Merchants who receive a chargeback for a transaction placed with a Visa card may encounter reason code 30, 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 either friendly fraud or merchant error. Merchants who believe they have received an invalid chargeback under reason code 30 may be able to represent the transaction and reverse the chargeback with the right compelling evidence.
What is Visa Chargeback Reason Code 30?
Visa chargeback reason code 30 falls under the “Consumer Disputes” category. The shorthand description is “Services Not Provided or Merchandise Not Received.” This reason code means that the cardholder acknowledges participating in and authorizing the transaction, but they are claiming that the merchant never provided the goods or services that they paid for.
This chargeback can be used whether the merchant willfully refrained from holding up their part of the sales agreement, or whether they were unable to do so due to factors beyond their control.
Either way, if the cardholder does not receive whatever it was that they purchased, the merchant is held liable for the chargeback that may result.
What Scenarios Might Lead to This Chargeback?
This chargeback may occur due to merchant error (or merchant fraud), or because of errors or unreliability on the part of the merchant’s vendors or contractors who were hired to deliver the purchased goods or provide the purchased services. Ultimately, the merchant is responsible for making sure the cardholder gets what they paid for. When the merchant does not uphold their end of the sales agreement, this chargeback is legitimate.
It should be noted that cardholders are supposed to work these issues out with the merchant before going to their bank and disputing the transaction. When errors or delivery mishaps mean that a cardholder isn’t receiving the benefits of their purchase, they should be able to go to the merchant and ask for a replacement or refund. Issuers are supposed to encourage their cardholders to contact the merchant first, but they do not always enforce this as a rule, and may file this chargeback prematurely in cases where the merchant would have been happy to refund the customer directly, had they been given the chance.
This chargeback is also widely used in friendly fraud—cardholders will engage in cyber-shoplifting by falsely claiming that they never received a product that they ordered.
What are the Important Timeframes?
For most disputes, Visa recommends that its cardholders file their claim within 120 calendar days of placing the transaction. The acquirer and/or merchant have 20 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 chargeback may include transaction modifiers that require specific forms of evidence. Your chargeback response should include the following:
- Documentation proving that the cardholder or an authorized representative received the purchased goods or services at the time or location specified in the purchase agreement.
- If the chargeback carries the “Airline Transaction” modifier, provide proof that the cardholder’s name is on the flight manifest and the itinerary.
How Can Merchants Prevent this Chargeback Code?
It is important for merchant to develop a reliable and consistent process for fulfillment and delivery, and to provide accessible customer service that makes it easy for cardholders to report any issues and receive an immediate remedy, whether that might be a refund or a replacement product. The easier it is for customers to work out their problems directly with the merchant, the less chance they’ll take their complaint to their issuer instead.
The following advice can help you avoid this kind of chargeback:
- Always deliver purchased goods or services in accordance with your agreement with the customer.
- Don’t charge the cardholder’s account until their order has been shipped.
- 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.
About Visa 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.
Visa specifies 46 reason codes under the categories of Fraud, Authorization, Point-of-Interaction Error, Consumer Disputes, and Processing Errors. Visa uses a numeric 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.