Director of Recovery Services
If you ever find yourself on the wrong side of a complex payment dispute, you’ll know it. The “wrong side” is not necessarily the one that did wrong; it can often be the side that has the fewest resources at its disposal. When it’s between a consumer on one side and a corporation with a bank and legal department on the other, you know who’s got the cards stacked against them.
MyChargeBack professionals are on the consumer’s side. So what does that mean?
Simple Payment Disputes
First of all, let’s consider what it means to experience a complex payment dispute. Although it is counter intuitive, the best way to do that is to work backwards by defining what a simple dispute is. The simplest type of dispute is fraud. In the context of credit card billing, “fraud” refers specifically to unauthorized transactions.
Let’s say you’re looking at your monthly statement and you see a $50 charge for gasoline at a station you never buy from, or $120 for a pair of shoes from Amazon that you never ordered. That’s fraud, and if the merchant can’t prove that it was you who made the purchase, Visa and Mastercard rules make it very easy for you to get your money back. American Express. Discover, and the rest are pretty much the same. Fraud is the classic simple payment dispute.
Another example of a simple dispute is when you make an online purchase and don’t receive what you ordered. So you did in fact place that $120 Amazon order for shoes, but they never arrived. If the merchant refuses to refund you and can’t prove they sent the product, it’s a pretty open-and-shut case.
So that’s a general overview of what would be considered relatively simple payment disputes. What then would it take before it would be considered complex?
Complex Payment Disputes
Complex payment disputes are MyChargeBack‘s focus, but what are they? First of all, let’s assume that we’re talking about authorized payments. That, of course, means that fraud is out.
As a matter of fact, one of the reasons why complex disputes are so complex is the common misconception that authorized transactions are not eligible for chargebacks. If you were to study intensely the Visa Mastercard and other card networks’ chargeback rules, you would see that numerous categories of authorized transactions are in fact eligible, and for good reason too.
First and foremost, think of payments for services rather than goods. Imagine things like repairs, hospitality, investments, travel, and the like. If you don’t get what you paid for, you may be eligible for a chargeback, depending on numerous factors. What those factors are exactly is a function of which payment service you used, how old the transaction is, and literally hundreds of other details. You can read up on them constantly (because they’re constantly changing), but that would be an enormous undertaking, require extraordinary discipline and take more time than you have. That is why consumers with complex transaction disputes come to MyChargeBack. We have the knowledge and expertise to be your experts for you. We do know the rules. Inside out, backwards and forwards, and familiarize ourselves with the revisions that are regularly issued.
Another challenge cardholders have is selecting the correct “reason code” that best defines the nature of their dispute. If the “reason code” is inappropriate, the chargeback will be rejected from the start. Don’t assume that “not getting what you paid for” is a single dispute category either. It can mean not getting anything at all, getting substandard or unacceptable service, continuing to be charged after cancellation or expiration, and various other categories, each one carefully defined with its very own rules and conditions.
The problem is that if you do have a payment dispute in any of the above categories and if the merchant is refusing to be cooperative, proving you’re right and they’re wrong may be easier said than done. Remember, this is assuming that you’re 100% in the right, and the deck is still stacked against you. Why and how can that be?
First of all, a merchant has probably been through this a thousand times before and by now has the whole process down to an exact science. You, on the other hand, may be facing a payment dispute for the first and only time in your life.
Second, the merchant has a bank with which it in all likelihood has a close and fruitful working relationship. The merchant’s bank can usually be counted on to fight any payment dispute, and it has every incentive to do so. Not only does it want to keep the money flowing by cultivating and maintaining its business relationship, but also a successful dispute may take money directly out of its stores of cash.
Third, the merchant probably has, in addition to its experience dealing with payment disputes, an actual team of professionals, either in-house or outsourced, whose whole job is just to deal with disappointed customers like you full-time.
Against all that, what have you got?
In principle, you have your own bank just like the merchant has his. But is that really a fair comparison? Let’s not forget that even if your bank is the absolute best in terms of how well it treats its customers, there are just too many of you for each one to have the kind of resources assigned to you that a powerful merchant does with its bank. But even that paints too rosy a picture.
The harsh reality is that bank dispute departments are far too often understaffed, overworked, and undertrained. When faced with a complex and time-consuming payment dispute from one of their customers, they may not know the rules well enough to properly advocate on your behalf. And even if they do, staffing issues would either limit the amount of time they can spend on your case or neglect it until it becomes moot because deadlines have been missed. Even worse, lacking sufficient understanding of the relevant rules, and in the absence of a powerful incentive to do otherwise, they may simply take the easiest course of action: reject your claim.
Making Fairness a Central Value
If the above facts paint a rather dystopian picture, the good news is that the tide is turning. MyChargeBack advocates on behalf of its clients every day, and has achieved success in the face of otherwise insurmountable obstacles. The proprietary technologies and best practices that we have developed for credit card chargebacks, bank wire recalls, and forensic cryptocurrency tracing have resulted in millions of dollars of lost funds being returned.
Far from resting on our laurels, however, MyChargeBack is keenly aware that the payments landscape is constantly shifting. We continue to invest significant resources in training and testing our professionals in order to remain the market leaders on the consumer’s side in complex payment disputes.