What are disputed transactions?
Most bank transactions are completed successfully, but sometimes things go wrong, and you may dispute having made or authorised a transaction. If you can't settle the matter directly with your bank, we can take an independent look.
Generally, disputed transactions complaint fall into two categories:
- those involving fraud and scams, such as where a consumer is persuaded by a third party pretending to be their bank
- those where there's a dispute about the payment for some other reason
Below we talk about non-fraudulent types of disputed transactions. You can find out more about making a complaint about fraud or a scam on another page.
Types of complaints we see
We see a range of complaints about disputed transactions. For example, consumers contact us about complaints where:
- they tried to withdraw money from a cash machine but none was dispensed – then the amount was debited to their account
- they deposited money into a paying-in machine but the deposit didn’t appear on their account, or the wrong amount was credited
- they provided their credit or debit card details to a supplier of goods and services (usually over the phone or online), which the supplier used in a way the customer didn’t expect or authorise
- they asked their card issuer to refund them (through the ‘chargeback’ process) for an incorrect card transaction, but the card issuer hasn’t sorted it out
We also see complaints from joint account holders, where one of them claims the bank or building society should have declined a transaction made by the other account holder.
What we look at
To help us consider a complaint fairly, we'll ask you to provide some information. We’ll make our decision about what happened using evidence provided by you, the bank and any relevant third parties. Depending on the kind of transaction being disputed, you may need to provide information about your previous use of your card or a cashpoint or paying-in machine.
In reaching a decision, we consider:
- the relevant law
- any regulations that applied at the time
- any industry codes of conduct in force at the time
- the terms and conditions of the account that the disputed transaction was made from
How to complain
The first thing you should do is explain to the business what's happened and why you're complaining. The quicker disputed transactions are noticed and queried, the greater the chance that they can be put right. We only look at complaints that a business has had a chance to look at first, unless both sides agree.
The business should look at the complaint within certain time limits and give you their final response, and within eight weeks for most types of complaint.
If you’re not happy with their response, you can bring your complaint to us.
Find out more about how to make a complaint.
Putting things right
If we find you’ve been treated unfairly, we'll ask the business to put things right. This usually involves putting you back in the position you’d be in if things hadn’t gone wrong. It'll depend on the nature and type of complaint but it might include, for example, asking a business to refund a disputed transaction and consider the impact it had on you and your account, including interest and charges.
Consumer complains that bank won't refund transactions made in a club
Consumer complains that bank refused to stop repayments to payday lender
Detailed information for businesses
If you're a business looking for information to help you resolve complaints, detailed information about disputed transactions complaints can be found in the business section of our website.
It’s easy to say all the right things when it comes to diversity and inclusion. But until you see policies come to life, and start making a real difference to people, it’s just words.
It hits home for me when I talk to people who say that the best thing about working at the Financial Ombudsman Service is that “I can be myself here.”
This is important for two reasons. I want us to be a workplace that people join knowing they can be themselves – and in doing so, provide the best possible service.
It’s inspiring when you hear people talk about their personal stories – especially when they’re not easy to talk about, or when those speaking up are breaking out of their comfort zones to do so. You can see here how these stories impact the work we do.
This report is also a celebration of our achievements over the past year in diversity, inclusion and wellbeing – and we’ve changed the name of this report to reflect the wider scope. And we want to push ourselves to go further. We’ve grown our dedicated team over the past year, so they can fully focus on bringing our strategy and action plan to life. We’ll continue to invest in this, while asking ourselves tough questions, challenging ourselves again and again, and exploring the areas where we aren’t as good as we’d like to be.
These are issues that mean a lot to me personally. And as a CEO, I want to share ideas, and inspire others. I want everyone – whoever they are, whatever their background – to see what’s possible.
We’ve been working to tackle the causes of our gender pay gap, and I’m pleased to see it narrow to 6.8%. And we’ll be doing the necessary groundwork so that we can also publish our ethnicity pay gap over the course of the next year.
A culture of being yourself is one I’m very proud of nurturing here. I believe it’s a strong foundation for delivering the best service we possibly can.
Caroline Wayman, chief ombudsman and chief executive