How To Handle Chargebacks

One of the great conveniences of commerce in the 21st century is that the credit card has made it possible for anyone in the world to shop from any merchant in the world. While that benefits everyone, there are some risks that come with this shopping evolution. Banks and credit card companies tend to protect the customer, not the vendor, and that can mean getting “chargebacks” where a credit card refund is required from you because of customer dissatisfaction. If this happens to you, what should you do? It depends on the type of chargeback.

Item Not Received

This is the most common type of chargeback, and, from a customer perspective, the most understandable. If someone paid for a physical item and then did not receive it, they shouldn’t have to pay for it. Unfortunately, the world of shipping can sometimes be unpredictable, and things may occur that are entirely out of your control.

The only way to legitimately challenge this type of chargeback is to prove the customer did receive the item when claims are to the contrary. Having a strong shipment policy in place facilitates this, where you use a delivery service that uses tracking numbers and provides shipping progress updates.

Unacceptable Product

This chargeback is a bit trickier, since it usually indicates customer dissatisfaction in some way. The two most common reasons this occurs is because a customer did not know what they were getting into when they ordered the product, or they could not return it.

In the first instance, complete illustrations—if applicable—of the product, along with clearly laid out product descriptions are the first line of defence against customer ignorance. If the item is clearly described but the customer didn’t bother to read it, that’s not your fault. On the other hand, if the customer wishes to return an item, but you have a very strict return policy that makes this difficult or nearly impossible, then an unacceptable product chargeback is often the only alternative left to a customer that feels cornered.

Chargebacks are an unpleasant situation for everyone involved. But you can take steps with your shipping and shopping policies that can lower the risk of chargebacks happening to you.