A quick Google search looking for information about the credit card dispute process returns multiple pages of results. An interesting aspect to these search results is that the information is intended for customers and not merchants. This speaks to the prevalence of credit card disputes and the number of enquiries credit card issuers and banks receive from customers about credit card charges.
With all the readily available information about disputes focused on the customer, where does that leave you, the merchant? From our discussions with people like you who are working to minimize chargebacks and prevent credit card disputes from happening, it practically leaves you in an information void.
This lack of information typically leads to misinformation, confusion, and ultimately frustration over understanding the best way to navigate the credit card dispute process. We are committed to putting an end to this lack of information and confusion.
The Credit Card Dispute Process
The chargeback and credit card dispute process is not simple, but once you understand the steps involved you’ll have a better understanding of how you can be successful in your dispute.
- The customer contacts their credit card company and asks for a charge to be reversed.
- The credit card company reviews the request, and if it deems the request to be valid, the charge is reversed and the money is refunded to the customer.
- When a refund is issued, the chargeback process begins with the credit card issuer contacting your acquiring bank to collect the refund and associated chargeback fees.
- You’re notified of the chargeback and can begin your investigation into the claim, deciding to accept or dispute the chargeback.
- If you decide to dispute the chargeback, you’re required to provide compelling evidence to prove the chargeback is invalid.
At first glance, this doesn’t look too bad—after all it’s only five simple steps. If only the credit card dispute process were this simple! What could be a simple process becomes convoluted when you don’t have the requisite information you need to successfully represent your case. Add to this the details and timeline restrictions that part of the credit card process, which can turn it into a frustrating, time-consuming, resource-draining, and inefficient process.
The good news is that with some vital nuggets of information, you can prevent frustration, reduce the chances of chargebacks happening in the first place, and have the details you need to successfully win a credit card dispute.
Don’t Make These Mistakes
When you’re missing the key information you need to successfully move through the credit card dispute process, it’s almost too easy to make some very common mistakes. We want you to avoid these common merchant mistakes and be ready for whatever chargeback challenge you face.
- Not understanding the chargeback reason codes. The chargeback reason code is used to classify the chargeback and explain why the customer has filed the claim. The reason code also determines the evidence you need to provide to dispute the charge as well as the dispute process timeline you must follow.
- Ignoring claims and not fighting them. Not every chargeback claim should be disputed: some are valid and others likely can’t be won. The only way to know how you should proceed is to fully investigate the customer’s claim. This also gives you the opportunity to review your internal processes, such as record keeping and customer service.
- Forgetting the importance of customer service. The adage of the customer is always right may not always hold true, but the sentiment should impact every point of customer contact. Your customers need to have the confidence that you care about their concerns and are willing to help them out. When they know this, they’re more likely to contact you before their credit card company. With good customer service, you can ensure your customers aren’t looking for information about the credit card dispute process.
- Ignoring red flags. Whenever a chargeback occurs, this is a chance for you to learn more about your internal and external processes. Take the opportunity to follow a claim from start-to-finish so you can understand how and why the customer has reached the point of disputing the charge. Perhaps there is a problem with the information on your website or the descriptor on the statement is confusing, or your payment authorization system is broken.
- Trying to manage the claim alone. Let’s face it, the credit card dispute process is confusing and you’re probably not an expert in chargebacks. We applaud merchants who are motivated to fight chargebacks and “friendly” fraud, but it’s important for you to know that expertise is available to help you through the process. When you work with a representment partner, you can focus on what you do best and be confident that the experts are working for you to win your dispute.
Knowing what to do and when to do it goes a long way in effectively representing a credit card dispute and having the outcome in your favor. The key to successfully moving through the credit card dispute process with few or even no impacts on your resources, time, and brand comes down to having the right information at the right time. Learn all you can about chargebacks, the dispute process, recommended best practices, and how you can work with experts to limit your questions over credit card disputes.