How To Resolve A Credit Card Dispute With Your Bank

If you need more information about how to resolve a credit card dispute with your bank then take a look at this article to find out what options you have. You can do something about it, and this article will show you how.

If you are having a problem with a credit company or bank, and want to know how to resolve a credit card dispute with your bank then you should know that there are a few different things that you can do to help get it resolved.

Steps to resolve a dispute with your bank:

Here are five simple tips you can use when you are resolving a problem with the bank that's issued your credit card.

1. State your problem clearly

You are calling the bank or credit card company to get a problem handled so the priority would be to make sure that you communicate exactly what the problem is so that they can fully understand it. Nothing will get resolved if your credit card issuer does not understand the issue fully.

It is important not to get upset and threaten or abuse the staff. This will cause an unnecessary distraction from the problem and simply causes a new one. Stay calm during the conversation, state the facts clearly and let them know how you would like this resolved.

Keep notes of the conversation and write down who you are talking to. Have your supporting documentation at hand in case they ask you some questions about it.

2. Getting in touch with your bank

When you are resolving a problem with your credit card you can start at your local branch. You can talk to one of the staff members or the manager of the credit department and ask them to review your problem.

You can contact the head office if this situation has not been resolved at the branch. You will probably be asked who you were speaking to at your branch so make sure that you have taken down the names of all your contacts. Remember to stay calm in all of your dealings with these banking professionals.

3. Stopping payments

You should always make at least the minimum payment to your credit card when you are in dispute with the company. You may have to pay penalty fees if you don't and interest will continue to add onto your balance.

4. When all else fails

When you have not received any results from head office you can contact the Banking & Financial Services Ombudsman, which is a dispute resolution service that is offered at no charge. You can go to their website at www.bfso.org.au to fill out a dispute form.

In Australia there are two external dispute resolution schemes in place that help deal with any disputes people have with mortgage brokers and lenders. The one that you need to call will depend on who you are actually having a dispute with.

  • The Credit and Investments Ombudsman Limited (CIO)

If you are having a dispute and have been unable to reach a resolution with your mortgage broker, mortgage manager or credit issuer, then you should be contacting this service. They are able to run an investigation into the dispute and make binding decisions on the lender. If they make a decision and you do not agree with it, then you as the borrower are not bound by this decision. You can either reject or accept it.COSL has member lenders, and not all mortgage brokers, mortgage managers and mortgage lenders are a member. You will need to check and see if the lender you are dealing with is a COSL member first before contacting them. There is a time limit for filing a complaint, and you have six years to file one. Also, your loss cannot be more than $250,000 to lodge a complaint. You can contact COSL on 1300 78 08 08 for more information about how to resolve a dispute with your credit card issuer.

  • Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)

In Australia, all of the retail banks are members of an FOS. They should be contacted if you have a retail bank dispute or have a dispute with one of their affiliates like Esanda, that is affiliated with ANZ. Many mortgage brokers and finance companies are also members, and you can go to the FOS website or call them to find out who their members are.When you make a complaint, they will launch an investigation and make a final decision that will be binding on your credit card product for financial services. You, however, will not be bound by the decision and you can reject or accept it. You can only recover up to $250,000 of financial loss with the dispute resolution, but you can still make a complaint if you have lost more than $500,000 but are willing to accept only $250,000.The time limits for filing a dispute are six years from the time you became aware that this loss had occurred, or two years from the time that the internal dispute resolution of the mortgage provider or credit provider gave you a final response.You can contact FOS by telephone on 1300 78 08 08 for more information about how to resolve a dispute with your credit card issuer.

5. What happens next?

  • Once your complaint has been sent, the EDR scheme will send you a letter that needs to be signed which allows the lender to send information about the financial matter over to the EDR scheme. This letter must be returned by the due date mentioned.
  • Your complaint will be sent by the EDR scheme to the member for a response. Usually they have 30 days to respond to the complaint.
  • The lender will respond, and if there is a settlement offered you do not have to accept it. You can request that the EDR scheme launch an investigation.
  • Response back from the lender can happen again but you just have to keep replying that you want an investigation. Just make sure that all paperwork is submitted in time, and if you need an time extension, make sure you get it in writing with the EDR scheme.
  • Your complaint will end up in investigation and the finding will be made, which you can accept or reject. If you choose to reject the finding then it will be referred to the Ombudsman so that he can issue a recommendation. If you feel you must reject the recommendation then your only alternative is to seek legal action. You may not get much success with this and it can be quite costly, so you may want to get legal advice before rejecting a recommendation or finding.

This is how to resolve a dispute with your credit card issuer, and while it can be a somewhat lengthy process, you can end up by getting closure on the matter by using these two schemes.

If you have ever had a dispute with your credit card company or bank then you understand how frustrating it can be and that resolving a problem with your bank is not always easy.

There are ways that you can deal with your bank to get your complaints resolved easily and painlessly.

Resolving a problem with your bank will be a lot easier if you follow the steps above. A lot of people get into trouble by losing their temper. Don't let this happen to you - stay calm and the issue will get resolved.

Pictures: Shutterstock

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Sally McMullen

Sally McMullen is an editor at finder.com.au who is a credit cards and frequent flyer expert by day and music maven by night.

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24 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    BjNovember 1, 2016

    citibank is charging on my credit card over $15 as saying of netflix.com… as i never join netflix in my entire life.
    also, there was problem on seeing my statement on credit card.
    when i called citibank and tell this story than they refuse to take action on this fraud.
    now, i close my account with citibank australia. also, they said the cant do anything though i loose 100s of dollar…..every months $15 for over a year…
    this is totally fraud for consumer to do so….

    • finder Customer Care
      MayNovember 2, 2016Staff

      Hi Bj,

      Thanks for your comment.

      I’m sorry to hear about this fraudulent activity in your account. It would still be best to get in touch with Citibank to raise this issue and be resolved. In case you need more guidelines on how you could file a dispute, please feel free to visit this page.

      Hope that could help.


  2. Default Gravatar
    AndreaJune 28, 2016

    I’m just wondering how much longer does it take to resolve the credit card dispute? What was the bank says 45 days. I lodged the dispute last 7 March 2016 but until now I haven’t heard anything from the bank. Went to the bank a few times & just been told to wait. I made called as well but same story. I’m becoming so frustrated…..I don’t know what should I do as the amount I have been paying is about $10K. Does anyone know what is the bank policy? Any advice would be very much appreciated.

    • finder Customer Care
      MayJune 28, 2016Staff

      Hi Andrea,

      Thanks for reaching out and I’m sorry to hear that you’re having a difficult time resolving a credit card dispute.

      I understand how you feel. Indeed, resolving a dispute with your credit card issuer can be a somewhat lengthy process (depending on the bank) and costly as you’re not allowed to stop making payments, otherwise penalties will be imposed and the interest will just continue to add on to your balance.

      So, if you deem that the branch has not resolved your dispute, you can actually raise that to the head office – make sure that you have taken down the names of those you have contacted in the branch and discuss to them your situation so they can provide a prompt solution to the problem. But if and when all else fails, then you can contact and speak to the financial ombudsman. The details on how to seek for a dispute resolution with the ombudsman were outlined above.

      But of course, I hope that your dispute will not reach to the office of the ombudsman. Just stay calm and never stop contacting your bank until they make an appropriate solution to your dispute.

      I hope you will get the solution to this matter soon.


  3. Default Gravatar
    joeMarch 8, 2016

    My credit card was skimmed whilst overseas and the crooks got up to $6000 dollars from my card before I noticed and called to cancel my card. Obviously it wasn’t me as whilst I was making transactions in Australia on the same day they were taking American dollars out in Panama.
    Why cant Citibank just credit back the funds instead of me having to go through a dispute resolution which can take months and in the mean time i have to pay the interest on the thousands someone else has illegally put on my card.
    Don’t they have systems in place to pick up on fraudulent activities such as these?
    I just want to cancel my card now as Im sick of the whole ordeal but am waiting in hope that these charges go away first.
    Any advice would be appreciated.

    • finder Customer Care
      DebbieMarch 10, 2016Staff

      Hi Joe,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      We are sorry to hear that. However, please note that you’ve come through finder.com.au, an online comparison service and we can only provide general information.

      Card issuers may have respective processes that they follow in regarding credit card skim reports. Unfortunately, you can’t cancel the credit card as there’s a remaining balance in it. You can pay at least the minimum amount or fees that apply to avoid any other interest charges that can add to your account while in dispute.

      It may be a lengthy process, but if you follow the steps as mentioned in the article above, it will help you resolve the problem with your credit card issuer easier.

      I hope this helps.


  4. Default Gravatar
    PhilOctober 15, 2015

    I have had an unauthorised transaction (overseas website purchase) on my Credit card, my bank has after 3 weeks sent me a dispute form. The last section is asking for more details. what would be a suitable response to assist my dispute?

    • finder Customer Care
      JonathanOctober 19, 2015Staff

      Hi Phil, thanks for your inquiry!

      More details could include the time/date you discovered the unauthorised transaction and the actions you have taken to resolve the issue since. You could also include points of contact you have had with your bank which may help them resolving your issue.



  5. Default Gravatar
    margeAugust 9, 2015

    I hired a contractor to strip and reseal my stampcrete around my in ground pool. I gave a deposit on my credit card. Job was supposed to be completed by June 1st, 2015. Sloppy workmanship – dried on residue on 6 sliding screen doors, pool coping, white fence, house and inside swimming pool. I want my deposit back – credit company rejected my request.

    • finder Customer Care
      JonathanAugust 10, 2015Staff

      Hi Marge, thanks for your inquiry!

      The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) allows Australian consumers to make a complaint and seek assistance/ take legal action. Please refer to the link I have sent to your email for the ACCC contact details.



  6. Default Gravatar
    AprilJune 2, 2015

    Why does my MasterCard show reverse credit?

    • finder Customer Care
      JonathanJune 3, 2015Staff

      Hi April, thanks for your inquiry!

      Reverse credit can be the result of a refunded transaction, potentially from a disputed transaction. To find out more about your reverse credit transaction the details of the merchant can usually be found on the transaction record through your online account or monthly statement. Alternatively contacting the bank will reveal more details on the transaction. You may also like to refer to the following link for more information on reverse credit card transactions.



  7. Default Gravatar
    RayJune 28, 2013

    I had my bank pay off my credit card to a zero amount and the account was supposed to be closed, I rang the company a week later to make sure they closed the account and I was told it was. That was two months ago and today I have a bill for $150.00 because they allowed a direct debit to go through 18 days after they were told to close the account.
    It seems that GO Mastercard can make their own rules to suit themselves.
    where do I stand with respect to liability to the amount they claim I owe.

    • finder Customer Care
      JacobJune 29, 2013Staff

      Hi Ray. Thanks for writing in to us about this. This will have to go through GE Money’s compliant resolution process, please contact the GE Money Complaints Resolutions Team if you have not done so already. If they are unable to resolve the matter for you, GE Money is a member of the Financial Ombudsman Service. This is a service that resolves disputes between customers and providers. I can’t comment on who is liable. I hope this helps. Jacob.

  8. Default Gravatar
    KatJune 21, 2013

    I rang the bank whom my credit card is through, to ask the details of my card and about the repayments. It would seem the situation is a lot worst then first though I told my fiancée and some other people and they agreed with me that what they are saying seems wrong. I rang to ask if I paid say 50% of the balance of my credit card in one month and put card out my wallet and don’t put any thing on it until my next bill how come second bill is higher then the last closing balance minus the repayments plus the interest on any amounts over 55days that weren’t paid in the previous month.
    The lady then said to me that because my assumption on the way interest and repayment work was wrong. She went on to tell me that when I received my bill for the month I need to repay the entire of the closing balance in full. If, I did not pay the entire balance say I paid 50% of the closing this was no good the reason being that interest was calculated on the closing balance on the statement without paying this in full I would ware the interest of the entire closing balance. Therefore the next bill would the prior closing balance plus the interest from that less my repayment that I made prior to the last due date. Hence I am paying interest on dept that I have already paid off! I realize this isn’t right but it is correct do other bank or credit cards have the same policy it seems odd the no other loan system works this way ie If the entire balance is not paid all at once?

    • finder Customer Care
      JacobJune 24, 2013Staff

      Hi Kat. Thanks for your question. Can you please check with your card issuer to make sure your payment went through. If so, you may want to request that they reverse the interest charges if it was calculated incorrectly. Jacob.

  9. Default Gravatar
    BenJune 7, 2013

    Credit card limit. Is it ok for a financial institution to allow for you to exceed your approved credit card limit. Over 7 months ago my approved limit of 6500 was exceeded up to nearly 8000 without declining transactions once the limit was exceeded. I was not aware that the limit had been exceeded as their Internet site was also delayed. At one point the Internet site showed that I had 2000 available, however the bank phoned me to advise me that the limit was exceeded.
    I would have thought that once the limit is exceeded, transactions would and should be declined.
    Do I now have a case to seek that the bank refund me fee’s for the past 7 months and additional interest charged as a result of the limit being exceeded. I am now in a position to pay out the card completely but would like some advise before discussing it with them. I am also considering leaving this bank due to this indiscretion. I think they were completely out of line allowing my limit to be exceeded by 1500 which is almost 20% more than the approved limit of the card.

    • finder Customer Care
      JacobJune 7, 2013Staff

      Hi Ben. Thanks for your question. The issue you’ve raised is a contentious point for many Australians. Over-limit fees were banned as part of the government’s 2012 credit and banking reforms. You can opt-out of going over your credit, which means you can opt-out of receiving any over-limit fees. This applies to all credit card accounts opened after the 1st of June 2012. Prior to this, lender did allow you to exceed your credit limit. If you unhappy with the service your lender has provided to you, you can vote with your feet and use a competitor’s services. I don’t believe you will be able to recoup the cost of the fees, but it can’t hurt to ask. Jacob.

  10. Default Gravatar
    LeonMay 16, 2013

    I was recently charged a late payment fee on my credit card. I had inadvertently paid one Mastercard twice and hence accidentally missed the payment. It is a one off mistake. I heard that there was a class action in recent times and that late payment fees were no longer acceptable. Please can you advise what the status is before I talk to the credit card provider. Thanks.

    • finder Customer Care
      JacobMay 16, 2013Staff

      Hi Leon. Thanks for your question. It wasn’t a class action, but government reforms. Please check this page for more information about the reforms that took effect in July 2012. One of the reforms was banning of over-limit fees, but this only applies to cards approved after the 1st of July 2012. Jacob.

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