MasterCard Chargeback Reason Code 4853: Cardholder Disputes

chargeback reason code 4853Merchants who receive a chargeback for a transaction placed with a Mastercard card may encounter reason code 4853, 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 4853 may be able to represent the transaction and reverse the chargeback with the right compelling evidence.

What is Mastercard Chargeback Reason Code 4853?

Mastercard chargeback reason code 4853 falls under the “Cardholder Disputes” category. The shorthand description is “Cardholder Dispute.” This reason code is a catch-all for various disputes between the cardholder and the merchant. Some of the situations covered under this reason code include:

  • The merchant shipped the wrong product.
  • The merchant misrepresented the goods or services sold.
  • The merchant did not accept and refund a returned product.
  • The merchant sold counterfeit merchandise.
  • The cardholder was unsatisfied with the quality of the goods or services.

Many other dispute claims may fall under this reason code, including issues with recurring billing transactions which were previously covered under reason code 4841.

What Scenarios Might Lead to This Chargeback?

The root causes behind this reason code will vary greatly depending on the specific claims involved. The chargeback may carry a transaction modifier that provides additional context.

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

What are the Important Timeframes?

Mastercard recommends that its cardholders file their dispute within 120 calendar days of placing the transaction. The acquirer and/or merchant have 45 calendar days to respond to this chargeback after it is filed.

How Can Merchants Fight this Chargeback Code?

Merchants can fight this chargeback if the cardholder’s claims are false.

This reason code may include transaction modifiers that require specific forms of evidence.

Your chargeback response should include the following:

  • If the chargeback carries the “Addendum/’No-Show’ Dispute” modifier, include either proof that the error has already been corrected via a credit or transaction reversal, or evidence that proves that the cardholder is in fact responsible for the addendum or “no-show” charge.
  • If the chargeback carries the “Counterfeit Merchandise” modifier, include documentation that proves that the merchandise is not counterfeit.
  • If the chargeback carries the “Credit Not Processed” modifier, include one of the following:
    • Proof that you have already issued the credit to which the cardholder was entitled.
    • Evidence that the cardholder has not attempted to return the merchandise.
    • Evidence that the cardholder’s claim to a refund is not allowed under your sales policies or any terms of agreement that they signed.
  • If the chargeback carries the “DCC Selected by Merchant” modifier, include both a copy of the transaction receipt and documentation confirming that Dynamic Currency Conversion was selected and agreed to by the cardholder.
  • If the chargeback carries the “Digital Goods at or Under $25 USD” modifier, include proof that you provided at least one of the following minimum purchase controls at the time the transaction took place:
    • An option, set as the default, to disable all digital goods purchases.
    • The timeframe in which digital goods can be purchased does not exceed 15 minutes from when the cardholder enters their login credentials.
    • The cardholder is allowed to confirm or cancel pending digital goods purchases, with the amount clearly shown, before the transaction is finalized.
  • If the chargeback carries the “Non-Receipt” modifier, include one of the following:
    • Proof that the cardholder received the goods or services, such as signed delivery confirmation.
    • Proof that you have already credited the cardholder for the amount of the goods or services they did not receive.
  • If the chargeback carries the “Not as Described/Defective” modifier, include one of the following:
    • Proof that the cardholder received goods or services that fit the description provided by the merchant at the time of purchase.
    • Proof that you have already credited the cardholder for the amount of the disputed goods or services.
    • Evidence that the cardholder has not attempted to return the merchandise.
  • If the chargeback carries the “Recurring Transaction” modifier, include one of the following:
    • Proof that the transaction was not a recurring transaction.
    • Proof that the cardholder did not cancel according to the terms of the agreement they entered into.
    • Proof that the cardholder is still using the goods or services paid for by the disputed transaction.
  • If the chargeback carries the “Timeshare Cancellation” modifier, include one of the following:
    • Proof that you have already credited the cardholder for the disputed amount.
    • Proof that the cardholder did not cancel according to the terms of the agreement they entered into.
  • If the chargeback carries the “Transaction Not Completed” modifier, include one of the following:
    • Proof that you have already credited the cardholder for the disputed amount.
    • Proof that the transaction was processed correctly.
  • Documentation that refutes the cardholder’s claims.
  • Proof that you followed Mastercard’s transaction processing rules, specifically section 3.8 which refers to charges for loss, theft, or damage.
  • Evidence showing that the chargeback does not comply with Mastercard’s rules and is therefore invalid.
  • If you have already processed a refund for the transaction in question, provide documentation that proves you have credited the cardholder’s account.
  • If you have resolved the issue directly with the cardholder, provide proof, such as written correspondence, that proves they no longer wish to dispute the charge.

How Can Merchants Prevent this Chargeback Code?

Prevention practices will vary greatly depending on the nature of the claims. Some general advice to follow:

  • Inform the cardholder ahead of time about circumstances that may lead to charges for loss, theft, or damage.
  • Make sure the cardholder reads and signs an agreement to abide by your terms of service before processing their transaction.
  • Provide the cardholder with an easy and accessible way to cancel subscriptions online.
  • Double check orders to make sure you ship the correct items.
  • Inform cardholders when their order has shipped and let them know the estimated delivery date. If possible, provide tracking information.
  • Use signed delivery confirmation.
  • Make sure orders are ready and available for pickup on the date specified.
  • Provide transparent, detailed, and truthful product descriptions on your catalog, website, and marketing materials.
  • Post your return and refund policies where customers will see them, and make them easy to follow and understand.
  • Accept returns and issue refunds promptly.
  • Never sell counterfeit merchandise.

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 of 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.