Learn your options to get your voice heard and make Mastercard pay
So you have a complaint against Mastercard’s credit card services—maybe they’re overcharging you, or a salesperson misled you, or their service isn’t what they promised.
At this point, you’ve probably tried calling Mastercard’s customer service. You’ve spent hours on the phone with hold messages, computerized menus, and—if you’re lucky—a few humans. So now you want to know:
FILE A CLAIM AGAINST MASTERCARD IN SMALL CLAIMS COURT
What is it? You’re not allowed to bring a claim against Mastercard in most courts (it’s true — it’s there in the fine print of your contract with them). But the exception is small claims court, which is an opportunity to bring your claim locally before a judge, up to a certain monetary limit. Small claims courts are only for certain types of claims, so your first step is to make sure your claim can be filed. There are a few things you need to pay attention to:
Claim Limits: Most small claims court limits range from $2,500 to $10,000 so if your claim is more than the amount your state allows you may not be able to file your case in small claims court.
Court Fees: Small claims court fees generally vary depending on the amount you claim against Mastercard.
The type of relief: There are two types of awards that you can seek in a lawsuit – monetary (a dollar value payment) and equitable (any non-monetary request). Most small claims courts can only grant monetary awards.
When to try it: You have time and energy on your hands, and you want the chance to make your case against Mastercard in public.
What you need to do: Locate your local small claims court and follow the steps laid out by the small claims court online to learn how to file a small claims court suit. Each small claims court has its own procedure. Filing a small claims court lawsuit tends to be simpler than the regular lawsuit process.
What to expect: If you follow all the steps precisely and have a strong claim against Mastercard, there’s a good chance you’ll get compensation. Additionally, Mastercard may even offer you a settlement in exchange for dropping the lawsuit against them.
See a similar guide on suing a financial institution in small claims court here.
FILE A COMPLAINT AGAINST MASTERCARD WITH THE CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU
What is it? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) is a federal government agency that regulates much of Mastercard’s business. The CFPB provides an informal channel for consumers to submit claims and complaints against Mastercard.
What happens to these claims depends on the internal procedures of the CFPB. You can find more information about these procedures here.
When to try it: You’re frustrated with Mastercard and want to make your complaint available to the government and the public. A CFPB complaint is generally not a way to pursue compensation.
What you need to do: File an informal complaint on the CFPB’s public website by following the instructions here.
What to expect: Your complaint will be posted online in a public database. It may be used in setting the CFPB’s priorities for regulating companies like Mastercard. The company may be asked to respond to it. You will not necessarily receive an individual response.
FILE A BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU COMPLAINT AGAINST MASTERCARD
What is it? The Better Business Bureau (“BBB”) and its local chapters are private organizations that collect and publish complaints against a wide range of companies. They are mainly funded by affiliate fees from businesses and usually offer these businesses an opportunity to respond to consumer complaints.
When to try it: When Mastercard’s BBB page shows that it is actively involved in responding to complaints. Or, alternatively, when you want another way to get your dissatisfaction out there on the internet.
What you need to do: Go to Mastercard’s BBB profile here and follow the instructions for submitting a complaint.
What to expect: This depends on whether the company actively responds to its BBB complaints. If it does, you may receive a response directly from them, or via the BBB. You may be asked for further documentation or clarification on your complaint. Ultimately, it is up to Mastercard whether they choose to acknowledge and offer compensation for your claim.
FILE A COMPLAINT AGAINST MASTERCARD THROUGH INDEPENDENT ARBITRATION
What is it? Remember that thing about the small print of your Mastercard contract? Well instead of filing a claim before a court, what their contract allows you to do is to file a claim that will be argued before an independent individual called an arbitrator (p.s. their contract also prevents you from filing a class action lawsuit).
Because this process costs Mastercard money, often they’ll try to settle your claim once you put them on notice that you plan on taking them to arbitration. That’s what FairShake can help with!
When to try it: Any situation in which you believe Mastercard has misled you, violated their contract with you, or violated the law can be pursued through arbitration. Typically claims involve a specific request for how Mastercard can fix the situation, which may include financial compensation. FairShake will help you pursue claims up to $10,000.
What you need to do: Fill out our form below to start your claim against Mastercard.
What to expect: For more details about arbitration, click here. Or start your claim below and let us help!
Read more about the class action lawsuit against Mastercard by retailers over swipe fees as reported by CNN Business here. Read more about the Mastercard litigation on Bloomberg.
(For a list of companies we process complaints against, start here.)
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