CC network *and* bank they pretty much have all information required when a chargeback in initiated. What they don't know can be found by asking cardholder and or merchant/retailer.

Terms regarding chargebacks are spelled out in every merchant agreement. Those who accept AMEX thus know or should know what they need to do in order to solve chargeback requests. That the vendor in this particular situation did not respond in time to Amex's request for further information could mean they just said "eff it" and figured no matter what they did AMEX was going to reverse the charge. Or, they couldn't supply requested information to substantiate the charge and thus prevent reversal.

Over years have had a few things needed sorting out via AMEX (goods ordered not received), and have to say once things were decided in my favor never heard a peep again from seller, nor AMEX about the matter. In fact the cases all ended with "dispute closed due to no response from seller".

FWIU Amex's decisions on these matters is pretty final. A seller would have to bring some serious game to convince Amex to reopen/reconsider a dispute once it's closed, especially due to no response.

If it makes you feel better keep necessary paperwork along with names and when spoken to in a file some place, then get on with life. Seller was tasked with doing something, they didn't so it's their loss, you did everything were supposed.
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
It is highly unlikely that the card issuer would bother to go to the time and expense of responding. Once that is the case, every second expended is a further waste of time and money. Thus, many chargeback disputes are simply resolved in the customer's favor by default.

Although it is hard to imagine that this matter would be reopened short of an investigation showing that OP is part of an organized gang which drains these cards, there is also nothing OP can do. He has disputed the charge, he has received a credit and that is the end of it. If something arises in the future, he can deal with that.

The advice to simply document everything is sound. Turn it all into a PDF file and archive it wherever you archive other such matters.
Thank you both for the advice. I have definitely kept all of my supporting documents in a couple tidy PDF files which in my opinion are more than enough evidence for AMEX to side with me even if the merchant had responded. I guess I will move forward and hope for the best but I won't think of that money as being there until such a time has passed that it is beyond unlikely for the case to be re-opened.

Thank you for reassuring me!
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