Banco Central de Costa Rica

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Claims for Unauthorized Debits

 

Every individual/juridical person that enters into a Direct Debiting Authorization will be automatically debited from their "cuenta cliente" (CC) the amount they have authorized for the service/item indicated in said authorization.

 

Before debiting an amount from an account, the financial entity must ensure that the amount to be collected is the one authorized by its client. However, while it is not very likely, there may be cases where a creditor may double the amount collected, or collect an amount in excess of the one authorized,  or collect an amount for a service/item not authorized, or the payer’s financial entity may collect an unauthorized payment altogether. In these cases, according to current regulations the affected client is entitled to claim a reimbursement.

 

The amount claimed to be reimbursed will be handled as a reversed charge. In other words, a characteristic of the debiting authorization is that it includes the possibility of reversing the transaction in case of claims. Otherwise, no claim may be filed.

 

Once validated, the claim process means that the money will be debited from the account of the client making the undue or unauthorized collection under normal operation conditions. The money should be credited to the account of the affected client, no later than at 12.00 noon of the working day after the claim was filed.

 

 Región de Acordeón

Example of Use

A client authorizes a debit from her account for ¢10.000 a month as payment of a magazine subscription. She is deducted ¢15.000 without a previous agreement with her provider. As a result, she may file a claim with her financial entity, which should request the provider’s entity a cash reimbursement through SINPE for the amount wrongly charged.

 

If the claim is approved, because the transaction was effectively credited to the counterpart entity, the client will be credited ¢15.000 for the undue charge by 12.00 noon the following working day, and should then take the necessary steps with her provider for the correct amount to be collected.

 

The client must go to her financial entity to request her reference number if she does not know it.

Procedure

According to current regulations, the financial entity is compelled to process the claim through SINPE’s REF service. This means that the funds will be reimbursed within the defined timeframe.

 

Upon receiving the claim, the financial entity will include an instruction so that funds are debited from the "Cuenta Cliente" in the creditor’s financial entity (reversed charge), indicating the reference number for the transaction.

 

SINPE will validate in real time that the transaction actually took place, that the claim has been filed within provided timeframe, that it has not been rejected, and there was not a previous claim, to avoid duplication.

 

If the transaction meets these conditions, the request will be processed and the client will receive a voucher (comprobante de reclamo), and the amount claimed will be credited to her account on the following working day.

 

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