I want to try a chargeback to get a refund for my gym membership that I did not use, as the gym took a direct debit earlier than I expected them to.

The last payment was taken on the 29th Dec 16. The second one was taken on the 20th Jan 2017. This was earlier than I expected, as I wanted to cancel and join a different gym, but didn't manage to get round to it before the payment was taken.

The last time I used that gym was the 13th January 2017, and I rejoined on the 20th December, so I have used it for less than a month. Therefore I do not think I should have to pay for two months

If this chargeback failed then would it negatively affect my credit score? I'm trying to build it up so I don't want to have a negative on my file. I don't really know if taking a payment earlier than I expected counts as a valid reason for a chargeback.

Note: I have done this before with the same gym and have had a successful chargeback. This was a few months ago when I left the gym for personal reasons. They made an error and didn't cancel the membership so I paid for another month, so I did the chargeback. This was around September.

  • What gave you the impression that a failed chargeback would have a negative affect? – NL - Apologize to Monica Jan 26 '17 at 16:06
  • I thought chargebacks had a negative effect on your score, so failed ones are even worse... – George Jan 26 '17 at 16:08
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    Just so you know, chargebacks hurt merchants (your gym in this case). If you have a valid reason, then by all means do it. However, this is not a valid reason for a chargeback. You agreed to make a payment, forgot/didn't research how the gym would bill you, and then regret a valid purchase after the fact. Instead of just doing a chargeback, how about calling the gym and explaining the situation? If they offer a refund, they don't get stung as badly as a chargeback. merchantmaverick.com/… – BobbyScon Jan 26 '17 at 16:31
  • @NathanL, I'm in the UK, fixed my profile now. Sorry! – George Jan 26 '17 at 16:39
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    @BobbyScon, I called the gym and they have a blanket policy of no refunds, so they said try contacting the bank and see if they can do something... – George Jan 26 '17 at 16:41

If this chargeback failed then would it negatively affect my credit score?

A credit score is a measure of how dependable of a borrower you are. Requesting a refund for not receiving goods not delivered as promised, whether it is successful or it fails, should not impact your credit score since it has no implications on the likelihood that you will pay back debts.

The last time I used that gym was the 13th January 2017, and I rejoined on the 20th December, so I have used it for less than a month. Therefore I do not think I should have to pay for two months

Keep in mind that you purchased a membership to the gym. Whether or not you actually use the gym you are liable to pay for every month that you retain the membership. Although it probably won't hurt to try to get a refund for the period where you didn't take advantage of your gym membership, you weren't actually charged for a service that you never received (like in the last case where they charged you after you cancelled your membership).

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I think your confusion comes from the negative impact when a creditor writes off your bad credit and ceases attempting to collect it. "Chargebacks" as you call them are an attempt to undo fraudulent charges on your card, whether from stolen credit card info or from a merchant who is using shady business practices.

For what it's worth, if you joined on December 20, January 20 seems like a reasonable date for the next billing cycle, with the December 31 date reflecting the fact that their system couldn't automatically bill you the day you joined. I also think it's reasonable for you to ask them to refund the bill for the second month if you do not plan to use their gym further. So the dispute seems like a reasonable one on both sides. Good luck.

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  • Asking for a refund might be reasonable (although seeing as he's joined and left the gym twice, I'd doubt they'd see it as such). Initiating a chargeback for this situation, however, is not reasonable as no fraud or unauthorized use of the card was perpetrated. – BobbyScon Jan 26 '17 at 16:36
  • @BobbyScon there is a lot assumed there. We don't have any contracts that he signed in front of us, nor do we know what was said by the representative who signed him up. I simply noted that a reasonable person might think there is something to dispute. I didn't offer the opinion that a chargeback is appropriate in this case. – NL - Apologize to Monica Jan 26 '17 at 16:40

Credit scores in the U.S. are entirely based on information contained in your credit report. The details of your credit card transactions, such as where your individual purchases are from, the amount of individual purchases, refunds, chargebacks (successful or failed), etc. do not appear on your credit report. Therefore, they can have no impact on your credit score.

According to creditsavvy.com.au, credit scores in Australia are based on similar information: the information in your credit history, credit profile, and credit applications. I don't see anything that would suggest that the details of your transactions would affect your credit score.

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