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Purchase disputes and how to avoid them.

It can happen to any business. You make a sale only to find out days later that the customer is disputing the transaction.

It turns out disputes can be caused by a number of things, including simple mistakes, misunderstandings and yes, fraud. Here are a few of the most common causes and how to resolve them.

Purchase dispute: (verb) The act of a customer questioning the validity of a transaction that was registered to their account.

Common causes
Possible fraud

  • Customer did not authorize the transaction in question

Point-of-sale errors

  • The same transaction was processed multiple times
  • The card used by the customer was expired
  • Account numbers do not match

Business errors

  • Services not provided or merchandise not received
  • Merchandise was not as described or defective
  • Transaction amount differs from advertised purchase amount
  • Transaction displays from a company the customer does recognize

How to help reduce disputes

  • Check that the account number charged is the account number on the card.
  • Wait to process a transaction until the merchandise is shipped or delivered.
  • Provide signed proof that merchandise is delivered to the cardholder or other designated person.
  • Verify that the cardholder was advised of the purchase details and given the option to confirm or cancel at the time of the transaction.
  • Ensure your registered business name on the payment system is similar or it matches your business name on the cardholder statement.

Want to learn more about purchase disputes? Click here to view the “Common Reason Codes” video that provides a helpful explanation.


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