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Yesterday I bought two books and paid by credit card. However I hadn't received an SMS confirmation at that time saying that I did an online transaction which I requested for every online transaction regardless of the amount. Then today I received an SMS saying that my card has a direct debit transaction from the shop, which meant the shop had run a direct debit on my card which I never intended to do so, instead of charging my card as online shopping.

As my card as extra 9x online shopping reward points, this will cause me not able to get those extra points. The sole reason that I used that particular card is to get online shopping rewards.

I called the credit card company and he told me to remove my card from my online shop, cancel the order and buy again. I cancelled but the shop charges a cancellation fee. I contacted the online bookstore saying that they charged me using the wrong method (I have never agreed to do a direct debit on my card and there is nothing on the UI says that my card will be direct debited), and want it to re-instantiate my order and charge my card again as online shopping.

In this case, if the shop can't do what I want, is there any recourse from my side? In particular, if I intend to do online shopping but the card is charged as other than online shopping (e.g. direct debit, or mail order), does it cause a valid dispute reason?

  • If you're buying from a small book shop, it's quite possible that they don't do online card processing at all - your information gets emailed to them (or equivalent) and they key it into their in-shop payment terminal as if you were present. It's a very outdated way to do it, and not all PCI-compliant, but it does still exist. – Bobson Jun 28 at 1:31
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You have no right for recourse towards the bookshop or the bank.

Whenever you buy something from an online shop, the online shop can charge the exact amount in real-time (using your CVV2 at the back of your card), or merely "save" your credit card number and pass it to a non-realtime payment processor.

Since credit card reward is a contract between you and your bank only, the online shop is under no obligation to fix this issue. Furthermore, the bank's terms and condition likely say that they also have no obligation as a reward is a "bonus".

If you did not buy tens of thousands of dollars worth of books, I suggest that you let it go because a rejected chargeback incurs additional fees from the bank.

If you are going to buy tens of thousands of dollars from a large local online shop, I suggest that you check the Excel sheets maintained by the community before making such purchase:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1zO3cXjPTQmVYlkyivfehjmvgBm6D0wXuypTyUf-w7Qc/edit#gid=0

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  • Does the online shop violate any operating procedure from the credit card network by issuing a "direct debit" instead of a "retail transaction"? Also, what is my right when doing online shopping to make sure that I'm using the correct payment method? – Michael Tsang Jun 26 at 7:32
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    @MichaelTsang a jurisdiction would help, because to a lot of people a “direct debit” isnt something you can do with a card (to a lot of people a direct debit is only done with the account number, not a card number), and similarly for many people there are only one type of transaction you can do on a card (you pay - if its a debit card it comes out of your bank account, if its a credit card it goes on your credit card balance). – Moo Jun 26 at 8:16
  • The bank's SMS tells me that a direct debit transaction is done on my credit card. That's what I type here. It is possible to set up direct debit transactions on credit cards, for example, people do that to pay their utility bills. Some banks offer promotion to do that. – Michael Tsang Jun 26 at 8:24
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    In UK yes you can pay regular payments via credit card but it is not a direct debit. So please tell us which jurisdiction – mmmmmm Jun 26 at 9:28
  • The card is issued in Hong Kong – Michael Tsang Jun 27 at 11:28

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