I hope everyone is having a great day!
I have a question regarding a credit card purchase that I made in person at a brick and mortar store. The items were faulty and did not work properly. I contacted c/s, explained the details and opened up a dispute. C/s suggested that I hold the merchandise for 90 days from the date of opening the dispute, which I did, and never heard anything so I discarded the merchandise per their instruction. After 24 days the dispute was ruled in my favor. The store never bothered to contact c/c regarding the dispute. It's been 1 year since I opened the dispute and 13 months since the purchase was made, I received an invoice in a regular mail envelope, with nothing else.
Anything to worry about here in regards to the store trying to take me to collections and it appearing on my credit reports? I did not sign any credit papers or contracts, just a straight brick and mortar purchase.
Thank you for bearing with me and this wall of text. Sorry if this is in the wrong place.
I wouldn't just let it go without finding out more information about this. The fact that an invoice was issued means that somewhere some party considers you to have owed them something. Even if there's little evidence to support their claims, the system is sufficiently tilted in creditors' favor that they can send phantom debts to collections and really screw up your credit report. Best thing to do may be to aggressively nip it in the bud and at least send a certified or registered letter disputing the validity of the invoice.
@AJC, I agree with you, it should be ok, but it's always good to make sure. I guess I'm just used to saying brick & mortar, haha! Time to progress with the times!
@SBR249 I may do that if I get anything else from them. Just thought it was weird. Don't know if contacting AMEX may yield any new data?
@Fltireguy I was told by Amex when I opened the dispute to keep the merchandise for 90 days from that date, I did. When the dispute was ruled in my favor, Amex stated that they did not hear back from the merchant regarding the dispute or the merchandise. I waited 90 days and contacted Amex c/s again, they said ok to toss.
This may depend on the merchant's contract with their payment processor. While IANAL, I would imagine that the original transaction was a contract in which the merchant agreed to accept the credit card as payment for goods and services. As such as long as the customer's credit card is valid and the transaction was authorized and approved by the CC issuer, the customer should be considered to have fulfilled his/her obligations under the contract for payment.
Disputes which arise later would likely be covered under merchant agreements in which the vendor agrees to accept the decision of AmEx as final and which bars the merchant from attempting to invoice the customer by other means. Such language may be standard for merchants as part of the conditions they must agree to in order to be able to accept credit cards in the first place.
In any case, credit cards and the protections they offer would be pretty meaningless if merchants aren't contractually prohibited from recovering their losses via some other means after losing a dispute. In addition to directly disputing the invoice with the vendor, I would contact AmEx and make them aware of this. If this does progress then it would be in AmEx's interest as well to intervene.
Edit: there is always the caveat that you should attempt to resolve any disputes with the merchant first and follow any refund/return policies that you agreed to when you made the purchase. Those would constitute part of the original contract that you agreed to when you conducted the transaction and would still be enforceable.