Chargebacks are a a part of doing business, but do you know the steps to take when your business rebuts the chargeback? Follow this guide to help you make the most effective case and save your business from loss of profits. Check it out now!
Credit cards are a convenient method of payment for consumers, so much so that many people no longer carry cash for everyday purchases. Businesses have been supportive of providing this convenient payment method for their goods and services. However, the system is not perfect, and consumers will report issues to their banks when transaction errors occur. These reported errors can lead to chargebacks.
Chargebacks are charges disputed by the individual consumer or bank for various reasons. Businesses can also dispute these chargebacks and can initiate a chargeback rebuttal. This article will cover chargebacks, the reasons why chargebacks occur, as well as the chargeback rebuttal process so businesses can be better informed and be able to protect themselves from future chargebacks.
Chargebacks protect customers, especially in cases of unauthorized credit card use. Here is an overview of how chargebacks work:
One of the critical aspects of a chargeback rebuttal is addressing the reason code. Prior to taking any action, the business should take a look at the reason code and determine if the reasoning for the chargeback is valid. The main types of reasons why a chargeback is requested are:
A comprehensive list of reason codes for Visa, MasterCard and American Express can be found on their websites below:
If a business determines that the chargeback is not valid, they can initiate the chargeback rebuttal. Most merchant processors give businesses a limited amount of time to contest the chargeback (as little as 30 days), so quick action is key.
The business should review the reason code for the chargeback to understand the reason for the customer’s complaint and determine if a chargeback rebuttal is necessary. If a chargeback rebuttal is needed, a business should act quickly. It is important to understand the time limits on chargeback rebuttals so that documentation is submitted on time.
Once the business has the reason code, they can collect and provide appropriate documentation to the merchant processor and attach it to a rebuttal letter. The most common forms of compelling evidence include:
All attachments and documentation should adequately dispute the chargeback and include dates, times and locations for all transactions and communication.
A business may decide to directly contact the customer and settle the chargeback independent of the credit card company, especially if there was an error. If you issue a refund, use the card used in the original transaction. In addition, the customer will need to contact their bank to inform them of the resolution so the chargeback is cancelled. If you resolve the chargeback with the customer, the customer may not always follow up and contact their bank to inform them of the resolution, so it is best to draft a rebuttal letter (see next step) and have documentation of the resolution. For example, an email sent to the customer with a response to confirm that the issue was resolved.
To successfully dispute a chargeback with the bank, a business will need to provide a rebuttal letter that directly addresses the chargeback reason code with applicable documentation attached. Ensure your rebuttal is detailed with dates, times and location information.The specific items required are:
Below is a sample chargeback rebuttal letter.
Dear [merchant processor],
I am writing this chargeback rebuttal letter to dispute a chargeback for $[dollar amount]. The chargeback reason code is [reason code]. [cardholder name] completed the transaction on [date].
Attached are the following pieces of documentation to dispute the chargeback:
The Cardholder made the purchase utilizing our online system and manually entered in their credit card information on [date] in our [city/state] location (Attachment A). Attachment B is an email confirmation of the purchase that was automatically sent to the cardholder and was received on [date]. They also received an email to confirm the shipment of the product on [date] and they also responded to thank us for the update on [date] (Attachment C).
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any additional information. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Once the letter and evidence are submitted to the issuing bank, it will either be accepted or rejected. If accepted, the bank will charge the customer again, and the matter will be closed. If, however, the bank does not believe the evidence supports the claim, the business will be charged the amount of the purchase, as well as a fee for the chargeback. The fees are based on the purchase price and can be found within the terms and conditions under the merchant processor.
If a business feels strongly that the evidence was sufficient but the bank rejected the rebuttal, they can request a third-party firm to review the evidence. This involves filing and other fees, which can be costly for a business to pursue.
Litigation may be the final option should the business wish to sue the customer. Again, this can be very costly for both parties when hiring legal assistance, thus it is typically only pursued in cases that involve large transactions.
There are several ways businesses can avoid chargebacks, and they all stem from fine-tuning their documentation and responding to customers in a timely manner. Here are some best practices a business can take to prevent chargebacks and handle any chargeback rebuttal situation:
Chargebacks are a necessity for consumers, as credit cards are more and more common methods of payment. The checks and balances of utilizing credit cards are put in place so that both consumers and businesses can be protected from erroneous transactions. Businesses need to be vigilant and well informed about the policies for chargebacks. Ultimately, the goal is for consumers to have an overall positive experience and implementing the above best practices will help achieve this goal.