Filing a Chargeback

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When filing a chargeback, there are many things to consider. Most importantly: Is a chargeback the right path for your current situation. In Leroy's case, a chargeback was necessary. George did not provide a good billing descriptor with his business's name or telephone number and Mary failed to tell her husband that she authorized the transaction. Below are additional reasons why you, the consumer, would want to initiate a chargeback.

Timeframe for Filing Chargebacks

Depending on your card type and brand, the timeframe you have to file a chargeback can span between two to 18 months. Debit cards typically have a two month threshold, Visa and MasterCard typically have a six month threshold, and American Express typically has an 18 month threshold.

This can be dangerous for a merchant, but incredibly helpful for an honest consumer.

Reasons for Filing a Chargeback

There are many instances for filing a chargeback, but some instances can also benefit from a refund. Below are some situations where a cardholder would want to file a chargeback.

  • 1. The billing descriptor does not provide a company name or customer service telephone number. If you cannot identify the transaction, how are you to contact the merchant to discuss a refund?

  • 2. The merchant does not provide you with a working customer service telephone number or email address. Again, you cannot discuss a refund without a way to contact the merchant.

  • 3. The merchant is unresponsive to your request for a refund. If you have called and emailed the merchant about a refund and he or she does not respond, or does not issue your refund as promised, then filing a chargeback may be necessary.

  • 4. You should file a chargeback if the merchant does not offer you a refund. If your claim is valid — i.e., you received bad goods or services, you did not receive your goods on time, you did not receive your goods at all, the charge to your credit card account was fraudulent — then the merchant may be running a scam.

  • 5. If a merchant has a return policy that cannot exceed 30 days and your goods break due to defects (meaning the breakage was not the fault of a handler) after 30 days, your merchant may refuse to issue you a refund. In this instance, you would want to start filing a chargeback.

  • 6. Some merchants state they have no return policy. However, if you receive a package and the goods are already broken, the merchant shipped you the wrong item, or the services rendered did not solve your problem, then you should file a chargeback if the merchant will not issue you a refund.

As you can see, there are several legitimate reasons for filing a chargeback. Simply use them as your last resort. Always request a refund when you have the opportunity and you will be a much more satisfied customer.

About Instabill

As an online merchant account provider, Instabill works with business owners in virtually all e-commerce industries. For more than a decade, we have been performing due diligence on all of our processing merchants to ensure that they operate a legitimate business. It is our goal to make sure our merchants offer you the highest quality goods in a safe, secure environment.

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In Chargebacks 101 for Merchants, Instabill teaches business owners about the chargeback process and chargeback reversal process. Instabill also offers advice on how to prevent chargebacks as well as credit card fraud.

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In Chargebacks 101 for Consumers, Instabill clearly identifies the similarities and differences between refunds and credit card chargebacks. Consumers can learn what situations are best for each type of transaction.

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Instabill is an Internet payment service provider with more than 12 years of credit card processing experience. Learn more about Instabill as well as why the company created the website Instabill.org.

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