Insights

Chargeback Rebuttal Letter: Process, Proof, and Prevention

Explore effective strategies for writing chargeback rebuttal letters, understanding the process, gathering proof, and preventing future disp

Are you facing a chargeback fight?

Winning isn’t easy. You must prepare your case in advance before a chargeback happens.

There is more to a chargeback rebuttal than simply writing a cover letter. This letter represents your entire case. Since it is the first thing the issuing bank sees, it defines the first impression. This matters.

Your rebuttal letter must have a strong foundation and offer convincing evidence. It must persuade the issuing bank that you are in the right.

It must accomplish all this in a single page if possible.

Let’s build the foundation, collect the evidence, and write that concise chargeback rebuttal letter.

Prepare

Long before a specific chargeback, your business process must be designed to track and gather the evidence needed to defend against potential chargebacks.

The evidence you require consists of all the verifiable reporting you capture electronically and physically. This includes (but is not limited to) authentication reports, invoices, tracking data, signed receipts, and more.

While you can capture all this information manually, it becomes impossible to keep up in real-time if your business scales up.

In addition, many messages and notifications are moving back and forth between the merchant, the acquiring bank, the issuing bank, and the customer. It’s a monumental task to manage.

Specialised third-party services such as ours, ChargebackStop.com, automate the chargeback fight to prevent chargebacks from happening. Using a service such as CBStop is also crucial to evidence gathering and process management.

The Representment Process

The chargeback rebuttal letter comes at a crucial midpoint of the representment process.

Here is the two-part process.

Merchant’s process

  1. A merchant receives a chargeback notification.
  2. The merchant gathers pre-captured transaction evidence to counter the cardholder’s claim.
  3. The merchant prepares and submits a rebuttal package containing a chargeback rebuttal letter and the collected evidence.

Banks’ process

  1. The acquiring bank reviews the package for validity. If valid, it forwards the package to the cardholder’s issuing bank.
  2. The issuing bank reviews the package, reading the rebuttal letter first, and then examines the evidence. They decide on the case.
  3. The merchant is notified of the outcome by the issuing bank. If the rebuttal is successful, then the merchant’s funds are returned. Otherwise, the chargeback stands.

Assemble Your Proof

Before writing the rebuttal letter, it’s essential to understand why the cardholder requested the chargeback. The chargeback notification will provide a reason code to identify the cardholder’s issue.

Now, gather the data you collected during the transaction to disprove the claim indicated by the reason code. The evidence must contradict the cardholder’s claim.

Be sure your evidence is complete, comprehensive, and concise. After reading your chargeback rebuttal letter, it should be obvious to see that the evidence clearly supports the rebuttal letter’s arguments against the claim.

Planning the Chargeback Rebuttal Letter

It’s almost time to write your powerful yet concise and professional rebuttal letter.

This takes some thought and careful planning. Each chargeback rebuttal letter is different. The primary difference hinges on the reason code given in the chargeback notification.

Your entire package—rebuttal letter plus evidence—must clearly prove that you were in the right during the transaction. No mistakes or fraud on your part must be evident. And, as you know, each chargeback reason requires a different defence strategy.

Reason code issues include:

  • Unauthorised transaction
  • Fraudulent transaction
  • Product not received
  • Services not provided
  • Product defective or not as described
  • Duplicate processing
  • Credit not processed

Include required information

Again, rebuttal letters differ, and the information required changes based on the transaction data.

Include these necessary items:

  • Transaction Details: Date, amount, authorisation evidence.
  • Cardholder Information: Any relevant details used to verify the transaction.
  • Merchant’s Statement: A clear explanation addressing the specific chargeback reason.
  • Supporting Documentation: Any receipts, contracts, emails, or other documents that support the merchant’s case.
  • Reference to Chargeback Code: Specific mention of the chargeback reason code and how the evidence relates to it.

Let’s see a sample letter.

Chargeback Rebuttal Letter Template

The time has arrived to write your chargeback rebuttal letter. Finally.

However, don’t think you can skip right to this part and ignore the preparation. It doesn’t work that way.

After all the careful evidence-gathering, strategic thinking, and organisation, you can use this template to begin fleshing out your written arguments.

The letter’s contents will vary depending on the reason code and your gathered evidence.

The following sample rebuttal letter template can and should be modified to suit your specific chargeback defence.

[Merchant’s Name]

[Merchant’s Address]

[City, State, Zip Code]

[Email Address]

[Phone Number]

Date: [Insert Date]

To Whom It May Concern,

Re: Chargeback Rebuttal for Transaction #[Transaction Number] / Chargeback Reason Code [Insert Reason Code]

I am writing in response to the chargeback for the abovementioned transaction. I believe this chargeback is unjustified for the reasons outlined below and provide supporting evidence to validate the transaction’s legitimacy.

1. Overview of the Disputed Transaction:

Transaction Date: [Insert Transaction Date]

Amount: $[Insert Amount]

Cardholder’s Name: [Insert Cardholder’s Name]

Product/Service Provided: [Insert Product/Service Description]

2. Detailed Response to the Chargeback Reason (Code: [Insert Reason Code]):

[Provide a detailed explanation specific to the chargeback reason.]

(For example, if the reason is 'Product Not Received', provide evidence of shipment and delivery, including tracking numbers and delivery confirmation.)

3. Supporting Documentation:

Attached Evidence: [List all supporting documents you include, such as transaction receipts, signed agreements, correspondence with the customer, proof of delivery or service, etc.]

[Provide a brief description of each piece of evidence and how it supports your case.]

Given the above details and attached evidence, I request that this chargeback be reversed. The transaction was processed in good faith, and all necessary measures were taken to comply with [Card Network]’s standards and provide the cardholder with the agreed-upon product/service.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I am available for any further information or clarification needed about this case.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

[Your Position]

[Merchant’s Name]

[Contact Information]

Attachments:

[List of Attachments]

Chargeback Prevention

Fighting as few chargebacks as possible is the best strategy. This strategy requires an intelligent solution.

ChargebackStop can prevent up to 99% of chargebacks. Really.

Visit ChargebackStop.com for a free demo and see for yourself.

Moving Forward

The complicated chargeback process raises many questions.

Visit ChargebackStop.com/contact-us for answers to your questions. We’re here to help you avoid and defend against chargebacks, especially for businesses looking to scale.

FAQ: Chargeback Rebuttal Letter

What is a chargeback rebuttal letter?

A chargeback rebuttal letter is a document a merchant prepares to dispute a chargeback claim. It presents evidence and arguments to prove that a transaction was legitimate and should not be reversed.

Can a merchant win a chargeback dispute?

Yes, a merchant can win a chargeback dispute if they provide compelling evidence that the transaction was valid and in compliance with card network regulations. They also need a professional and persuasive chargeback rebuttal letter to make their case.

What information must be included in a chargeback rebuttal letter?

The letter should include transaction details (date, amount, description), evidence of the cardholder's authorisation, relevant communication with the cardholder, and documentation supporting the transaction’s legitimacy. This information must be concise and compelling.

What types of evidence are effective in a chargeback rebuttal?

Compelling evidence can include sales receipts, delivery confirmations, correspondence with the customer, transaction history, and any other documents that demonstrate the transaction was legitimate and under the cardholder’s agreement.

How can merchants prevent chargebacks?

Merchants can prevent chargebacks by providing clear product descriptions, having transparent terms and conditions, offering excellent customer service, using fraud prevention tools like Chargeback.com, and maintaining clear communication with customers.

About the author

Don is an expert technical content writer and researcher. He works with ChargebackStop to write informative and digestible content on the topic of chargebacks, payments and more. His writing is crafted, not computed.

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