The chargeback process is rarely easy, but it can be rewarding with the right preparation and assistance. There are many challenges faced by customers who are trying to get a refund for unsatisfactory goods and services. Given the suspicion of “friendly fraud” and the leverage merchants can use, evidence is a key weapon in the consumer’s chargeback arsenal.
Professionals at Pengeretur provide information to consumers about credit card chargebacks, cryptocurrency refunds, wire recalls, and other fund recovery strategies. We advise clients on the chargeback process and these best ways to pursue fund recovery whether the issue is merchant or broker dispute or if the charges were unauthorized.
The Challenges of the Chargeback Process
The chargeback process can be a challenge for everyone involved, but it is getting increasingly difficult for consumers. The old adage “The customer is always right,” is fast becoming outdated in the digital world. Although the increasing number of online companies are scrambling to provide the best customer service to remain competitive, many feel they are losing out by being too agreeable to customers.
Today’s eCommerce consumer has their choice of what to buy and from whom from thousands of options on the web. Merchants are increasingly seeing them as privileged and even spoiled and complain that the chargeback process is tilted on behalf of the customer. However, many customers may say the opposite–that issuing banks want to avoid upsetting merchants.
Whether or not there is bias in the chargeback process is something that perhaps cannot be settled, because it most likely depends on the issuing bank and the situation. However, there is no doubt that many merchants feel they are under attack. According to a Juniper Networks Report, merchants lost $17.5 billion in customer chargebacks in 2020.
They cite friendly fraud as a rising threat. Friendly fraud is a digital form of shoplifting in which the customer buys a product online they want to keep, claims it was unsatisfactory, and misuse the chargeback process to get their funds back. This creates a substantial problem for merchants and for customers.
What Are the Main Obstacles to Chargebacks?
The increase in friendly fraud has posed a difficulty not only for merchants but for customers. Issuing banks are taking steps to stem the tide of friendly fraud and are demanding more evidence from customers before granting a chargeback. This has developed as the result of increasing pressure from merchants.
As a result, anyone seeking a chargeback should ensure they have sufficient evidence to prove that the product or service was unacceptable or didn’t arrive. They should also show that they sent back the item and didn’t keep it. The following are essential pieces of evidence every customer needs when making a chargeback claim.
6 Essential Pieces of Evidence You Will Need
- Date of transaction
- Photo of item
- Proof it was sent back
- Communication with merchant
- Advertising and promises
- Bad reviews, other complaints about the merchant demonstrating a pattern of behavior.
Every customer filing a chargeback should have a copy of the order. This could be a screenshot or document of the confirmation. It should include the name of the item, number, color, size, quantity, and all relevant details. The photo should also feature the date and if possible the estimated time that should arrive.
If a customer wants to prove the item was unsatisfactory, they should include a photo of the item showing it is the wrong type or is damaged. There should be a date included with the photograph. If the item never arrived, the customer should demand that the merchant provide proof that it was sent. If they cannot provide this proof, that is an argument in the customer’s favor.
To disprove the accusation of friendly fraud, customers should send back items even if they are unsatisfactory. The customer should provide proof that they sent the item back. The preceding pieces of evidence are absolutely essential for proving the necessity of a chargeback. The following pieces of evidence can corroborate the customer’s claims, but may or may not be necessary depending on the circumstances.
The customer should have a record of all communications with the merchant to back up what was claimed. This is the reason it is better to communicate through email or text with a merchant than on the phone. If the customer is claiming that the merchant was engaging in false advertising, the customer should have a photo or copy of claims and promises made to the customer directly or through mass advertising campaigns or in the description of the item on the merchant’s website.
Although not all reviews are authentic, a claim that an item arrived damaged, wasn’t sent, or was unsatisfactory can be backed up with a multiplicity of bad reviews by customers who describe the same occurrence. In addition, there could be warnings from consumer watchdogs against the merchant or social media posts indicating that the merchant’s products are faulty, their departments are prone to error, or that they could even be fraudulent.
What If the Issuing Bank Won’t Approve the Chargeback?
Even if you provide all of the evidence described above, there is no guarantee the issuing bank will agree to honor your chargeback request. In this case, you can take your complaint to a government consumer protection organization or ombudsman to look more closely into the issue.
Merchants are increasingly relying on services to protect them from even legitimate customer claims for refunds and chargebacks. This means that customers who do not have advocates are outmatched and the cards are stacked against them in favor of the merchants.
For this reason, winning a chargeback claim may mean seeking the assistance of a fund recovery service that can advise you on how best to pursue your chargeback claim.
Pengeretur professionals assist clients in fund recovery, particularly with chargebacks. We provide information about the chargeback process and tools that will help you analyze your situation and assess the best strategies for pursuing a chargeback.