Chime Dispute FAQs
Rapid changes in technology have allowed consumers like you to enjoy even greater convenience. Before, you had to bring cash or any of your bank-issued cards to make payments. Now, you can pay with your smartphone—something you have with you at all times.
The possibility of paying with devices has spurred financial technology (FinTech) companies to develop mobile phone applications that facilitate the transfer of funds from one device to another. One of these apps is Chime, from an American fintech company.
However, these apps are far from perfect. There are instances where you’ll be erroneously charged for products and services you did not receive. Should something similar happen to you, here’s what you need to do.
(Don’t feel like reading but still need help? Contact a Chime dispute lawyer for help. We only charge a fee if you win!)
What is Chime?
Chime offers mobile banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, National Association. Users are required to register on the platform in order to use its services. Chime users can use the mobile app or its website to make transactions or use its issued debit or credit cards.
While most of its services are free, the company behind Chime earns it revenue from interchange fees, or when you make transfers to other banks.
What You Need to Know About Chime
Despite issuing debit or credit cards of its own, you should know that Chime is not a bank. As such, Chime customers are not directly identified as customers of the app’s supported banks. For this reason, Chime is capable of doing things that would get ordinary banks in trouble.
Chime has been known to cancel user accounts with no notice. More importantly, it is not required by law to provide a reason for canceling accounts. This makes it particularly difficult for account owners to retrieve their deposits.
Mobile Banking Fraud
Another cause for concern is the fact that Chime, like any other mobile banking or peer-to-peer (P2P) payment platform, is also susceptible to any of the risks of these electronic fund transfer methods.
One example is the so-called call center fraud. Someone calls you claiming to be from Chime or from a merchant, asking you for specific details such as account numbers or verification codes.
Another case is when your phone gets infected by malware. Should someone gain access to your device, they can also open your Chime account and make unauthorized transactions on your behalf.
The Role of the EFTA in Chime Disputes
The Electronic Funds Transfer Act was originally enacted in 1978 to protect consumers engaging in various forms of electronic fund transfers. Usually, it covers debit and credit card transactions with ATMs, point-of-sale machines, electronically-facilitated recurring payments, and mobile banking programs.
You might’ve heard the term “Reg E” being thrown around, especially in conversations concerning financial technology (FinTech) products such as Chime. Regulation E is a high-level legislation that establishes the rights, liabilities, and responsibilities of all participating parties in an electronic transfer.
Despite not being a bank, Chime remains a FinTech entity that engages in Electronic Fund Transfers, making certain aspects of its operation answerable to the provisions of EFTA.
How to Protect Yourself from Chime Scams
Keeping Your Chime Account Safe
Chime operates both in the digital space as well as the physical one, with the latter being in the form of a card. To protect yourself, here are a few things you should remember.
If it sounds too good, it probably is
The digital world is full of attempts to cheat people out of their hard-earned money, and this has been greatly exaggerated with the proliferation of social media. If someone tells you about a very easy way to make money, or someone tries to sell you an item that’s way below the average price, you might be in for a scam.
Never provide anyone with your personal information
One of the most common forms of scam is a text message, an email, or a phone call from someone claiming to be a Chime employee. They will establish authority and make an excuse to ask you for personal information: Social Security Number, birthday, addresses, PIN codes, usernames, and passwords.
Remember, you’ve registered with CHime already. They have your details. At most, legitimate Chime employees only ask for the last four digits of your SS number. Anything else is a red flag, report it to Chime immediately.
Be vigilant against phishing attempts
Aside from in-app reporting features, you can also communicate with the FinTech company through their social media accounts. The first thing to look for, whether on Facebook or Instagram, is the blue check mark signifying that they’re the official account.
Next is through a phone call; Chime never uses landlines or mobile phones to ask for customer information. For emails, common phishing attempts include the use of an unofficial address as well as cases of spelling and grammatical errors in the sent message.
Refrain from using your card in unfamiliar locations
Any financial institution will advise you to only use your issued cards from trusted merchants. If you’re unsure of the merchant or the location, pay with cash or with other cashless options instead. Using your card in these locations could risk your card being stolen, or getting it scanned and the information stolen.
How to Dispute a Chime Charge
If you find something wrong with your Chime account, you can file a dispute. However, before going to their official channels to file your transaction dispute, it’s better to verify that there really is something wrong. The next step is to gather evidence. Depending on the scenario, you might need to gather and provide the following:
- Delivery details, confirmation emails, tracking numbers
- Copy of conversations with the merchant
- Photo/ video of the non-compliant/ defective/ damaged merchandise
- Evidence of a price discrepancy
- Formal requests for a refund, return, or canceling a transaction.
Chime offers an in-app platform for filing a debit card transaction dispute, as well as for credit and P2P payments. If you can’t settle your concern with the merchant or the dispute remains unresolvable, you can dispute a chime transaction.
To file a report, simply log into the Chime mobile app, tap “View Transactions” and find the particular charge you want to dispute. It will show a “Problem with this transaction?” option, fill up the form, and hit submit.
Chime will conduct its own investigation, usually with the concerned merchant. If it warrants additional investigation, they will proceed. Otherwise, they’ll consider the dispute invalid and cancel it. For valid charges, Chime can also temporarily return the fund to you as it conducts its independent investigation.
Common Reasons to Dispute Chime Charge
If your contested transaction falls into one of the following categories, then you have a better chance to dispute a Chime charge in your favor.
If a Chime transaction happened without your knowledge or permission, it usually falls under Criminal Fraud. This means that a third-party entity has gained access to your account, or has used your account information to facilitate transactions on your behalf.
As soon as you find instances of someone else exploiting your account, report it immediately to Chime. They will then investigate and verify. From your end, it’s important to change all your passwords and PIN codes. This includes your social media pages and your email addresses.
For misplaced, lost, stolen, or compromised cards, Chime will simply deactivate them. As a preventive measure, they also immediately disable international transactions. Consumer law dictates that once fraud has been established, the consumer can’t be held liable for losses beyond $50.
As the name suggests, the provider of products or services has made an error. This category also applies when you’ve been charged for goods or services beyond what has been agreed upon with the merchant, usually in terms of the method, quality, or schedule. Common forms of merchant errors include:
- The wrong amount charged, or a discrepancy between the declared price and the actual amount paid.
- A statement or billing error
- Failure of the merchant to process your requested return
- Refusal to replace an item that was delivered incorrectly or with damages
Should you encounter scenarios similar to those listed above, you can file to dispute your Chime transaction.
When an entity misrepresents itself as a vendor, then fails to deliver the goods or services as advertised, this falls under Merchant Fraud. More importantly, scammers pretending to be legitimate merchants, then running away with your money, also fall under this category.
Before filing for a Chime dispute, consumers are expected to try and recover their funds first. After several documented attempts, with no response or resolution, then the consumer can connect with Chime to file a dispute.
How to win a dispute with Chime?
While it’s generally on a case-to-case basis, there are a couple of reasons that would make your appeal invalid.
- Spamming refund requests
- Confusion between disputes and refunds
- Forgotten transactions, or purchases you forgot you made
- Not exploring the merchant’s customer services for valid returns
- Transaction made by someone else in your household
- Non-compliance with the merchant’s return policy
- Disputes filed out of convenience over refunds and return policies
To increase your chances of winning a Chime dispute, make sure to avoid the scenarios listed above unless you have sufficient justification for doing so. Additionally, following the proper procedure in filing a dispute and being level-headed about it also helps your case.
Remember that continuing to dispute a Chime transaction without a valid reason could land you in trouble since it can be considered first-party or friendly fraud, but fraud nonetheless.
What to Do For an “Appeal Denied” Chime Dispute?
While Chime does deny account disputes most of the time, it’s not the end of the line for an everyday consumer. If you find sufficient cause for your dispute, you can start by calling Chime’s customer service hotline to reopen a dispute. You can also ask Chime for a copy of the denial reason.
You can file a consumer complaint with the concerned government agencies. Usually, FBI Cyber Crimes can help you settle fraudulent transactions made on your account, or you can tap the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau or the Better Business Bureau. These options will most likely require some form of documentation, so make sure to keep a copy of receipts, transaction records, and any communication you might have with Chime.
Since Chime isn’t a bank, the process for escalating a dispute with them is not the same as with traditional financial institutions.
File for Arbitration
If all else fails, you can file for arbitration. Arbitration is similar to a court case. Chime will be represented by an attorney and an “arbitrator” will play the role of the judge. You may be required to testify on your behalf, or the arbitrator can decide the case just based on the documents.
Arbitration is a good, final option because an independent arbitrator will be making a decision – not another Chime employee. It’s your chance to get a fair shake. Arbitration usually takes between 6-8 months to complete and can be done remotely.
Since Chime will be represented by an experienced attorney, you should be too. Don’t try to do it by yourself. There are too many pitfalls and traps to be aware of. Getting your own attorney will ensure that you have a better chance at winning your case. The experienced attorneys at DebitCardLawyer.com can represent you in arbitration. And we only charge a fee if you win. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Types of Damages Available to Chime Consumers
Once you win your lawsuit, the first thing you’re entitled to is a full refund of the disputed amount. With the EFTA in place, providers of EFT services are given a set of procedures to follow in going about their businesses, as well as their responsibility to their consumers.
Attorney’s Fees and Costs
Aside from the disputed amount, winning a lawsuit against Chime also obliges them to pay for your attorney’s fees. This incentivizes legal practitioners to accept cases with small disputed amounts, as well as cases where outright payments are not advisable or simply impossible. By winning their case, they get to receive full payment for their services, courtesy of Chime.
The sizeable legal fees involved on top of the disputed amount pose a risk for Chime, encouraging them to settle instead.
If the unauthorized transaction on your Chime account has caused you stress or lead to lost income, you can also file for statutory damages. This refers to the extended damages you’ve suffered on account of your Chime dispute, may it be emotional or economic.
Contact a Chime Dispute Attorney
While mobile banking apps like Chime have become both helpful and convenient, it still comes with its own risks. Aside from its infamous tendency to cancel user accounts, the platform itself is not impervious to the problems of both traditional and fully digital financial institutions.
If you hit a wall with your Chime dispute, contact the attorneys at DebitCardLawyer.com today for a free consultation. We can help you win your Chime dispute.