Consumers that are denied check writing privileges may need to dispute Telecheck due to errors in its database.
TeleCheck is a consumer reporting agency that provides merchants with information about a consumer's check-writing history.
Just because your bank issues you a checkbook, doesn't mean a merchant is obligated to accept your check. When a customer writes a check, the merchant can use TeleCheck to verify that the check is legitimate and that the customer has a history of writing good checks.
TeleCheck uses a database of check-writing histories to determine the risk of accepting a customer's check but there could be errors.
How To Dispute TeleCheck
TeleCheck is subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which is a law that regulates the collection, dissemination, and use of consumer credit information similar to the major credit bureaus. That means items in TeleCheck can be disputed. They must maintain reasonable procedures to ensure the accuracy of consumer reports.
Step 1: Order Your TeleCheck Report
TeleCheck reports can be ordered directly online at its website: TeleCheck.com.
According to TeleCheck's website, the following information may be required to verify your identity:
- mailing address
- phone number
- email address
If you prefer to mail your request send the request for your file report to:
TeleCheck Services, Inc.
Attention: Consumer Resolution Services
P. O. Box 6806
Hagerstown, MD 21741-6806
TeleCheck requests you include the following:
- daytime contact phone number
- copy of your driver’s license
- your social security number
- a copy of a voided check
Avoid offering information that is unnecessary to verify your identity such your current banking information and employer.
Step 2: Dispute Errors and Inaccuracies
Once your report is received, you will be able to see exactly what information exists about any outstanding debt that is reported and any inaccurate information. It's not uncommon that information can be on your report that doesn't belong to you. It could be one huge mistake or worse, identity theft.
You have two options to dispute items in your TeleCheck report:
- Dispute directly online at TeleCheck's site
- Dispute via mail or fax by downloading TeleCheck's dispute form.
Step 3: TeleCheck Will Conduct An Investigation
Once you dispute information an investigation will be opened and TeleCheck will have 30 days to verify the information as accurate. There are three possible outcomes of TeleCheck's investigation:
- TeleCheck may verify the information with the company that reported you as correct. In this case the information will remain in your TeleCheck report.
- TeleCheck may be unable to verify the disputed information in such case the information must be deleted.
- If TeleCheck does not complete the dispute investigation within 30 days, the item(s) must be deleted.
Step 4: Take Action If Disputed Item Is Verified
If the disputed information is verified you have the option of sending a letter requesting the method of verification. Once your method of investigation request is received, TeleCheck must tell you how they verified the information as correct. TeleCheck then has 15 days to send you the address and telephone number of the business they contacted for verification. You can then dispute directly with the business that provided TeleCheck verification.
Another possible action is to negotiate payment. TeleCheck has been known to simply delete the negative item once paid. But you must follow-up and get all negotiations in writing if you decide to pay the debt.
Step 5: TeleCheck Is Subject To Your State's Laws
If Step 4 does not result in a satisfactory resolution, try your state consumer laws. In addition to federal laws, TeleCheck is subject to state laws that regulate the use of consumer credit information. Many states have their own consumer protection laws which may impose additional requirements on TeleCheck.
How Long Does TeleCheck Report Information
Information can remain in Telecheck for 7 years. After 7 years, even if the debt has not been paid, they must delete the information.
It's worth noting that TeleCheck is just one of several companies that offer this type of service, and not all merchants use TeleCheck specifically.
There are multiple specialty reporting agencies that deal with consumer banking history including ChexSystems and Early Warning Services (EWS). It's good to know what information exists about your banking habits.
More TeleCheck Resources
- Learn common reasons why TeleCheck denies check writing privileges.
- Check out everything you need to know about TeleCheck.
- Read how one bad check landed this woman in Telecheck.
- You can check your ChexSystems score free of charge.