Building a winning chargeback response

Winning chargebacks is tricky. Often times you’ll see two identical cases, one you lose and one you win. The best you can do is provide a thorough, well-documented case. Below are my quick tips on how to create a chargeback response most likely of winning. If you set up a good response process, then you can likely build some templates. With that, you can outsource the entire process!

Understand the chargeback reason

Your response must be tailored per chargeback code, such as delivery not received, or unauthorized fraud. Depending on the reason, you need to provide different data.

Build a skeleton

A real person is reviewing your case and you need to walk them through the entire scenario surrounding this order, covering both the user history and this specific order history. Below are some, but definitely not all, questions you should answer to build your case skeleton.

  1. Why did you process this order, i.e. what caused this order to look legit? Do you have any communication with the customer? Has this customer ordered in the past? Were those orders disputed? Are there trends in user behavior between this order and past non-disputed orders?
  2. What happened after this order was placed? Did the customer leave a review on your product? Is there some other reason they might be disputing this order? Did they reach out for a refund?

Provide as much evidence as possible

Literally everything on the order that you can find. No joke. Here are some examples to get your mind thinking about the range of data you should collect and present. While this is a short list of questions to get you thinking, you can also read more about what data to collect to fight chargebacks. The data is the most important piece. Capture the obvious, but also try to get creative and use things like social proof or identity verification. Data is king. Collect and share it.

  • Order details + Product details
    • Does this product seem similar (size, gender, price range) to other items this user ordered in the past? Are there patterns within the purchasing behavior? Does the shipping and billing match other orders? Is there evidence that the item was damaged or the supplier quality decreased?
  • User activity on your platform
    • Active or inactive? Have they logged in and purchased since with the same order details? Do they often email about past orders? Does user behavior appear normal around the time of order and after? Is the IP address consistent? What about timezone, time spent on the device, and user actions in that period?
  • Cancellations & Refund policies
    • Is this customer disputing because it’s easier than returning? Are your policies clearly noted at checkout or easy to find? Was there an issue in response time with your customer support team?

Reiterate and add some flare

Someone sits at a desk and reads chargeback cases all day, every day reading hundreds of printed fax papers all about order details for a company that they have no emotional attachment to. How easy would it be for you to pay attention to every little detail of every case and not just default to ‘the customer is always right’? The person reading your evidence should never have to put the pieces together or connect the dots.

Make your evidence pop — highlight important sections, put boxes around crucial details, even add colored arrows on order detail screenshots. Reiterate as often as possible, summarizing our points at the end of each paragraph. Make the reviewer’s life as easy as possible.

Use these basic tips to form a chargeback response strategy unique to your business and your chargeback types. The key takeaway is that a real person reads hundreds of these a day, so make it easy to follow and as interesting as possible.