Common chargeback reasons and solutions

Most of the Disputes Management interface involves processing and disputing chargebacks.

A list of common reasons why chargebacks occur include the following.

Point-of-sale processing errors

Incorrect account number

The card-issuer identifies the account number on the original transaction receipt as different from the account number in the record deposited for payment. (For example, if you have made a data entry error and typed the wrong account number for that particular transaction).

Remedy: You must issue a credit back to the shopper's credit card. Then make the original sale again but make sure you enter the correct credit card number into the system. Contact the shopper to get the correct credit card information.

Duplicate processing

The card-issuer receives the same transaction twice (or more) and charges the shopper's account twice (or more).  This means the shopper is being charged twice (or more) for the same transaction.

Remedy: Issue a credit back to the shopper's credit card. Make sure the shopper is not going to receive the same goods or services twice.

Customer disputes

Customer claims services do not occur

The card-issuer receives a complaint in writing from a shopper. The letter states that a service you offer was billed but never provided.

Remedy: If you did provide the service, send a copy of an invoice or contract signed by the shopper and any other evidence you did the job to our disputes system. If you haven't provided the service because the deadline to provide the service has not expired, send a copy of the contract and a letter that specifies the relevant paragraphs in the contract to your bank.

Cancelled recurring transaction

The shopper informs the card-issuer that you (the merchant) were told to cancel a recurring transaction (for example, a monthly subscription) but you have continued to charge the shopper. Or the transaction amount was above the agreed limit, or you are supposed to inform the shopper before you process each recurring transaction and have not done so.

Remedy: Issue a credit to the shopper's credit card, and cancel the recurring transaction if you have not already done so.

Merchandise/service not as described

The shopper writes to the card-issuer and claims that the goods or services were not the same as those shown and described on your site or in other marketing and sales promotion material. The shopper attempted to return the merchandise or to cancel the services. Or, if you had already provided the services, the shopper attempted to resolve the dispute with you but failed to do so to their satisfaction.

Remedy: If the shopper has not returned the merchandise, notify the card issuer or the issuer's bank. The shopper must attempt to return the merchandise before starting a chargeback. If the shopper has already returned the merchandise, or the dispute is over a service, then issue a credit to the shopper's credit card.

Defective merchandise

The shopper writes to the card-issuer and claims that merchandise received was damaged, defective, or unsuitable for the purpose sold, and that the shopper has attempted to return this defective merchandise.

Remedy: If the shopper has not returned the merchandise, notify your bank. The shopper must attempt to return the merchandise before s/he attempts a chargeback. If the merchandise was returned, but is not defective, notify your bank. If they have already returned the merchandise, and it is defective, issue a credit back to the customer's credit card.

Customer claims merchandise not received

The customer writes to the card-issuer and claims that the merchandise did not arrive, or that the customer cancelled the order because the merchandise did not arrive by the expected delivery date.

Remedy: If you delivered the merchandise, send all evidence of the delivery to us at Worldpay. If the chargeback is attempted less then 30 days from the date of sale, send a copy of the transaction to us at Worldpay that shows that 30 days has not yet passed since you made the sale. Also be sure to state the expected delivery date. You are allowed a fair amount of time to deliver your product.

For information on delivery and shipping times, see United Kingdom legislation for the Sales of Goods Act (1979) and the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982, along with the Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994. Information is available from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Potential fraud

Fraudulent card-not-present transactions

The customer writes to the card-issuer and complains that s/he neither authorised nor participated in a transaction appearing on his/her billing statement.

Remedy: If you obtained authorization approval; received an exact match to the AVS request (for example, a match on the customer's address and post code); the merchandise was delivered to the AVS address; and you have proof of delivery, then provide this information to your bank.

Fraudulent card-present transactions

This type of fraud is less common than the card-not-present type of fraud. It consists mainly of the use of stolen cards, out of date cards or (rarely) fake cards.

Remedies: Ensure your staff are trained to recognise legitimate credit cards and make basic checks, such as the presence of card identification features. Stolen cards are more difficult to detect, but your staff should compare signatures. The replacement of the signature by chip and PIN should further reduce card-present fraud.

See also the section on Preventive Measures.