Getting a refund for services not received

Hands holding Canadian money

I haven’t been posting much lately because I’ve been really busy with client projects and writing more at the end of a long day seems too much like more work.

But recently  Kerry K. Taylor aka Squawkfox inspired me to contest a credit card billing where the services I paid for were not received and I got $79.03 back with very little effort on my part. So I figured the least I could do is share my good fortune and encourage readers to take action if they find themselves in similar circumstances.

Here’s what happened:

For several years I have used a transcription service for audio interviews that I record through my telephone. I simply upload the mp3 files to the vendor’s website via my computer, put in my credit card information and within 24 hours I get an email telling me that I can download the transcript. It costs U.S. $1/minute, but If I’m getting paid enough for the article, it is well worth the amount of time I save when I’m on deadline.

Kerry heard me talking about this service at a recent personal finance conference and asked me to pass on the company’s coordinates, which I was glad to do. In fact my testimonial was even on their website.

However, when suddenly the company went AWOL, didn’t answer emails and I realized they owed me four transcripts that were days late, the first thing I did was send Kerry an email to warn her. Sure enough, she had the same experience and she was planning to contest the charge on her VISA.

Until then it never occurred to me that I could get money back from my credit card company. But when I called MBNA MasterCard they sent me a form to fill out for each of the four contested charges, which I did after procrastinating for a few days. I faxed in the forms and promptly forgot about them.

To my surprise, I got a call several weeks later from a lovely lady who asked me to clarify the details and then told me the amount would be debited from the merchant’s account and I would receive a credit within a few days.Sure enough, the credit was on my most recent statement!

This is in spite of the fact that the transcription company finally emailed me saying they had a problem with their servers and sent me the transcripts in dispute after 10 days when I already had them re-done by another online company.

The moral of the story? If you don’t ask, you don’t get. And your credit card company does care whether or not you received the goods and/or services you paid for.

Thanks again Kerry! I owe you one.



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