Disputes FAQ

Overview

A dispute occurs when one of your customers questions your charge with their bank or credit card company.

Once a complaint is raised, the bank or credit card company will raise a dispute. To resolve the issue, there is a dispute resolution process in place to help prove that the charge was valid. Selz will provide you with the dispute details to help you resolve the issue.

How does the dispute process work?

  • Selz receives a notification of the disputed order. We automatically send you an email with details.
  • You can respond to the dispute via your Selz dashboard.
  • Selz will submit any evidence to your customers bank or credit card company. That company will then make a decision about whether or not to resolve the dispute in your favor.
  • If the dispute is resolved in your favor there is no further action required.
  • If the dispute is resolved in favor of your customer then we will deduct the disputed amount and fee from your Selz account.

Handling a dispute

Once you’ve been notified of a dispute, you have a few options:

  • Contact the customer to understand the reason for the dispute. It’s possible that the customer did not recognize the transaction. If the dispute is the result of a misunderstanding, the customer can ask their bank to withdraw the dispute.
  • Respond to the dispute. To do this, go to Dashboard > Orders > Disputed and select the disputed order. You will be given the opportunity to provide evidence appropriate for the dispute. We will submit any information you provide to your customer’s credit card company and keep you posted afterwards.
  • Choose to accept the dispute. This agrees to the bank’s refund of the transaction. This is what will happen if you do nothing.

How to Respond

We will pass along the responses you provide directly to your customer’s bank, you should provide evidence that present a clear and concise argument for why the customer’s bank should resolve the dispute in your favor.

To overturn a dispute, you’ll want to provide evidence as much evidence as possible, we’ve tailored the dispute form so that the you provide the most appropriate evidence based upon the order and dispute type. For example, if you provide a physical product, then the shipping_number field is very important for winning a product not received dispute.

To respond to a dispute visit your Selz dashboard and click on disputed within the order list. Within the order we’ll provide a list of things to do including responding to the dispute.

Once you’ve gotten to the dispute response page, we’ll guide through providing information that is most relevant to the particular dispute, and to the products or services that you provided. The more fields you can fill out on this page, the better your chances of overturning the dispute.

General Evidence

In most cases we will pre-populate information direct from the order details:

  • Product description: A description of the product or service which was sold. This field will be automatically populated.
  • Customer name: The name of the customer. This field will be automatically populated.
  • Customer email address: The email address of the customer. This field will be automatically populated.
  • Billing address: The billing address provided by the customer. This field will be automatically populated.

We also suggest providing the information below to help support your case:

  • Customer communication: Any communication with the customer that you feel is relevant to your case (for example emails proving that they received the product or service, or demonstrating their use of or satisfaction with the product or service).

Item Type Evidence

Depending on the item types within the disputed order we will provide the relevant fields for you to submit:

Digital items

  • Access activity log & IP address: We will automatically submit server or activity logs showing proof that the customer accessed or downloaded the purchased digital product. This information will include IP addresses, corresponding timestamps, and any detailed recorded activity.

Service items

  • Service date: The date on which the customer received or began receiving the purchased service, in a clear human-readable format.
  • Service documentation: Documentation showing proof that a service was provided to the customer. This could include a copy of a signed contract, work order, or other form of written agreement.

Physical items

  • Shipping address: The address to which a physical product was shipped. The shipping address should match a verified billing address to maximize your likelihood of winning the dispute. In most cases this field will be automatically populated.
  • Shipping date: The date on which the order was shipped to the shipping address. This date should be prior to the date of the dispute.
  • Shipping carrier: The delivery service that shipped the order, such as Fedex, UPS, USPS, etc. If multiple carriers were used for this purchase, please separate them with commas.
  • Shipping tracking number: The tracking number for the order obtained from the delivery service. If multiple tracking numbers were generated for this purchase, please separate them with commas.
  • Shipping documentation: Documentation showing proof that a product was shipped to the customer at the same address the customer provided to you. This could include a copy of the shipment receipt, shipping label, etc, and should show the full shipping address of the customer, if possible.

Uncategorized Evidence

If you have further evidence that you feel is relevant to your case but doesn’t fit into any of the fields provided you can detail this within the additional evidence section.

Can I just refund the order?

In most cases once a dispute has arrived, there’s no way for you to refund the charge. Your customer has already received a refund for the amount of the dispute back from their bank. However in some instances disputes are not full chargebacks and can be refunded. If an order can be refunded this option will be made available to you within the order detail page. If you successfully refund a charge before the dispute escalates into a full chargeback, the dispute will be closed.

Customer said the dispute was a mistake

If you’ve talked to your customer and they’ve agreed to drop the dispute. First, have your customer call their bank and let them know. This is critical, since the bank won’t know your customer has dropped it unless your customer tells them.
Secondly, even though the customer has already agreed to withdraw the dispute through their bank, you must still submit evidence for the dispute. Your evidence should indicate to the bank that your customer wishes to drop the dispute, and must include any email evidence you have where the customer may say that. If your customer had specific complaints that led to the dispute, be sure to address those in the evidence. Failing to provide evidence even though the customer agreed to drop the dispute could still result in you losing the dispute.

Is there a dispute fee?

Yes, you incur a $30.00 (USD) fee when there is a dispute on one of your transactions.

How can I prevent disputes?

Disputed charges are an unfortunate fact of doing business, but you can do a few broad things to reduce your risk:

  • Some chargebacks are the result of credit card fraud.
  • Use a recognizable name for your card statement text. We recommend using your website’s store or domain name.
  • Have clear return and refund policies and make them easy to find on your website.
  • Communicate accurate delivery times and keep customers updated throughout the process. If possible, use online tracking and delivery confirmation.
  • Post customer service contact information prominently and respond to customer inquiries quickly.

Dispute Types

All disputes will fall into one of the following categories:

Fraudulent

Description: The owner of the card says that they didn’t authorize the charge. This is the most common reason for a dispute and can happen if the card was lost or stolen. It can also happen if the cardholder doesn’t recognize the charge as it appears on the billing statement from their bank.

Required to overturn dispute: Get the cardholder to withdraw the dispute by helping them identify the charge or prove to the bank that their cardholder did authorize the transaction (this is the hardest type of dispute to win).

How to respond: First, try to get in touch with the cardholder. Sometimes people forget about charges they make. It’s also possible that someone they authorized to use the card–for instance, their spouse–made the charge and they were unaware of it at the time. If this is the case, ask them to let their bank know that they want to drop the dispute. Getting the cardholder to close the dispute from their end is by far the best way for you to make sure a dispute is resolved in your favor. If they agree to do this, you should still submit evidence for the dispute. The evidence should include a statement that the cardholder said they would withdraw the dispute (including the email if you corresponded by email), as well as the suggested fields below.

If you believe the charge was actually made using a stolen credit card, unfortunately you will need to accept the dispute. The credit card networks assign liability for accepting fraudulent online transactions to you, the business.

How to prevent it: Make sure your statement descriptor is easily recognizable to your customers (and reflects the URL they would associate with their purchase) so they can tell who charged them. If you ship physical products, consider shipping only to addresses that match a verified billing address or reaching out to the customer before shipping to such addresses.

Unrecognized

Description: The customer doesn’t recognize the charge appearing on their card statement.

Required to overturn dispute: As with fraudulent disputes, get your customer to withdraw the dispute by helping them identify the charge.

How to respond: Try to get in touch with your customer. Sometimes people forget about charges they make. It’s also possible that someone they authorized to use the card – for instance, their spouse – made the charge and they were unaware of it at the time. If this is the case, ask them to let their bank know that they want to drop the dispute. Getting your customer to close the dispute from their end is by far the best way for you to make sure a dispute is resolved in your favor. If they agree to do this, you should still submit evidence for the dispute. The evidence should include a statement that the cardholder said they would withdraw the dispute.

How to prevent it: Make sure your statement descriptor is easily recognizable to your customers (and reflects the URL they would associate with their purchase) so they can tell who charged them.

Product not received

Description: The customer says they did not receive the products or services purchased.

Required to overturn dispute: Demonstrate that the customer received a physical product or offline service prior to the date the dispute was initiated, or made use of a digital product or online service prior to the date the dispute was initiated.

How to respond: First, get in touch with your customer. Understanding why they filed the dispute will be important for helping make sure your customer gets the product and will give you critical information to prevent this from happening to other customers. If you are able to resolve the issue with your customer, getting your customer to close the dispute from their end is by far the best way for you to make sure a dispute is resolved in your favor. If they agree to do this, you should still submit evidence for the dispute. The evidence should include a statement that the cardholder said they would withdraw the dispute.

How to prevent it: For physical items promptly ship products after collecting payment. Estimate shipping and delivery dates as accurately as you can, and communicate clearly with your customer. If shipping delays arise unexpectedly, keep your customer apprised. Save shipping labels, and for high value products considering requiring a signature upon receipt. For digital goods or services, maintain access logs or documentation that tie use back to the customer.

Product unacceptable

Description: The product or service was received but was defective, damaged, or not as described.

Required to overturn dispute: Demonstrate that the product or service was delivered as described at the time of purchase.

How to respond: First, get in touch with your customer. If you understand why they’re dissatisfied, there is a chance for you to explain the misunderstanding or to make it right. If you’re able to resolve the issue with your customer, getting them to close the dispute from their end is by far the best way for you to make sure a dispute is resolved in your favor. If they agree to do this, you should still submit evidence for the dispute. The evidence should include a statement that the cardholder said they would withdraw the dispute (including the email if you corresponded by email), as well as the evidence below. If your customer made no attempt to return the product or cancel the service, or if you provided a replacement product or service, make sure to note that as well.

How to prevent it: Make sure your product descriptions are clear and accurate. If you’re shipping physical products, ensure that you pack and ship your products in a way that protects them from being damaged in transit. Respond promptly and accede to customer requests for replacements for defective or damaged products.

Credit not processed

Description: The customer says that the purchased product was returned or the transaction was otherwise canceled, but you have not yet refunded or credited the customer.

Required to overturn dispute: Demonstrate that you refunded your customer through other means or that your customer is not entitled to a refund.
How to respond: Get in touch with your customer. If you understand what their complaint is, there is a chance for you to explain the misunderstanding or to make it right. If you’re able to resolve the issue with your customer, getting them to close the dispute from their end is by far the best way for you to make sure a dispute is resolved in your favor. If they agree to do this, you should still submit evidence for the dispute. The evidence should include a statement that the cardholder said they would withdraw the dispute.

Note that you cannot issue a refund once a charge is already disputed. If you believe that your customer was owed a refund that you did not provide, you can simply choose to not submit evidence which will guarantee that they get their money back.
If you do wish to respond, you should include:

  • Refund policy: Your refund policy, as shown to the customer.
  • Refund policy disclosure: An explanation of how and when the customer was shown your refund policy prior to purchase.
  • Refund refusal explanation: A justification for why the customer is not entitled to a refund.

How to prevent it: Have a clear return policy, and make it easy to find. Honor your return/refund policy by issuing refunds promptly.

Duplicate

Description: The customer says you charged their card multiple times for the same product or service.

Required to overturn dispute: Demonstrate that each charge was for a separate product or service.

How to respond: Determine if your customer was incorrectly charged multiple times. If they were, you should accept the dispute, which you can do by not submitting evidence. It is not possible to issue a refund once a charge has already been disputed.

If there were two or more separate transactions, get in touch with your customer. If you understand what their complaint is, there is a chance for you to explain the misunderstanding or to make it right. If you’re able to resolve the issue with your customer, getting them to close the dispute from their end is by far the best way for you to make sure a dispute is resolved in your favor. If they agree to do this, you should still submit evidence for the dispute. The evidence should include a statement that the cardholder said they would withdraw the dispute.

Collect any and all information documenting that the two transactions were separate. This might include copies of the sales receipts – if the receipts don’t include the items purchased, be sure to include an itemized list. The receipts should clearly indicate that the two transactions are not charges for the same items or services.

How to prevent it: If a double charge does happen accidentally, refund the second charge right away and get in touch with your customer. Sending detailed receipts that explain each charge will also help prevent this type of dispute in the future.

General / Unknown

What it means: This is an uncategorized dispute. Since these are most commonly fraudulent, we recommend following the suggestion listed for that type.

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