practiceQ Payments - Disputes
What is a Dispute/Chargeback?
A chargeback is a dispute initiated by a customer against the merchant who accepted their card as payment in exchange for goods or services. The chargeback process is available as a protection for cardholders against fraud and merchants who do not provide their product/service as promised.
When a bank receives a chargeback dispute from one of their cardholders they open an investigation by contacting the processor (PracticeQ Payments in this case) and requests evidence that the product/service was provided. PracticeQ Payments will then notify the merchant of the chargeback and advise as to what documentation should be provided.
While rare for most merchants, chargebacks can be a costly and time-consuming strain. Dishonest cardholders can try to take advantage of the system and the burden is on the merchant to prove that they fulfilled their commitment to the cardholder. It is recommended that you respond to all chargeback notices as quickly as possible and try to resolve any disputes with your customers before they result in a chargeback.
What are Common Chargeback Reasons?
- Fraudulent transactions.
- Duplicated charges.
- Not as described/defective merchandise.
- Services not provided or merchandise not received.
- Refund not processed after returned item.
How Can I Avoid Chargebacks?
- Ensure that all displayed pricing is clear and up to date.
- Use additional ID verification such as a driver’s license.
- An agreement or authorization form provides you with additional documentation for large purchases and can also detail the product or service should a dispute arise later. Have the customer sign the form.
- Maintain a history of tracking and proof of delivery.
How to Respond to a Dispute/Chargeback
If you receive a dispute/chargeback, you'll receive an email notification with some basic details of the transaction in question. You can then see the full dispute from inside of the practiceQ Payments Dashboard, in the "Disputes" section (More > Payment Dashboard > Disputes).
You'll be provided with the following details for each dispute:
- Transaction ID
- Dispute Date
- Respond By Date
Once a notification is received, the choice should be made to accept the chargeback by taking no action or refuting it by replying with all requested documentation (uploaded directly to the dispute in the Payment Dashboard). Documentation requirements will vary but typically consist of paperwork proving that the product or service was provided to the cardholder, such as an invoice, receipt, agreement, notice of terms, signed authorization form, etc.
One thing you can attempt to clear up the dispute is to contact the client who issued it and ask them to stop the dispute, which is something they'd need to contact their bank to do. If a client tells you they stopped a dispute, be sure to still upload evidence for the dispute as you would normally, and also include a copy of the conversation where the client agreed to stop the dispute.
DO NOT REFUND DISPUTED TRANSACTIONS as this can lead to the funds being deducted from your bank account twice.
The following are the dispute states that you can expect to see in the dashboard:
- PENDING - There is a response pending from either party. There is no resolution to the case.
- INQUIRY - The issuer requests evidence from the transaction from the sub-merchant. The inquiry state seeks to resolve the dispute prior to engaging in the chargeback process.
- WON - The sub-merchant has provided sufficient evidence to fight the dispute.
- LOST - The sub-merchant has not provided sufficient evidence to fight the dispute.
- EVIDENCE_UPLOADED - Document(s) successfully uploaded to the dispute.
- UPLOAD_FAILED - Document(s) failed to upload to the dispute.
A few things to note:
- As soon as a dispute is initiated, the funds are deducted from your bank account in the next deposit batch. They are returned if you win the dispute.
- There is a $25 charge for each payment dispute, regardless of the outcome.
- The banks decide the outcome of a dispute, we are not directly involved. If you lose the dispute, you can fight it in arbitration, though this is often not recommended as if you lose there you'd be facing a fine that is often more than the transaction itself, and it can further damage your processing reputation.
If you have any issues uploading dispute documentation, or receive an error, please contact support (firstname.lastname@example.org) to ensure this is handled.