How to Create a Chargeback Response [The Right Way]

Sydney VaccaroChargeback Responses4 Comments

How to Create a Chargeback Response [The Right Way]

A customer disputed a transaction and now you have a chargeback to deal with. Do you know where to start? Between specific evidence, digging around in card network documents, or even just starting to draft a document can all seem like overwhelming tasks. This article will break down the process of creating a chargeback response and give an example of what the card networks expect in a winning chargeback response.

Why Should The Response Be Great?

When you send in a chargeback response an actual person decides who the winner of the dispute is. Always keep that in mind when drafting your response. Put yourself into this person’s shoes. Would you want to receive a document that is not easy to follow or is just full of useless information that the card network doesn’t ask for? Of course you wouldn’t. In the end you want to make the person working the chargeback’s life easy with a well put together document that is easy to follow and contains the exact evidence they need and nothing more. Sometimes a little kindness can go a long way.

A Chargeback Response Breakdown

We will go through all the elements that your chargeback response should contain. Below the break down you will find a complete example of a chargeback response. Keep in mind that the example used has specific compelling evidence that would be an appropriate response for an American Express Reason Code c08 for a digital goods transaction in a card-not-present environment. Not all the evidence in the example will work for different reason codes.

First Page Set Up

At the top of the first page you should have a table with the transaction and chargeback information. This should include information like the merchant account ID, transaction ID, chargeback amount, and other basic information about the case.

Merchant # (MID) [[MERCHANT ACCOUNT ID (MID)]] Case # [[CASE NUMBER]]
Chargeback Amount [[AMOUNT]] Reference # [[REFERENCE NUMBER]]
Transaction ID [[TRANSACTION ID]] CC # [[MASKED PAN]]
Transaction Date [[TRANSACTION TIME STAMP]] Customer Name [[CUSTOMER FIRST NAME]] [[CUSTOMER LAST NAME]]

Next give a brief paragraph explaining that the chargeback the customer filed is invalid and give a very brief explanation of why it is invalid. For our example of Amex Reason Code C08 this paragraph would look like:

“The chargeback filed by [[CUSTOMER FIRST AND LAST NAME]] regarding transaction [[TRANSACTION ID]] represented by case number [[CASE NUMBER]] is invalid and warrants reversal.

This chargeback is invalid because [[CUSTOMER FIRST AND LAST NAME]] received the merchandise purchased on February 1st 2018. The transaction in question was payment for digital goods.”

The next item you want on the first page is a table of contents. The easiest way to organize the document is to put each compelling evidence on a different page. This will look something like:

Summary of Evidence ………………………………………………………………………………………………1

Evidence of Product Usage ……………………………………………………………………………………..2

Customer Service Record…………………………………………………………………………………………3

Services Provided……………………………………………………………………………………………………..4

Details About Customer’s Account/Profile on our Website…………………………………….5

Online Access/Download History …………………………………………………………………………….6

Transaction Invoice……………………………………………………………………………………………………7

The last item on the page will be a summary of the evidence. Remember that a real person will be looking at the response. This will be give them a brief overview of what evidence will be presented in the following pages. The paragraph for Reason Code C08 should flow something like this:

“We know [[CUSTOMER FIRST AND LAST NAME]] received the merchandise ordered because we have a record of post-transaction customer service communication indicating successful receipt of goods. The merchandise was not only received, but used by [[CUSTOMER FIRST AND LAST NAME]], which is displayed clearly in the attached evidence. This document contains evidence of [[CUSTOMER FIRST AND LAST NAME]] accessing or downloading digital goods from our website.

[[CUSTOMER FIRST AND LAST NAME]] created and maintains an account or profile on our website and used this account for the disputed transaction, indicating clearly that they logged in and placed the order. “

Compelling Evidence

Each reason code has specific evidence that is required by the card network. This evidence is what is needed to win the case. Some reason codes have modifiers that can change what evidence is required or require more evidence in the chargeback response. These modifiers are can range from where the transaction is processed to what kind of goods are purchased.

Going back to our Reason Code C08 response there are two modifiers that affect the evidence presented. The purchase was made in a CNP environment and the purchase was for digital goods. The different compelling evidence that can be shown is:

1. The product is being used
2. Customer service records
3. The customer has used services that come with the product
4. The customer created an account
5. A connection between the purchasing computer and the computer used to access the product

Each of the of the above arguments needs to be backed up with the compelling evidence. You can’t just make the statement and have nothing to back your claim. If you were presenting evidence that the product was being used for Reason Code C08 you would want to include evidence that the customer has possession of or has access to your product or service, with as much detail and context as you can provide. It may be necessary to include several items of evidence to make your case. Examples of compelling evidence could be logs of customer usage or communications you have had with them discussing the product or service; screenshots from your customer’s social media with products from the order pictured, or displaying works created using your product or service; links to or screenshots from eBay or Craigslist showing the product listed for sale by the customer.

Transaction Invoice

The last thing you should include in your chargeback response is the transaction invoice on the last page of the document. The transaction invoice just gives the person working the chargeback all the information needed about the transaction in question. The example below shows what should be included in the transaction invoice for Reason Code C08.

Account
Email Address [[CUSTOMER EMAIL ADDRESS]]
Transaction
Date/Time: [[TRANSACTION TIME STAMP]]
Transaction ID: [[TRANSACTION ID]]
Amount: [[TRANSACTION AMOUNT]]
Credit Card Information
CC Type: American Express
CC Number: [[MASKED PAN]]
CC Expiration: 2021-01-01
Auth. Code: [[TRANSACTION AUTHORIZATION CODE]]
AVS Status: [[TRANSACTION AVS RESPONSE CODE]]
CVV2/CVC2 Status: [[TRANSACTION CVV RESPONSE CODE]]
Currency: [[CURRENCY TYPE]]
Billing Address
[[CUSTOMER BILLING ADDRESS]]
[[CUSTOMER BILLING CITY]] [[CUSTOMER BILLING STATE]] [[CUSTOMER BILLING ZIP]]
[[CUSTOMER BILLING COUNTRY]]
Order Information
Order ID: [[ORDER ID OR REFERENCE NUMBER]]
Order Price Quantity Total
Subtotal
Shipping [[SHIP FEE]]
Tax [[TAX]]
Total [[TOTAL AMOUNT]]

What a Chargeback Response Should Look Like

Here is what a chargeback response for American Express Reason Code C08 when the transaction was made in a CNP environment and digital goods were purchased would look like:

Page 1:

Merchant # (MID) [[MERCHANT ACCOUNT ID (MID)]] Case # [[CASE NUMBER]]
Chargeback Amount [[AMOUNT]] Reference # [[REFERENCE NUMBER]]
Transaction ID [[TRANSACTION ID]] CC # [[MASKED PAN]]
Transaction Date [[TRANSACTION TIME STAMP]] Customer Name [[CUSTOMER FIRST NAME]] [[CUSTOMER LAST NAME]]

Chargeback Response
The chargeback filed by [[CUSTOMER FIRST AND LAST NAME]] regarding transaction [[TRANSACTION ID]] represented by case number [[CASE NUMBER]] is invalid and warrants reversal.

This chargeback is invalid because [[CUSTOMER FIRST AND LAST NAME]] received the merchandise purchased on October 1st 2017. The transaction in question was payment for digital goods.

Table of Contents
Summary of Evidence …………………………………………………………………………………….. 1
Evidence of Product Usage ……………………………………………………………………………. 2
Customer Service Record ………………………………………………………………………………. 3
Services Provided …………………………………………………………………………………………… 4
Details About Customer’s Account/Profile on our Website ………………….……… 5
Online Access/Download History ………………………………………………………………….. 6
Transaction Invoice ………………………………………………………………………………………… 7

Summary of Evidence

We know [[CUSTOMER FIRST AND LAST NAME]] received the merchandise ordered because we have a record of post-transaction customer service communication indicating successful receipt of goods. The merchandise was not only received, but used by [[CUSTOMER FIRST AND LAST NAME]], which is displayed clearly in the attached evidence. This document contains evidence of [[CUSTOMER FIRST AND LAST NAME]] accessing or downloading digital goods from our website.

[[CUSTOMER FIRST AND LAST NAME]] created and maintains an account or profile on our website and used this account for the disputed transaction, indicating clearly that they logged in and placed the order.

Page 2:

Evidence of Product Usage

Include evidence that the customer has possession of or has access to your product or service, with as much detail and context as you can provide. It may be necessary to include several items of evidence to make your case.

Examples: Logs of customer usage or communications you have had with them discussing the product or service; screenshots from your customer’s social media with products from the order pictured, or displaying works created using your product or service; links to or screenshots from eBay or Craigslist showing the product listed for sale by the customer.

Page 3:

Customer Service Record

Copies of written correspondence exchanged between the merchant and the cardholder (screenshot or text from email, ticket tracking system, live chat, or social media messaging, etc) showing that the cardholder participated in the transaction.

Page 4:

Services Provided

Include a brief description of the service as a comment, and upload images with documents and screenshots that indicate that the cardholder actually utilized the service or fulfilled the conditions to be charged legitimately. If the charge under dispute is an add-on charge or a penalty charge, be sure to also include the original associated transaction. In a fraud dispute, if the cardholder disputes an add-on, but you can show that the original charge isn’t disputed, you have a stronger case.

Page 5:

Details About Customer’s Account/Profile on our Website

If customers can create and maintain a profile or account on your website, and the disputed order was made while logged into that profile, include profile details here, including when the profile was created and how frequently (and from where, if possible) the customer has accessed the website. If there are other orders associated with this profile, you can include them in the Transaction History section. If the profile is tied to an email address, include that email address and any details about the origin, age, or utilization of that email address you can find that might establish that the email address belongs to the cardholder.

If you have IP addresses of devices used to create the account and access the site over time, along with physical location of that IP address, that information may be useful for establishing that the account was created and used by the cardholder. If the disputed order wasn’t made by a logged in customer, but the card, email address, physical address, or other attributes from the disputed order match an existing profile, provide evidence that ties the disputed order to the owner of an existing profile.

Page 6:

Online Access/Download History

This evidence might include screenshots of management interfaces or access logs. Relevant data could include timestamp of access to server, download records showing which files were downloaded and when, information about the accessing device’s attributes.

If you have the IP address of the device used to access/download, you can compare it to the IP address of the device used for the purchase, and compare the physical location of the cardholder’s billing address, if there’s any dispute about whether the cardholder placed the order or received the digital goods. If access or download was performed on multiple occasions, a log of this access over time can strengthen your evidence.

Page 7

Transaction Invoice

Account
Email Address [[CUSTOMER EMAIL ADDRESS]]
Transaction
Date/Time: [[TRANSACTION TIME STAMP]]
Transaction ID: [[TRANSACTION ID]]
Amount: [[TRANSACTION AMOUNT]]
Credit Card Information
CC Type: American Express
CC Number: [[MASKED PAN]]
CC Expiration: 2021-01-01
Auth. Code: [[TRANSACTION AUTHORIZATION CODE]]
AVS Status: [[TRANSACTION AVS RESPONSE CODE]]
CVV2/CVC2 Status: [[TRANSACTION CVV RESPONSE CODE]]
Currency: [[CURRENCY TYPE]]
Billing Address
[[CUSTOMER BILLING ADDRESS]]
[[CUSTOMER BILLING CITY]] [[CUSTOMER BILLING STATE]] [[CUSTOMER BILLING ZIP]]
[[CUSTOMER BILLING COUNTRY]]
Order Information
Order ID: [[ORDER ID OR REFERENCE NUMBER]]
Order Price Quantity Total
Subtotal
Shipping [[SHIP FEE]]
Tax [[TAX]]
Total [[TOTAL AMOUNT]]

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