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Feb 4, 2009 01:00 AM

Have you ever been billed months later on your credit card for a meal?

This is the second time this has happened to me, and it can be disconcerting. I was just wondering if anyone knew how long businesses have to submit the charges to the credit card company. I'm not sure if the place accidentally double billed me or the money never was taken off my credit card in the first place from a few months ago last year. I'm going to go through my receipts tomorrow. Is there a time limit for this? My credit card hasn't been stolen or anything so until I sort this out I'm very confused.

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  1. I think there may be a six month limit: but on the other hand, why should there be a limit? If you bought the stuff, eventually you should pay for it. Once I got billed about six months later, from a furniture store, but I did realize all along it was pending. Smaller places probably do their books differently than chain stores.

    2 Replies
    1. re: coll

      I'm not saying I shouldn't pay for it coll, I was just wondering if this was really unusual. I guess if it happened to you, it is not like a one in a million freak thing. Good thing this doesn't happen often though, it could mess up people's finances.

      1. re: givemecarbs

        yeah it happened to me in the 1970s actually, but nothing surprises me, then or now. I've gotten late billed a month or two late more recently, but they always seem to bill me eventually!

    2. I've got about a dozen receipts from restaurants that have yet to appear on my AmEx credit card bill; some of them go back two years or more. The majority are from one restaurant that must have had billing issues because they've stopped accepting AmEx. I tend to save my receipts until the charges show up on a bill.

      1 Reply
      1. re: CindyJ

        I don't just tend to save receipts, I obsessively keep a running total of what's coming up. I'd be scared to do otherwise!

      2. Call AMEX, they are going to be able to help you. It's easier than rummaging through online or paper statements.

        1. Yes, I was, and the charge was incorrect, I wasn't even in that city at the time, let alone that restaurant ! I'm not sure AMEX ever corrected it.

          As far as i'm concerned, if they swipe it, and you sign for it right then and it's "approved", it should show IMMEDIATELY. Not months later.

          Another reason to watch your bank balances and credit card statements like a hawk.

          2 Replies
          1. re: im_nomad

            Always check. if it's a business card someone needs to check the copy of the bill with the CC statement.

            Decades ago I was a waiter in a four star restaurant. A waiter was caught using the card of a regular customer and wrote it for what this customer usually got along with a healthy tip. The only reason he was caught is because someone checked and the customer was *overseas" at the time.

            Who knows how many times he had done this?

            1. re: im_nomad

              I'm sorry, but that is incorrect. Approval is not the same as submitting the charge. Typically AMEX approves the amount, but there are several steps and processors involved before it ever reaches the billing stage. The restaurant must re-enter your charge for the final amount (the "approval" that you insist should be billed instantly is ALWAYS done for an amount larger than the pre-tip total), submit the batch of charges to the processing company, etc. It is not at all uncommon for mistakes to be made and not be caught by the establishment for a month or two.

            2. We were in Paris a few years ago on a family trip. We used our Visa in a 2 star resto for 4 meals (pretty much $$) and received 2 charges for the exact same day, one was correct, one was bogus. Had big fight with Visa, but luckily I had the original bill, kept disputing the bad charge and they removed it. Wonder if resto was disciplined?