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Help! refunded me and then charged me again

Cornelia Spiegel asks for and receives a refund for a coat from Then the company charges her for it again. Can she get her money back?

Q: I bought a coat from last fall. I returned the item, confirmed the return and issued a refund to my credit card in late December. But then recharged me $959 about a week later for the same item.

I have not ordered from since the October return and don't know what the new charge is for. I have tried to resolve this with Saks and disputed the claim with Chase Visa three times with no success. has offered me no proof of purchase or other confirmation of what it thinks it's charging me for. My account shows no additional purchase than the October return.

Can you help me get a refund? -- Cornelia Spiegel, New York

A: should have returned your money at once and not charged you for the coat again.

This is such a strange case. When you found out about the second charge, you tried calling but couldn't get through to a person. So you decided to dispute the charge on your Chase Visa. You went through two disputes. Both times, Chase sided with But why?

Before we get to the answer, I wanted to share a tip about fighting a charge. The credit card dispute is what I like to call the nuclear option. You only want to do a chargeback as a last resort for a variety of reasons. Before then, you'll want to contact the merchant in writing and ask for a resolution. I list the names, numbers and email addresses of the customer service managers on my consumer advocacy site,

So back to the question -- why would charge for an item you never bought? I forwarded your case to and it provided you with an answer.

You worked through a third party to send your first coat back to The shipping service lost your package, and to cover your losses, it paid you $959, the value of the coat. So that initial refund came from the shipper, not

The shipping service then found the package and sent it to

"Saks apparently felt that because I received a refund, they should get to re-charge me," you said. "Frankly, I find that remarkable: Saks seems to think that they’re entitled to double-dipping on a refund from an unrelated third party."

You say you returned the shipper’s refund as soon as confirmed the return of the coat. When you provided with a copy of the check you sent to the shipper and a bank receipt showing that the shipper had cashed it, agreed to undo the re-charge.

After I asked about the case, a representative said, "We will look into this and resolve it quickly." It's unclear whether my involvement expedited the return of your money, but Saks also sent you a $100 gift card as an apology.

Christopher Elliott is the chief advocacy officer for Elliott Advocacy. Email him at [email protected] or get help with any consumer problem by contacting him at


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