How To Deal With Chargebacks
Accepting credit card payments is convenient for many businesses and offers them the opportunity to increase their sales and customer base. However, there is an important issue merchants should be aware of when accepting payments by credit card. That is the issue of chargebacks.
What is a chargeback?
A credit card is meant to protect customers from fraud. If there are problems with the merchant after payment – such as incorrect charging, undelivered goods, or damaged goods – customers can request that the money be refunded. This is called a chargeback. Sometimes, these chargebacks are legitimate claims from the customer. However, as a merchant, you have the right to fight these claims if they are illegitimate.
Prevent a Problem
The easiest way to deal with problems is to prevent them from happening in the first place. This applies as much to chargebacks as anything else. For delivery issues, use a reputable delivery service in order to ensure a customer receives their merchandise undamaged, and ship to the address attached to the credit card being used. To prevent damage to goods, package accordingly. This requires you to know the fragile areas of your product and also to prepare for occasional rough handling during shipment. To prevent overcharging, remember that they may be the result of errors in the checkout system or non-working promo codes and coupons. Regularly test your system. Doing regular checks on software and operating procedures can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
Extra Tip: Use a recognizable name on bill statements and include what the customer bought. Some refund requests are due to customers either not remembering the purchase or not recognizing the business name on statements.
Fight the Chargeback
Note that chargeback requests are investigated before being approved. This is important because it gives the merchant the chance to present evidence to dispute the claim. The merchant needs to have that evidence available, so keep a record of all orders placed, payments made, shipping completed, and customers refunded. Claims that a charge was not approved, orders were not shipped, incorrect amounts were billed, or refunds never given can all be disputed with this documentation.
Disputing damaged goods is trickier since there is a third-party involved in the shipping process. Be sure to have a clear return policy. Make the policy detailed and easy to find, possibly including the link multiple times during the checkout process. Document the value of your shipment for insurance purposes.
If all else fails and it is deemed a legitimate claim, make sure your business account has sufficient funds. The last thing needed after a chargeback is overdrafts.
If you’re worrying about a ton of customers clamoring for a chargeback as soon as you set up credit card payments, you don’t need to. Very few ever do, and customers are encouraged to deal with the merchant before requesting a chargeback in the first place. Use this opportunity to handle customers with care and avoid dealing with chargebacks altogether.