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5 common credit card disputes and how to manage them

5 common credit card disputes and how to manage them

It can be stressful to discover something unexpected with your credit card, but dealing with it doesn't have to be.

It can be stressful to discover something unexpected or unplanned has happened with your credit card. Here are five credit card disputes that commonly occur and some ways to deal with them.

1. Unauthorised purchase or mysterious transaction

If you see a purchase on your statement that you didn’t buy, or a payment you didn’t authorise, the first thing you need to do is report it to your bank. These transactions could be due to what’s known as 'card-not-present' fraud, which accounts for 80% of all Australian card fraud.1

Checking your transaction history every few days will help you detect unauthorised transactions sooner. If you’re unsure about a transaction you can click on it to get more details, sometimes the name that appears in your transaction history is not matched to the business name so it can be confusing.

Remember to always keep your credit card in sight, even when making payments, and shield the keypad when entering your PIN. You can also lock international payments, block ATM cash advances and limit your spending through NetBank or the CommBank app.2

2. Received a different item to what you expected

Online shopping is very convenient when it comes to buying things likes clothes and groceries. But it can be easy to make a mistake and order the wrong thing, or other times you may find you’re sent something different to what you ordered. Start by making sure you only buy from trusted sellers. If you’re buying from a new website check their reviews to make sure everything is legitimate.

Always make sure there’s a full written description and detailed photos of the goods you’re interested in before you buy so that if whatever arrives varies from what you expected, you can refer back to that description and dispute it with the seller.

If you do receive the wrong item from an Australian-based retailer, under our consumer laws they may be legally obligated to refund you. Keep in mind that obtaining a refund may be more difficult from overseas online traders or less reputable traders. If you’re using a site like or you can use their customer service departments to raise any issues.

3. Received defective or damaged goods

Again, dealing with verified sellers should minimise the risk of receiving defective or damaged goods. Should the goods you receive be broken or damaged, get in contact with the seller right away and let them know the issue.

Typically, websites understand how important customer service is to their business and will usually move quickly to resolve the issue. If they don’t, under Australian law you have the right to ask locally based retailers for a refund, repair or replacement3.

4. iTunes account used by someone else

Whether it’s young kids purchasing a host of games on your iPad or your partner inadvertently buying music on your smartphone, this is something that can occur more than you might think.

iTunes stores your credit card information, which makes these purchases possible. The best way to prevent this from happening is to keep your iTunes password private and sign out of your iTunes account when you’re not using it.

If you believe the purchase has been made by someone you don’t know or your Apple ID has been compromised you can take these steps recommended by Apple and try to get in touch with them as quickly as possible.

5. Short-changed by an ATM

If you’re using a CommBank card (debit or credit) to withdraw cash and you’ve been short-changed by an ATM – even if it’s not a CommBank ATM – contact us immediately.

For more on protecting yourself against scams, visit the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) website.

1 Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA) 2015 statistics. 2 Excludes transactions flagged as recurring (e.g. direct debits) and transaction not sent to us for authorisation. Other terms & conditions apply. 3 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice.