Table of Contents
- What is Mastercard chargeback reason code 4831?
- What causes code 4831 chargebacks?
- What's the time limit to respond to code 4831 chargebacks?
- How can merchants fight code 4831 chargebacks?
- How can merchants prevent code 4831 chargebacks?
- About Mastercard chargeback reason codes
Note: Mastercard has discontinued the use of reason code 4831, merging it into code 4834.
Merchants who receive a chargeback for a transaction placed with a Mastercard card may encounter reason code 4831, which indicates an improperly processed transaction that the cardholder does not believe they should be responsible for paying. The actual underlying cause of this chargeback may be either friendly fraud or merchant error. Merchants who believe they have received an invalid chargeback under reason code 4831 may be able to represent the transaction and reverse the chargeback with the right compelling evidence.
What is Mastercard chargeback reason code 4831?
Mastercard chargeback reason code 4831 falls under the “Point-of-Interaction Error” category. The shorthand description is “Transaction Amount Differs.” This code is now obsolete, and issuers have been instructed to use code 4834 instead. It indicated that the transaction amount wasn't what the cardholder agreed to.
Issuers have been instructed to use reason code 4834 instead of 4831, using the appropriate modifier to provide further clarification.
What causes code 4831 chargebacks?
In theory, merchants shouldn't receive code 4831 chargebacks anymore. However, these chargebacks were usually caused by a merchant failing to notify a customer of a change in the transaction amount or by a customer forgetting an adjustment they agreed to.
When the conditions of a purchase change and the price is affected, merchants may sometimes make adjustments without first notifying the customer or seeking a new authorization approval.
When the cardholder is unaware of these adjustments and did not agree to pay the new amount, they have grounds to dispute the transaction.
In some circumstances, cardholders may be asked to approve a variable amount to be charged later. If the transaction exceeds the maximum amount they agreed to pay, they can dispute this charge on the basis that the overcharge was unreasonable.
Sometimes cardholders forget about last-minute price adjustments or included fees, which can lead them to file friendly fraud chargebacks with this reason code.
What's the time limit to respond to code 4831 chargebacks?
The acquirer or merchant has 45 days to respond to a chargeback filed under reason code 4831.
How can merchants fight code 4831 chargebacks?
Merchants can fight code 4831 chargebacks with proof that the final transaction amount was agreed to by the cardholder either in advance or after the final amount was determined.
Your chargeback response should include one or more of the following items:
- Documentation showing that the transaction was processed correctly and that the amount was authorized.
- If this is a dispute over a so-called unreasonable amount, include proof that the transaction did not exceed the amount range that the cardholder agreed to pay.
- If you have already processed a refund for the overcharge, provide documentation that proves you have credited the cardholder’s account.
How can merchants prevent code 4831 chargebacks?
Merchants can prevent chargebacks for incorrect transaction amounts by clearly communicating to customers any potential changes that might be made to the transaction amount and by notifying customers when any such changes are made.
Issuing banks aren’t supposed to use code 4831 anymore, but if you see a chargeback show up with this reason code, it means that a chargeback was filed on the premise that the transaction amount was incorrect.
Merchants should review the information for Mastercard chargeback reason code 4834 for further prevention advice, as this is the reason code that is intended to replace 4831.
In the meantime, these tips can help you avoid this kind of chargeback:
- Double-check transactions and their final charge amount before completing processing.
- Never change the transaction amount without first obtaining the cardholder’s consent.
- If the cardholder changes their mind mid-transaction and wishes to switch to a different payment method, void the transaction in progress immediately.
About Mastercard 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.
Mastercard specifies 21 reason codes under the categories of Fraud, Authorization, Point-of-Interaction Error, and Cardholder Disputes. Mastercard uses a four-digit numbering scheme for its chargeback reason codes.
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.