Incorrect or unauthorized withdrawals from checking account that were made by direct debit, can be undone. The method is simply called a chargeback. For example, if your account was deducted 1,200 euros instead of 120 euros due to a computer glitch by the insurance company or if you have been cheated by someone, the money is not lost.
However, you should hurry. Although the law provides, quite generous withdrawal periods depending on the reason for the chargeback, the sooner the error is cleared out, the better it is.
Cancellation period for chargeback in Germany
Most of the time customers can instruct the bank for a chargeback if the money has been debited without their consent. For example when no instruction was issued for the direct debit before. This is for example the case when cheaters using the bank data for debits. This must not necessarily be large amounts. It is therefore important to look at each transaction on the bank statement. If there is actually an unauthorized debit, the withdrawal period is 13 months. If the debit is based on a direct debit authorization issued as an online retailer, the withdrawal period remain six weeks. The time limit begins when the bank statement or the accounts of the Bank is present. In SDD (SEPA Direct Debit), the time window for the revocation closes after eight weeks.
- Chargeback period in case of Unauthorised Debit – 13 months
- Chargeback period in case of Authorized Debit by online Retailer – 6 weeks
- Chargeback period on case of debit by SEPA Direct Debit – 8 weeks
The correct procedure for initiating chargeback in Germany
If there is a transaction which can not be assigned to any action or is just simply a wrong amount, the bank must be informed immediately. In case you have a local bank branch, take it to the employee and inform them. You might have to inform them in writing if it was a fraudulent transfer, and sometimes a police complaint must also be made in case of transfer by lost card. In the direct banks chargeback can naturally only be ordered by phone or, if by e-mail, and it is always better to speak personally with one of the clerks.
The cost of a cancelling the debit
Since the process is linked to banks with a certain effort, fees are applicable and is invoiced always to the one who initiated the debit. This sometimes leads to the fact that the payee the amount reclaimed by the account holder. If the chargeback initiated causes a lack of funds in the bank account, it leads to a penalty.
If the direct debit is disputed, the creditor must prove that a debit authorization has been granted, or the debtor must prove that the direct debit authorization has been revoked.