Challenge Chargebacks with Social Media

Alex ForbessChargebacks, Uncategorized3 Comments

Fight Chargebacks with Social Media

Social media has brought various benefits to connect with one another. For merchants, it is a great tool to engage with consumers and to promote products to specific customers. But did you know you can use social media to challenge a chargeback? A cardholder’s digital footprint can be evidence to challenge his or her claim to the issuing bank.

In 2016, 207 million Americans have at least one social media profile. And the ways we are being ‘social’ on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat continuously change. Geo-filters, tags and comments are few of many attributes that can help you fill the gaps in your representment. We figured it would beneficial to give you advice on how social media can strengthen your stance against a chargeback. And to help ground this advice down to Earth, our advice will reference Chargeback’s Reason Code Encyclopedia in order for you to know which chargeback dispute can be resolved with social media evidence. From consumer disputes to friendly fraud, we make sure to have your back in ways that go beyond dispute management

How Do You Use Social Media to Challenge Chargebacks?

That is a question that can foster a variety of answers. Social media content such as Instagram posts can be resourceful as you file for representment. But using too much social media as evidence can backfire if you use it improperly. That is why we are first giving you advice on how to properly view social media as evidence before you submit it for a given chargeback.

For example, a cardholder wins a chargeback, so you decide to look at his Facebook profile to see whether or not the disputed purchase arrived at its destination. Eventually, you find out the cardholder was recently tagged in a friend’s photo, and the cardholder is wearing the shoes that he claimed did not arrive at his house.

So, you decide to take a screenshot and attach it to the supporting documentation. The issuing bank and cardholder are notified of your supporting documentation, and the cardholder tells his friend that her photo was used to discredit his chargeback dispute. Not only does the issuing bank favor the cardholder but also within a few days, you receive a notice that states you are being sued for invasion of privacy.

1. Not Every Public Post is Usable Evidence

Even if a post is ‘public’, that does not automatically make it credible to use in representment. If the example above stated that it was the cardholder who publicly posted himself wearing the disputed shoes, then it would be considered evidence to challenge the chargeback. However, you submitted a screenshot of his friend’s post. Not only that, you submitted his friend’s post as evidence without her consent. That is suitable evidence on her part to sue you, which will now only exacerbate your recent loss to the cardholder.

When using social media to challenge chargebacks, make sure that only the cardholder created the submitted social media content. Not only will that be suitable evidence but it also evidence that can discredit the cardholder’s reason to file the chargeback. If the public post being submitted shows other people with the cardholder, it is best to keep their identities anonymous with a black bar over their faces and names. Simple tools like Microsoft paint will do just fine. After all, the only other person who is involved in the chargeback dispute is the cardholder. There is no need to drag anyone else into this mess.

2. Geo-Filters, Locations and Time of Post are Useful Attributes

Recently, we talked about how social geo-targeting is revolutionizing how merchants are adopting this new form of advertising. But consumers are practically to two steps ahead of this technology in informing followers what are they doing and where are they doing it. That being said, geo-filters and location-based features are attributes that provide context about the cardholder’s activities and his or her engagement with your product.

For example, a cardholder files a chargeback because of a recurring transaction. She claims to still being charged for a subscription she cancelled a couple months ago. She adds that she cancelled her subscription of a monthly meal plan because she was unsatisfied with the food’s taste. So, you decide to dive into her social media feed and see whether or not her chargeback has merit. You notice on Instagram not only that she recently posted photos with a location feature. You also notice that she seems to praise your meal while she is broadcasting to her followers within a local farmer’s market.

Now, what about the time of post? How does that play into discrediting her chargeback? Well, if the cardholder claimed to have cancelled the subscription a couple months ago due to being unsatisfied, why did she publicly post several photos after her claimed cancellation? Furthermore, why do all of her captions state a positive experience from eating the meals even though she claims to be unsatisfied of the food? All of these attributes are additional support for you to challenge the chargeback. It would be best to develop a timeline of the related posts, so that the issuing bank can receive a better picture of your argument while looking at the other supporting documentation. As long as all the submitted social media content and its attributes focus solely on the cardholder and his or her chargeback dispute, you will have a strong case during representment.

3. Videos are Beneficial and Risky as Chargeback Evidence

A cardholder who publicly shows a video that contradicts his or her chargeback can be more powerful evidence than a photo. But the risks of using videos to challenge chargebacks depend on the social media platform. Facebook Stories, Instagram Stories and Snapchat are perhaps the most risky because its videos are available for only 24 hours. Even if you record the video with QuickTime Player, which is built-in on any laptop and desktop, the cardholder can simply deny that such a video exists because it is no longer viewable after 24 hours. Our advice is to use these types of videos as a last-minute resort. But if you feel compelled that it is credible to use, we recommend that your recordings must include the following attributes:

  • Make sure that the cardholder is visible within the video. And if he or she is visible, please exercise courtesy by making sure that the video does not defame him or her negatively. After all, you are only trying to gather evidence to challenge a chargeback. You are not trying to maliciously disparage his or her reputation. If the video shows the cardholder doing something that is deemed inappropriate in the public sphere, do not submit the video as supporting documentation.
  • If the cardholder is not visible, verify the handle (i.e., username) that is shown in the video. You will be able to verify it by checking his or her profile on his or her social media profile. Submit a screenshot of the profile in order to provide support that the video was posted by the cardholder.
  • Find other public posts such as tweets and Instagram posts that support the credibility of the video. A video that is no longer viewable after 24 hours is hard to deem as credible since, again, the cardholder can deny its existence to the issuing bank. It is best to find public social media content that is relatable to the cardholder’s chargeback dispute. And if you happen to find more relatable posts as you continue your search, use that information and do not bother submitting the video.

What Reason Codes Allow You to Use Social Media Against a Chargeback?

From our examples above, using social media against chargebacks are useful for cardholder disputes. Chargebacks related to fraud, and any methods to detect friendly fraud, can be better explained in articles such as this one. The following reason codes allow you to submit social media content as part of your overall supporting documentation. As a friendly note, the social media recommendations we provide are neither fixed nor exhaustive. There is always room for adaptation due to the fact that current social media is always changing and new forms of social media are always emerging. We will also inform on what other traditional documentation is needed to challenge a given chargeback:

American Express

Code: C08

Meaning of Code: The cardholder claims to have not received (or partially received) the goods/services.

How to Win
(Traditional Documents)

How to Win (Social Media)

  • Goods: Provide proof of Delivery, which include the shipping address and date of delivery
  • Services: Provide proof of service, which include the cardholder’s signature
  • Provide screenshots of the cardholder’s public social media content with the disputed goods/services

 

Code: C28

Meaning of Code: The cardholder claims have canceled (or attempted to cancel) recurring billing charges for goods or services.

How to Win
(Traditional Documents)

How to Win (Social Media)

  • Provide a copy of your cancellation policy
  • Provide an explanation for the cardholder that states why he or did not follow cancellation procedures
  • Provide screenshots of the cardholder’s public social media content with the disputed goods/services
  • Create a timeline of the cardholder’s posts in order to provide more context for the issuing bank

 

Code: C31

Meaning of Code: The cardholder claims to have received goods or services that are different than the written provided at the time of purchase

How to Win
(Traditional Documents)

How to Win (Social Media)

  • Provide a photograph or an email that matches the goods/services description at the time of purchase
  • Provide screenshots of

your social media content that shows the goods/services as described at the time of purchase

 

Discover

Code: AA

Meaning of Code: The cardholder claims to have been charged a credit charge transaction they do not recognize.

How to Win
(Traditional Documents)

How to Win (Social Media)

  • Provide evidence that the cardholder received the disputed goods/services
  • Provide screenshots of the cardholder’s public social media content with the disputed goods/services

 

Code: AP

Meaning of Code: The cardholder claims have canceled (or attempted to cancel) recurring billing charges for goods or services.

How to Win
(Traditional Documents)

How to Win (Social Media)

  • Provide evidence that the disputed goods/services were not canceled
  • Provide an explanation for the cardholder that states why he or did not follow cancellation procedures
  • Provide screenshots of the cardholder’s public social media content with the disputed goods/services
  • Create a timeline of the cardholder’s posts in order to provide more context for the issuing bank

 

Code: RM

Meaning of Code: The cardholder claims to have received goods or services that did not match the description.

How to Win
(Traditional Documents)

How to Win (Social Media)

  • Provide a photograph or an email that matches the goods/services description at the time of purchase
  • Provide a copy of the cardholder’s signature during the time of purchase
  • Provide screenshots of

your social media content that shows the goods/services as described at the time of purchase

 

MasterCard

Code: 4853

Meaning of Code: The cardholder contacted the issuing bank to dispute the purchase. The reason can vary, which enables the issuing bank to use reason code 4841, 4855, 4859 and 4860. The listed reason codes will eventually be eliminated as valid message codes.

How to Win
(Traditional Documents)

How to Win (Social Media)

  • Provide evidence that the cardholder received the disputed goods/services
  • Provide screenshots of the cardholder’s public social media content with the disputed goods/services

 

Code: 4841

Meaning of Code: The cardholder claims have canceled (or attempted to cancel) a charge or a recurring billing charge

How to Win
(Traditional Documents)

How to Win (Social Media)

  • Provide evidence that the disputed goods/services were not canceled
  • Provide an explanation for the cardholder that states why he or did not follow cancellation procedures
  • Provide screenshots of the cardholder’s public social media content with the disputed goods/services
  • Create a timeline of the cardholder’s posts in order to provide more context for the issuing bank

 

Code: 4854

Meaning of Code: The cardholder claims they are unhappy with the goods/services provided and that they have been unable to resolve the situation with you.

How to Win
(Traditional Documents)

How to Win (Social Media)

  • Provide proof that you did in fact resolve the matter (e.g., email)
  • Provide proof that the cardholder did not bother to contact you before contacting the issuing bank
  • Provide screenshots of

your social media content and how you resolved the matter (e.g., a photo)

 

Code: 4855

Meaning of Code: The cardholder claims to have not received the paid good/services.

How to Win
(Traditional Documents)

How to Win (Social Media)

  • Provide evidence that the cardholder received the disputed goods/services
  • Provide screenshots of the cardholder’s public social media content with the disputed goods/services

 

 

Visa

Code: 30

Meaning of Code: The cardholder claims to have not received the paid good/services.

How to Win
(Traditional Documents)

How to Win (Social Media)

  • Provide evidence that the cardholder received the disputed goods/services
  • Provide screenshots of the cardholder’s public social media content with the disputed goods/services

 

Code: 41

Meaning of Code: The cardholder claims have canceled (or attempted to cancel) a charge or a recurring billing charge.

How to Win
(Traditional Documents)

How to Win (Social Media)

  • Provide evidence that the disputed goods/services were not canceled
  • Provide an explanation for the cardholder that states why he or did not follow cancellation procedures
  • Provide screenshots of the cardholder’s public social media content with the disputed goods/services
  • Create a timeline of the cardholder’s posts in order to provide more context for the issuing bank

 

Code 53:

Meaning of Code: The cardholder claims to have received goods or services that were either defective did not match the description.

How to Win
(Traditional Documents)

How to Win (Social Media)

  • Provide a photograph or an email that matches the goods/services description at the time of purchase
  • Provide a copy of the cardholder’s signature during the time of purchase
  • Provide screenshots of

your social media content that shows the goods/services as described and shown at the time of purchase

 

Final Thoughts

It is best to remember that when you use social media to challenge a chargeback, you should do so that does not negatively defame the cardholder. All you are trying to do is gather relevant, public information that can discredit the cardholder’s claim for a chargeback. Also, you do not want to overreach when it comes collecting evidence. It all comes down to being responsible but also courteous when using cardholders’ own social media content.

Indeed, he or she may know the chargeback holds no merit. But showing him or her this falsehood does not mean to throw every public post that they created. Doing so will put their friends in jeopardy. Think of social media as a publicly-private domain. Users who participate know they are in a public setting but they engage with one another in a manner that is private. The only thing that can ruin the engagement, and possibly cause you harm, is if you include non-cardholder users into the chargeback case. So, keep your focus on the cardholder since their social media content can be credible for you argument.

 

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