Handling Charge-backs and Credit Card Disputes

An unfortunate part of doing business, especially taking orders online, is dealing with charge-backs from customers and their credit card companies.

ITS YOUR RACE allows our customers to set up payments via direct-deposit, which allows them to receive their money faster, however, it also means that they are open for disputed payments.

Try to Avoid Disputed Payments

1) When you set up your direct deposit account on ITS YOUR RACE, we ask you to enter a CREDIT CARD DESCRIPTOR.  This is the small string of words that will appear on a person’s credit card statement, so it’s vital that a person will be able to tie this to your event.  The easiest thing to do is simply enter your event name in this field.  So, for example “Mom and Pop 5K” is the name of my event, that’s exactly what I would enter in the credit card descriptor.  If you want the charge to come from your business or charity, be sure that that is also included in your event title so that registrants will recognize the name when it appears on their statement.

2) Be responsive to people that reach out to you questioning their payment.  Some people will see a business name on their statement, do some research and call or email to ask the company, “What was this charge for?”  A quick response to those types of questions will avoid a dispute.

3) Be flexible with refunds or allowing injured participants to defer to an alternate race or year.  Whatever your refund policy is, make sure you put that in your waiver.  It does not happen often, but if a person is “demanding” a refund and your policy is no-refunds, you must put this in your waiver.  The credit card processor will need the electronically-signed waiver as “proof” if a person believes they are entitled to a refund.

A Dispute has been opened.  What do I do?

If a charge-back is initiated, the person that set up the direct deposit payment will receive an email from Stripe, our credit card processing vendor.  Most times we find that when a payment is disputed as “fraud” the person simply did not recognize the charge. The sooner you get in touch with the person who initiated the dispute the better.

  1. Login to your Stripe account on stripe.com
  2. Select the PAYMENTS menu item and click on DISPUTES
  3. Click on the dispute that’s been opened up.
  4. COPY the number under DESCRIPTION.  This is the ORDER ID in ITS YOUR RACE.  Open a new tab, login to ITS YOUR RACE and MANAGE your event.  Go to REGISTRATION and ORDERS and PASTE the description number in to look up the order of the disputed payment.
  5. EDIT the order and you will be able to see the name and contact information for the person that has disputed the payment.  We typically send an email so that there is a “paper-trail” to submit to Stripe as evidence.  Here is a template of the email that we typically send:

    We’ve recently been made aware that you’ve opened a credit card dispute for order #1234567 that was placed on itsyourrace.com.  Your order was for $XX.00, and you registered yourself as an individual participant in the Mom and Pop 5K.  This event will be held on March 25, 2018.

    If this dispute was made in error, please reply to this email and confirm this.  Also, it’s very important that you please contact your credit card company to cancel the dispute.  If the dispute was intentional, please let us know the reason.   In the event the dispute is processed by your card or bank, our event will lose your registration fees and incur an additional $15 dispute fee.

    We appreciate your timely response, and thank you for your cooperation!

  6. Once the person responds, you will have to submit evidence to Stripe.  Again, in most cases with disputes, the person simply did not recognize the charge and will admit fault and contact their bank.  It’s very important to still submit evidence to Stripe against the dispute and providing a copy of the email correspondence.
  7.   Print a PDF copy of the email correspondence that you have with the participant and go back to your account on Stripe.com.  Go to your PAYMENTS and DISPUTES and click the button to SUBMIT EVIDENCE to the bank.
  8. The option for OFFLINE SERVICES should be selected as your product.  In the description, write “Online event registration for the “XYZ Event that will be held on EVENT DATE in LOCATION NAME.
  9. Provide all of the details from the order (registrants name, billing address, etc), upload the email correspondence and under “Additional Information” reiterate the fact that the customer stated that they would contact their bank to drop the dispute

What if the Dispute was intentional and the person just wanted a way to get their money back?

The only way to “fight” this type of dispute is to provide hard evidence that your event has an “absolutely no-refund” policy.  IYR provides a report that breaks down the person’s order, the initials signed on the waiver and the date that the waiver was signed.  You can submit this information along with a copy of your waiver to Stripe and the person’s bank, HOWEVER, ultimately it will be up to the bank to decide if the dispute will go through or now.

If you need any assistance in submitting evidence for a dispute, we can help!  Contact us to let us know about the situation and we’ll help you work through submitting your evidence to Stripe or getting in touch with the participant that opened the dispute.

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