Chargeback Reason Codes

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American Express Chargeback Reason Code FR6: Inquiry/Miscellaneous

chargeback reason code fr6

Table of Contents

  1. What is American Express chargeback reason code FR6?
  2. What causes code FR6 chargebacks?
  3. What's the time limit to respond to code FR6 chargebacks?
  4. How can merchants fight code FR6 chargebacks?
  5. How can merchants prevent code FR6 chargebacks?
  6. About American Express chargeback reason codes

Merchants who receive a chargeback for a transaction placed with an American Express card may encounter reason code FR6, which indicates a disputed transaction that the cardholder does not believe they should be responsible for paying. The actual underlying cause of this chargeback may be true fraud, friendly fraud, or merchant error. Merchants who believe they have received an invalid chargeback under reason code FR6 may be able to represent the transaction and reverse the chargeback with the right compelling evidence.

What is American Express chargeback reason code FR6?

American Express chargeback reason code FR6 falls under the “Inquiry/Miscellaneous” category. The shorthand description is “Partial Immediate Chargeback Program.” This reason code is used when a merchant enrolled in the American Express Partial Immediate Chargeback Program receives a chargeback for a low dollar amount.

American Express has several levels of fraud and chargeback monitoring programs for merchants with fraud or dispute activity that reaches certain thresholds. One of the most significant consequences of these programs is that once a merchant is in one, they won’t be given any leeway when a dispute is raised. Instead, American Express will bypass the merchant inquiry step they might otherwise take and proceed directly to a special chargeback with a reason code related to the monitoring program the merchant is enrolled in.

In this case, the Partial Immediate Chargeback Program is for merchants who have received an excessive number of chargebacks.

What causes code FR6 chargebacks?

The root causes behind these chargebacks can be anything—true fraud, friendly fraud, or merchant error. No matter what it is, the fact that the merchant is in the Partial Immediate Chargeback Program means that this will be the reason code given.

Normally, American Express would send an inquiry to the merchant to review any details or relevant documents the merchant might have pertaining to the cardholder’s claims. If, after hearing out the merchant, they decided to proceed with the chargeback, they would assign it an appropriate reason code.

In this case, where the merchant has already been placed in the Partial Immediate Chargeback Program, American Express skips the inquiry and assigns this special chargeback reason code.

Get the guide, Chargebacks 101: Understanding Chargebacks & Their Root Causes

What's the time limit to respond to code FR6 chargebacks?

The acquirer or merchant has 20 days to respond to a chargeback filed under reason code FR6.

How can merchants fight code FR6 chargebacks?

In the unlikely event that a merchant receives this chargeback in error, it can be fought using:

  • Proof that you were not in the Immediate Chargeback Program at the time of the chargeback.
  • Proof that a refund has been issued to the cardholder.

When a merchant receives one of these chargebacks, it is because they have let a chargeback problem grow out of control for so long that American Express will no longer give them any benefit of the doubt, but will instead automatically elevate any cardholder dispute below a certain dollar amount to chargeback status.

At this point, the merchant’s efforts must be focused on proactive dispute prevention so they can bring their chargeback ratio back down and get themselves removed from the monitoring program.

How can merchants prevent code FR6 chargebacks?

This monitoring program is all about a merchant’s chargeback ratio. To prevent further chargebacks and get out of the program, the merchant must employ a comprehensive and effective chargeback prevention strategy.

This can be accomplished by studying the root causes behind your chargebacks and making operational changes that minimize the likelihood of their recurrence. Many merchants will find it helpful to retain the services of a chargeback management firm at this juncture. These recommended practices can also help:

  • Issue credits and refunds within 7 calendar days.
  • Make sure your refund and cancellation policies clearly state a time frame for when customers can expect refunds to be issued.

About American Express chargeback reason codes

Reason codes are alphanumeric codes that provide the justification for granting a chargeback. Pursuant to the Fair Credit Billing Act of 1974, cardholders have the right to dispute unauthorized or erroneous charges, and issuing banks must reverse a disputed transaction if the cardholder’s claim is valid.

When a cardholder contacts their issuing bank to dispute a transaction and receive a chargeback, the dispute is assigned a reason code that most closely matches the substance of the cardholder’s claims. The reason code provides the merchant and other stakeholders in the dispute with a concise explanation for why a chargeback has been granted.

Each card network—Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover—defines and maintains their own unique set of reason codes, which are applied to disputes by the banks that issue credit and debit cards under their brands.

As both a card network and an issuer, American Express specifies 34 reason codes under the categories of Fraud, Authorization, Processing Errors, Card Member Disputes, and Inquiry/Miscellaneous. Each American Express reason code consists of one or more letters, indicating the category, and a number that identifies the specific dispute reason.

Understanding chargeback reason codes is one of the most essential parts of effective chargeback management. Identifying the chargeback reason code and the evidence required to fight it is the first step in chargeback representment, and analyzing your chargeback reason codes can provide you with insights into what types of disputes are causing you the most trouble. With this information, you can determine the root causes of your chargebacks and take action to prevent them from reoccurring.