Reg E does allow a review of the customer's purchase history as part of your investigation. If you conclude that they have in fact authorized DirecTV to charge the account, then deny the claim.
(4) Investigation. With the exception of transfers covered by Sec. 205.14, a financial institution's review of its own records regarding an alleged error satisfies the requirements of this section if:
(i) The alleged error concerns a transfer to or from a third party; and
(ii) There is no agreement between the institution and the third party for the type of electronic fund transfer involved.
What was the husband's explaination of the previous charges from DirecTV? Did they cancel the service and continue to be charged? Is DirecTV asserting that they failed to return equipment?
It is possible that you may deny the Reg E claim based on the husband's answer, but his wife may still have chargeback rights available depending on the situation. VISA/MasterCard would require that she first contact DirecTV to resolve the charge prior to filing a dispute.
If they cancelled but have continued to be charged, use Cancelled Recurring. If they returned equipment but were charged for failure to return, use Credit not Processed. If the Reg E claim has already been denied, you are not bound by its investigative timeframes, but can still use the V/MC changeback process to try and assist them.
Lastly, if they still claim this charge was not applied to the account, and you haven't denied the Reg E claim, write it up as a Fraud claim, file the chargeback for No Authorization, and see what you get back from DirecTV, if anything.
Eventhough the husband can assert a claim under Reg E, you will need a signed letter from the wife to file a chargeback under V/MC rules.
I can provide more direction if you need depending on the specifics of the dispute.
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