Representing Individual Chargebacks Reason Codes

Consider Contacting the Shopper

Upon receiving a chargeback, consider contacting the shopper, as the chargeback may have been a mistake (e.g., the shopper does not recognize the merchant’s name). It may be possible to amicably resolve the chargeback. If the shopper does agree to withdraw the chargeback, you should still respond to the chargeback by letting the card issuer know the payment was valid.

You may provide the shopper with helpful customer service options such as store credit or a product reship, with the agreement that the customer will reverse the chargeback (Note: Once you start a dispute, the customer can no longer reverse the chargeback with their bank, and you will have to go through the full process).

If the customer does not reverse the chargeback, an email or letter from the customer stating they no longer wish to contest the transaction is the best option for representing the original chargeback.

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Even if you contact the shopper and both parties arrive at a resolution, as the merchant you must respond to the chargeback.

Prepare a Response with Relevant Evidence

In preparing your response, include as many of the attributes listed below as possible. The response should be concise (maximum of 10 pages), relevant to the chargeback reason code, and professional. Keep the most pertinent identifying information (shopper name, address, purchase details etc. ) at the beginning of the response.

Customer and Device Details

  • Customer: First or Last Name, Email Address, Billing or Shipping Address, Phone Number
  • Device Details: IP Address, IP Location, Model, and any other device identifying information. Establish a clear connection between the IP address associated with the transaction and the IP address associated with the user account and their usage history. For digital products or services, you do not need to include the entire usage history for every customer. Proof of usage after the charge and before the dispute should be sufficient in most cases where the reason code warrants it.

Product and Delivery Details

  • Product description and type: physical, digital, offline service.
  • Fulfillment: Tracking information (if physical product) and delivery confirmation (if physical product)

Payment Details

  • Type of payment: One-time payment or subscription payment
  • Transaction Details: Transaction amount and date, currency, dispute date, order number/ transaction ID, digital download number, refund status (full, partial)
  • Authorization details: AVS match code, CVV match code, authorization ID, signed contracts
  • Payment method: Last 4, expiration date, card type

Other Supporting Evidence

  • Merchant domains
  • Order history (proof of previous non-disputed payments)
  • Proof of customer communication/attempt to resolve prior to the dispute
  • Web images (click to accept T&C)
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Proof of usage

Make the Evidence Easy to Review

Include screenshots of evidence (delivery service tracking information and relevant portions of Terms and Conditions) directly in your response, as card issuers are more likely to review evidence embedded within the response. Card issuers do not typically navigate to links that present evidentiary documents or images.

Some issuers use older technologies to access and review responses (e.g., black and white printers, and faxes), so be sure that any screenshots, images, or text you include are large and clear enough for the reviewer to see them. Here are some tips:

  • Use font that is 12 point or larger
  • Display images (cropped to the relevant portions if possible) on one dedicated page
  • Draw attention to pertinent information by bolding text or using circles or callouts
  • Do not process a subsequent refund, as the shopper has already been credited for this transaction as part of the chargeback flow.

Prove the Product was Delivered

If the shopper believes the product they ordered was never delivered, you should include artifacts proving the goods were delivered. This can include tracking information from the delivery service, images of the house the goods were delivered to, and the full shopper address. Also include any type of correspondence where the shopper acknowledges delivery of the product, like emails, text messages, or social media messages.

Demonstrate that the Shopper Made the Purchase

Collect and include attributes demonstrating that the cardholder did make the purchase such as Card Verification Code (CVC) confirmation, Address Verification System (AVS) checks, Signed Receipts/ Contracts, IP Address, and Billing Address matches.

If the shopper violated your terms and conditions, include screenshots of the section of the terms and conditions they violated and the manner in which you display them.

Include any attempts your customer service team has made to clear things up with the customer before they initiated a chargeback, if possible. Include any communication your customer service team has had with the customer about their account or the disputed charge.

Proof of usage before and after the charge, including a history of undisputed successful transactions, can be helpful.

Specific Artifacts to Include for Each Chargeback Reason Code

The evidence you submit in your representments should be tailored to the specific chargeback reason code that the shopper indicated. The links for each card brand below provide the evidence merchants should consider including. The evidence varies by reason code, card brand, and product type.

Chargeback Response Template

Merchants can use the template below to guide them through creating their own chargeback response. Download and share the template with your clients.

Recommendations Based on Card Brand, Product Type, and Reason Code

We will use these terms to indicate the level of importance for each of the different types of evidence.

  • Crucial: This information is critical to the success of your chargeback representation and will not succeed unless this evidence is comprehensively and thoroughly provided. Visa refers to this as “compelling evidence”. Compelling evidence is proof the cardholder participated in the transaction, received the goods or services, or benefitted from the transaction. It allows merchants or acquirers to provide additional types of evidence to try to support that the cardholder participated in the transaction, received goods or services, or otherwise benefited from the transaction.
  • Required:This information should always be included in your submission
  • Recommended: If this information is available, it will help your submission
  • Optional: While not strictly necessary, if the information is available, it will not harm your submission

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These recommendations are best practices based on BlueSnap’s experience of chargeback management. Individual cases will vary depending on the issuer and their interpretation of the chargeback, and are ultimately governed by the card scheme rules.

Visa

Find Visa's chargeback reason codes here.

MasterCard

Find MasterCard's chargeback reason codes here.

Discover

Find Discover's chargeback reason codes here.

American Express

Find American Express's chargeback reason codes here.