Documentation Is the Key
The good and bad news about “covering your assets" in regards to credit card transactions lies with retaining documentation. Whether you make a purchase on-line, over the telephone, or in person there are two important details about a transaction you must make yourself acquainted with: the nature of the transaction and the merchant's cancellation/return policy.
The first line of defense with any credit card transaction is to know the nature of it. Read the terms and conditions of any purchase made. This is important because some transactions are an introductory or enrollment into a program that will charge your credit card on a recurring basis. It is not always the merchant's responsibility to advise of these types of transactions in an upfront manner, sometimes these terms of sale are hidden.
The second line of defense is to be acquainted with the merchant's cancellation and return policy. If you purchase a product that is in good working condition however, you then decide you no longer want it and take it back to the store for a refund, you expect to get your money back. This is not always the case. The merchant may very well have a no return policy and with this type of policy they are under no obligation to accept the return and give you a refund. The same goes for canceling a transaction, if the merchant has a no cancel policy, you will still receive the merchandise or service regardless if you no longer want it.
It is prudent for you as the cardholder to retain documentation pertaining to the terms of sale and the merchant's cancellation/return policies. This documentation will help you if you have adhered to the merchant's terms of sale and policies for a disputed transaction. However, documentation about the terms of sale and merchant cancellation/return policy are not the only document you should keep.