State of California California Department of Consumer Affairs

Credit Cards (Regulation)

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In the case of a complaint or problem with a credit card, a consumer should ordinarily contact the customer services office of the corporation that issued the card before taking other action. If the problem involves an act or omission of a retailer that was paid by using a credit card, the consumer should first try to resolve the problem by contacting the merchant. A consumer may also contact a consumer protection or law enforcement agency in the area or state where the corporation issued the credit card.

The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA), enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, establishes procedures for resolving mistakes on credit billing and electronic fund transfer account statements, including:

  • charges that the consumer has not made;
  • charges that are incorrectly identified or show wrong amount or date;
  • computation or similar errors;
  • failure to reflect payments or credits;
  • not mailing or delivering credit billing to your current address; and

charges for which the consumer requests an explanation or documentation, due to a possible error.

The FCBA generally applies only to "open end" credit accounts-credit cards, revolving charge accounts, and overdraft checking accounts. It does not apply to loans or credit sales that are paid according to a fixed schedule until the entire amount is paid back, such as an automobile loan.

Federal Trade Commission, Headquarters
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
(877) 382-4357 - 9:00 am to 8:00 pm EST

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