The case for credit cards

By | April 1, 2013
I once hired a company to install hurricane shutters in my condominium unit. A sales rep came to my house, I selected a color, quality and we agreed on a time of completion. I had to pay 50% as an advance down payment which was approx $1500. I paid it with a credit card. Before work could begin, they needed to get approved by the condo association – basically provide proof that they were licensed and insured which should not be a big deal. However this is where the fun started.

Repeated calls to the company could not elicit this simple documentation. 6 weeks went by and it was getting impossible to get a hold of anyone. Nobody responded to calls…not even messages left on the owner’s cell phone. Finally I decided I had had enough. I placed a call to my credit card company and explained the situation. The item was put into dispute, I filled out some forms detailing the company’s lack of response. The dispute was decided in my favor and I got my entire $1500 back.

The moral of the story is use credit cards wisely and you may thank your lucky stars. I use credit cards all the time – not only do I not have to carry cash and heft change but I also get cash back on many purchases (Credit cards such as Citibank and Discover offer 1-5% of cash back on selected purchases. Bank of America was recently running a promotion whereby you get 20% back if you put your cash back into a Bank of America checking account). In addition should you lose your credit card, you will be completely covered for the loss in case someone should steal it….can’t say that if you lost actual cash.