Chargeback Recovery

Chargeback Rebuttal Letters: Explanation and Samples (2021)

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Table of Contents

  1. What is a Chargeback Rebuttal Letter?
  2. How Do I Write a Chargeback Rebuttal Letter?
  3. A Sample of a Chargeback Rebuttal Letter
  4. Conclusion: Put in the Work
  5. Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to chargeback disputes, a lot rests on the merchant rebuttal letter. The rebuttal letter is a key component of a chargeback dispute, and a cornerstone of the representment processes. A rebuttal letter gives the merchant the place to summarize their dispute of a chargeback. 

New call-to-actionThink of it this way: the person handling your case at the issuing bank probably doesn’t have a lot of time. Much like a hiring manager looking through a stack of cover letters, this person probably wants something easy to grasp, skim, and dive into when they do actually have the time.  They’re ruling on hundreds of chargebacks at once, and they really only have a few minutes to take in all your evidence and make an educated decision based on what they see.

Be respectful of their time and mindful of yours. There's a very limited window of time for you to present your case so lead with your best foot. Say as much as you can with as few words as possible.

What is a Chargeback Rebuttal Letter?

Your rebuttal letter is a summary of your dispute of a chargeback, the cover letter for your entire representment package. This is typically the first item that the person assigned to your case will read.
 It’s your chance to sum up your side of the case concisely, compellingly and convincingly. Use it to highlight your key pieces of evidence, sum up all the supporting documents you’ve offered and make it easy to understand your case and rule in your favor.

With that in mind, it's important that your chargeback rebuttal letter have some key information in it:
  • The chargeback reason code
  • The amount you are contesting in dollars
  • A summary of your evidence and how it demonstrates the legitimacy of the original transaction

The last bullet is extremely important, because this is essentially your case for why the cardholder's dispute is not legitimate and why you should be able to keep the money from the transaction. 

How Do I Write a Chargeback Rebuttal Letter?

Download the eGuide, 4 Reasons to Hire a Chargeback Management CompanyThough every case requires a rebuttal letter customized to the exact circumstances and chargebacks at hand, all rebuttals should be one page (maximum) and make solid use of bullet points, short sentences and persuasive, active verbs.

Here are some examples of successful letters you can use as a starting point:

A Sample of a Chargeback Rebuttal Letter

Dear [Name of Recipient],

I write this rebuttal letter contesting chargeback [number] for [dollar amount]. The chargeback reason code is Services Not Rendered. As we demonstrate here, the transaction identified above represents the legitimate purchase of a watch from our online store. I am attaching the following pieces of evidence:

Attachment A: a digital receipt from the cardholder's purchase designating the cardholder's use of their card. 

Attachment B: IP records from the time of purchase showing that the purchase came from the cardholder's area and from their Internet Service Provider (ISP). 

Attachment C: A delivery confirmation, signed by the cardholder, for reciept of the watch on July 12, 2019.

If there are any other requirements we should meet or any information you need, please contact me directly and I will respond as soon as possible. I look forward to hearing from you.




[email address/phone number]

Conclusion: Put in the Work

Your rebuttal letter is the centerpiece of your chargeback case, so don’t phone it in or leave it until last minute.

When written persuasively and in a succinct, direct manner, it has the power to sway the issuer to rule in your favor (and help you recover hundreds or even thousands in lost revenues).

If you’re not sure how to go about writing your rebuttal letters, download our eGuide, The Smart Way to Fight & Recover Chargebacks.


How to Win a Merchant Dispute?

Simple: Keep great records to prove your case, present the best package that will speak to the issuing bank, and always stay on top of chargebacks either with a dedicated team or with a chargeback prevention provider.


How Do I Respond to Chargebacks as a Merchant?

Quickly. If you receive a prevention alert, attempt to reach out to the customer ASAP. If you hear from your acquiring bank and you have a dispute, then pull your dispute package together quickly and stay on top of the timetable.


Does the Bank Investigate a Dispute?

Only on the cardholder’s side. If you have a dispute for a chargeback, it’s up to you to present the evidence. Otherwise, you’ll automatically lose.

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