Here is an interesting trick that I've just come across regarding credit cards that can be played on you! Apparently, by law, you have only 60 days in order to make a claim dispute on a particular credit card charge that may appear on your statement. After that the credit card company can no longer accept complaints on a charge, and you have to either hope that the original company will “make good" on your refund, or take it to the BBB, which I must say really has never been of much help for any problems that I've ever encountered.
Whether or not you were aware of this rule, most of the time you would have filed your complaint well within the 60 days alotted. But here is an interesting case which can easily leave you hanging, and hoping that the company you dealt with will do what they promised. This particular example is based on services rendered, where a fee is billed to your credit-card, and then the charge is promised to be refunded if you cancel the service, say within 30 days.
Now, given that the company gave their word that they'll reimburse you, you forget about the transaction for a while. A month or so later you realize that they apparently forgot to reimburse your credit card! Try now to call the credit card company about the original charge and you'll be greeted by the kind representatives - usually in India somewhere - telling you there's nothing they can do for you and asking why you didn't contest the charge within the 60 days? Of course, your answer is that you expected the company to refund you as promised and didn't think you needed to do anything else. WRONG! There's nothing further the credit card company can do for you.
At this point, you better hope you kept good records (who you spoke to, cancelation confirmation number, date of cancellation, etc), and make sure to keep after the company's billing department to find out why you weren't properly credited. The problem is that billing departments that use such “tactics" tend to be exceptionally difficult to get in touch with. Try emailing instead, and you will be hardpressed to receive answers there either. You may also wonder why companies bill for their demos this way instead of just billing you the next month if you keep the service. The answer is simple. They hope you will not notice, or forget to check that the refund was actually processed.
As a final precaution, if you are ever in such a situation as this, you may want to take a few extra minutes, assume the worst case, and call to notify your credit card company that you are contesting the charge (even if there is no actual cause yet) and expecting a refund. That way if you do have any problem in the future in getting the company to reimburse you, you can at least have some level of recourse by way of the credit card company as well.
Note that such situations could also involve products shipped as well. If you have to return a product, make sure you are credited within 60 days of the original date you were billed, or else quickly file a complaint with your credit card company. Otherwise, risk dealing with it on your own.
You may also want to check out http://www.BadBusinessBureau.com, which I've found is also a good alternative to the BBB and may even have additional info on your vendor that could help you make a better informed decision.
Alexander Paul Morris, the designer and creator of the tymoraPRO Trading Platform, serves as President of Yourika Corp. He is a trader, programmer, and mentor widely renowned for his ability to analyze market behavior and to program systems and alerts that assist in capturing trading opportunities based on patterns of fear and greed that continually repeat themselves in the marketplace. A 14-day free trial of the platform is available to those visiting http://www.yourika.com .