How to Fight Chargebacks the "Smart" Way
If you’re sending the same cookie-cutter rebuttal letter and the same, non-specific evidence for each and every chargeback you fight, you probably won’t be happy with your win rate.
Chargeback disputes need to be very customized – both to the exact transaction at hand and the reason code associated with that chargeback. And using a template or standard piece of evidence for everyone you encounter? That’s just not the route to success.
When you throw in the ever-changing rules, regulations and policies – especially between card networks – disputes get even more challenging, requiring a personalized, custom-fit approach for every single chargeback you dispute.
The Ever-Changing Rules & Regulations
One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to chargebacks – and much of that is due to the constantly changing rules and policies of the card networks.
Not only do Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express all have starkly different chargeback rules as it is, but they’re also frequently revising and updating them. This makes it 1) difficult to keep up and 2) even more difficult to adhere to each network’s unique rules when fighting a chargeback.
Networks are also often changing their reason codes, and as you may know, understanding the reason codes associated with your chargebacks is key to both fighting and preventing them successfully. The reason code tells you why a chargeback occurred, and it also helps you hone in on what type of evidence to provide and how to frame your rebuttal letter.
If you’ve opted to fight your chargebacks in-house (at a risk, of course), you don’t want to lose sight of changing reason codes or chargeback policies, so set up a Google Alert for each card network. The networks usually post public notifications of these changes, which will help you understand what’s changing and how you’ll need to adjust your strategy.
The “Smart” Way to Fight Chargebacks
Your efforts to fight chargebacks need to be informed.
Not only should you know the unique reason codes and card networks involved, but also what issuing and acquiring banks are involved and how chargebacks in your specific industry usually fare.
Though you may be dealing with a similar reason code across multiple chargebacks, if the disputes are through different banks and different networks, you would not want to submit the same supporting documents in each case. Instead, you’d want to use historical data to determine what has worked and what hasn’t for each bank and network.
Data can also tell you which networks typically cause a drop in your chargeback win rate, which products lead to the most chargebacks, and which networks/banks are slowest at alerting you of chargebacks, so that you can adjust your strategy.
How fast should you act? Which products and processes need re-evaluation? What chargebacks are actually worth fighting? Data can tell you.
But, of course, accessing this type of powerful data requires tracking it and analyzing it on a regular basis. It means investing in your analytics and metrics in the short term, in an effort to increase efficacy, improve efficiency and reduce your losses in the long term.
Fight Chargebacks by Being Informed
Data has the power to completely change how you fight chargebacks – and how well you do it. But many busy merchants just don’t have the time or resources to do it on their own.
Fighting chargebacks? In order to fight chargebacks and your recover lost revenue, you must first understand how chargebacks are filed and how the dispute process works. Our newest guide, The Smart Way to Fight & Recover Chargebacks, will help you to fight and recover your chargebacks the "smart" way.