It’s All About Communication (Even in Chargeback Responses)

Sydney VaccaroChargeback Basics, Chargeback ResponsesLeave a Comment

It's All About Communication (Even in Chargeback Responses)

Effective communication is key in any good relationship. In friendships, marriages, partnerships, coworkers, and even in the relationship between a merchant and the bank’s dispute analyst. Now, the last relationship may not seem like the others I listed. But effective communication is an absolute necessity when describing compelling evidence and transaction information in a chargeback response. In short, the way you create the response, and how you communicate the evidence, is very important. We will take a look at why it is important to make your responses understandable and concise and go over the do’s and don’ts of a chargeback response.

Why Responses Need to Be Precise, Not Giant

Sending in a giant chargeback response with all the possible information about the transaction or customer may sound like a good idea. But doing so in a way to ‘cover all your bases’ is not. Here is why:

There is a person going to be on the other side of the response. That means a real person will have to go through every piece of your giant response. They have set requirements for the chargeback response based on the reason code and transaction modifiers. They will have to sift through and check off what they actually need. Then, after you caused their job to be much harder than it needed to be, they will decide if you have won the chargeback or not.

In the end, it all comes down to the fact that a person will be reading this documents. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself would you want to go through the response you are sending them? Instead of trying to just hand over any information you have in a chargeback response, take the time to look at what is asked for. To do this, you have to know the card network rules. The card networks are the ones setting the requirements for a winning response. The evidence needed in the response will be based on the reason codes. Certain reason codes also have a transaction modifier that will require more evidence or change the evidence needed in the chargeback response. This is where an investment in automation or investing your time learning the rules is needed.

Once you have made an investment, either in automation or learning the rules, you will be able to create a chargeback response that is easy to follow and only has the specific evidence that is asked for by the card networks. Scott Stone addressed the issue of huge responses in a recent podcast,

“[It] all ties back to the improved win rate. You are going to provide these really accurate responses, and I don’t really mean big. It’s not about a big document and chucking the kitchen sink at someone. On the other side, the issuing bank has a customer service person who reviews the first chargeback. Then it gets picked up to a tier two for a second [chargeback] or a pre-arb.

So it needs to be a good solid communication. It’s got to be free of emotion and it’s got to have objective evidence that ties to the rules and regulations. Because they are looking to check boxes, too. If it is this reason code, these transaction modifiers, and this evidence is permissible which you provided the two of the three pieces. Then they are totally authorized to in effect to deny it and say no. You have got to understand those details and provide that information. That is what is going to help with the win rate.”

The Dos and Don’ts

Now we will go over a few tips to make your chargeback response great, easy to understand, and improve your win rate. If you need a guide for how a chargeback response should be set up you can check out a later blog post here.



Create a clean, concise document that only has the evidence asked for by the card networks.

Don’t dump every piece of evidence you may think is relevant or that you can find about the transaction.

At the top of your response, you should have an easy to read 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.

Don’t make the information hard to find or understand. By creating a table for the basic information about the case (instead of having the information scattered throughout your response), you are making it as easy as possible for the dispute analyst.

Find the most efficient way to organize the rest of the document. We would recommend putting each argument and evidence on a different page. Then create a table of contents to walk the dispute analyst to the exact information.

Don’t just put the information in one long, continuous paragraph.

Each reason code has specific evidence that is required by the card network. Make sure you put the exact evidence that is asked for.

Don’t go in blind. You need to know what the card network ask for if you want win the chargeback.

Any claim you make in the response needs to be backed up with evidence. Make sure each of your arguments is backed up with the compelling evidence.

Don’t just make claims about the customer or transaction that you don’t have proof for. You will not only be wasting your time, but you will also be wasting time for the dispute analyst. Evidence for certain reason codes can range from social media post to customer profile logs.

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