In Singapore, shopping online is becoming more common. Buying online is convenient with most e-commerce businesses providing competitive prices and reasonably good delivery service to customers.
Yet the process of buying items online can sometimes lead to disputes between businesses and their customers. This happens when deliveries are not made, or when goods received are different from what was described.
When Can You Submit A Credit Card Dispute To Your Bank?
Firstly, goods received may not be what it was described as.
Bear in mind we are not suggesting you can dispute purchases just because you don’t like them. If you bought an S-sized dress thinking it was the perfect fit for you, only to realize you don’t look at good as the model because you need a bigger dress, you cannot dispute the purchase made.
However, if you bought an S-sized dress and it arrived in L-sized. You can dispute the purchase. Likewise, if the product is defective upon arrival, you can dispute the purchase.
Secondly, if there is a non-delivery of goods or services as per the delivery timeline stated in the sales agreement, customers can submit a dispute against the merchant. For example, if your delivery was supposed to arrive on a specific day (and time, if applicable), but the delivery failed to materialise, you could file a dispute.
Filing A Dispute – Credit Card Chargeback
For online purchases made with credit cards, filing a dispute usually means submitting a credit card chargeback form, sometimes known as a dispute form.
There is a common perception that American Express (Amex) is the only credit card issuer that provides its customers with the ability to dispute charges. This is not true.
All card-issuing banks in Singapore provide such a service to its cardholders too. However, for most non-Amex credit cards, an impression is sometimes given out that there is nothing banks can do for you if you want to dispute a purchase with the merchants.
The reason behind this perception is that while most banks may just have an online form for you to find if you are searching for it, Amex actually talks about it as a value-adding service that they offer. That’s because settling a dispute claim takes time and could be a costly affair that most bank rather avoid, unless it’s fraudulent in nature.
It’s also the reason why we prefer using Amex cards whenever we are dealing with a merchant we are not familiar with, usually an overseas one.
As Far As Possible, Resolve The Matter With The Retailer First
While requesting for a credit card chargeback is an option that consumers can opt for, The Association Of Banks In Singapore (ABS) recommends that consumers should first make efforts to contact and resolve the dispute with the merchant to either get a refund or an exchange first. This will not only be faster (if it’s resolved), but also more convenient compared to having to download a form and to submit a dispute that would lead to a bank investigation that could take about 12 weeks.
Because some banks may want you to provide information that you have tried to contact the merchant, we suggest you contact the merchants via email, or some form of communication where you can easily save the correspondence. This provides further proof (if required) that you have tried on your own to resolve the situation.
While nobody would want to waste time on filing a dispute, it’s an inevitable outcome of online shopping, where buyers cannot physically examine and collect their goods upon payment.
So the best thing you can do is to understand these actionable steps that you can take if you ever want to dispute an online purchase made.
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