View Full Version : Protocol For Billing Credit Card

10-23-2012, 01:51 PM
So if I order something from someone, when can the charge show up on my credit card? That is, it is merchandise.

I bought something over two weeks ago and it was billed immediately and it hasn't shipped yet.


10-23-2012, 03:21 PM
As a general rule it is at time of sale, not shipping. A good retailer might hold back on charging if it is a normally stocked item that they are out of. If it is a special order item that only you want, the will almost always charge up front, even if it is weeks out.

Air Randy
10-23-2012, 04:14 PM
The seller usually gets a credit approval from the card company for the amount of the sale, then they charge your card even if it is a few days until it actually ships. This way they still get paid by the card company if you go out 5 minutes later and over spend the limit on the card.

When I order stuff they always charge my card right away for the full order. But if somethings ends up being back ordered, they will only charge me for what they shipped and not charge me for the back ordered component until it does ship.

10-23-2012, 10:13 PM
Might be urban myth but from memory vendor should ship within 30 day of billing card per credit card rules? I collect full payment on barriers even if I have to build it to fill the order. Of course I disclose that upfront;)

10-24-2012, 10:31 AM
Thanks you guys. Actually makes me feel a little better. I'm not that mad I just think it's bad form to bill > $1000 and sit for 3 weeks.

I actually did some firmware for a credit card terminal (since I'm one of the few remaining people who program Z80s). I was wondering about the legality of it but was nearly 100% sure it is against Visa and Mastercard's rules to bill prior to shipment.

So I called. I'm was right. There are exceptions but Visa doesn't like it. My guy isn't even responding to emails when I asked when he expects it to ship.

Here is a PDF.

Page 25 has a good paragraph.


Bambi seems like an expert. Some good points there.

I'm not gonna go nuts but I think it is bad form. I just had to pay that bill and its almost 3 weeks now. If it gets 4 without him answering my email, I'm going public here and on Mud.

10-24-2012, 10:38 AM
Legality is a grey area, you probably agreed to terms when you purchased. Whether or not it's bad form depends I suppose but a small vendor like Corbet could be floating an awful lot of materials if he didn't charge up front.

Face-to-face purchases are simple, hand them money, you get stuff. Mail order and Internet are like custom orders, where you have to pay something or all upfront before they start work. This is a good use of credit IMHO, the seller's risk is lowered because the transaction is backed by VISA or whomever while the buyer isn't risking real money immediately. It's hard to discount how much trust there must be for a market to work.

It doesn't bother me because we use the credit card as a substitute for cash, so a purchase is made when we can pay for it. I would consider disputing a transaction if it dragged out too long, though.

10-24-2012, 11:34 AM
Legality and Visa rules are very different things. As Corbet indicated, there are some 30 day rules that actually begin to bump with the law but I think now that Visa's rules are to bill when shipped. There are exceptions but I think they have to be called out in specific ways.

10-26-2012, 10:19 PM
I was victim of my own carelessness, thinking I had 60 days to dispute a transaction, when I only had 45. I purchased something on ebay. It arrived 19 days later via Parcel Post in a shabby package, broken. Immediately called seller. He assured me that the item was functioning when it left, but he asked that I give him a few days or so to determine if he had an equivalent item to send. Four days later (business days, including weekend it was 6) days later, he told me that he could not afford to send me any equivalent because of the difference in cost. We agreed that I would send back the defective item, and he would refund me the money.

After I returned the item via certified mail with delivery confirmation in a pristine USPS-proof box, I waited a week or so to see if the refund came. Item was received by seller via confirmation. Total time from purchase now over 30 days. Life got in the way and so a week or so elapsed and I started calling the telephone number that I had previously used to get in contact with seller. After about 3 or 4 days calling without receiving a returned call, I went to dispute the purchase through ebay. Seller has disappeared (although I am pretty sure using another alias on ebay).

Long story short? I never contacted seller nor ebay about this via email prior to 45 days. I'm outta luck. Previous experience with Paypal refunds was 60 days, so I thought I had a chance. Not likely.

My advice? Communicate with seller but also communicate early and often with entity used to facilitate transaction, whether it be ebay, paypal or your credit card company. Even if someone is reassuring you they are on the up and up. Don't make my careless mistake. I know I will uphold my end of a deal, but the guy on the other end may be full of sh*t.:mad: