Preventing Disputes Before They Happen
- • Provide the customer with a clear, itemized list of charges – and always obtain a signature when required.
- • Ensure that your return or exchange policies are available to the customer before and during a transaction.
- • Only submit charges after goods or services have been delivered or rendered.
- By submitting a charge after you have delivered goods or completed services, you can reduce the risk of customers disputing premature charges.
- • Ensure your processor is sending a clear description of the charge including, business name, customer service telephone number, description of charge, URL, and store location phone number.
- • Maintain up-to-date contact information
- Keeping updated contact information on your receipts, invoices, or online websites gives the customer an easy way to contact you. By contacting you directly, they may not have to use American Express as a mediator in the cases when a dispute is opened.
- Credit all cancellations or returns as soon as they happen – and keep the customer up to date.
Preventing Disputes when the Card is not present:
- • Ensure Terms and Conditions are clearly and prominently disclosed to the Cardmember in advance of purchase – as a best practice, keep a screen print of the CM's 'I Accept' confirmation for website T's & C's and standard telephone scripts for all phone orders.
- • Keep on record confirmation emails/fax which confirm the Cardmember's order and detail the specific products, model, quantity, billing information, shipping date, etc.
- • Provide the Cardmember with instructions on when, how and where to contact you in the event of any errors in the order. This is a great way to avoid disputes and protect against chargebacks.
Handling Disputes to Help Prevent Chargebacks
- • Enroll in our online Disputes tool
- By using the Disputes tool within My Merchant Account/OMS, you can track the progress of your cases, respond online and more. This means you can respond more quickly and help avoid no-reply chargebacks. You can enroll at My Merchant Account/OMS.
- • Make sure you fully respond to the Cardmember's claim on time
- Incomplete or late responses can turn into costly chargebacks. Responding in full and on time can help protect your bottom line. If you're enrolled in the Disputes tool within My Merchant Account/OMS, you'll receive alerts for any urgent cases, so you can stay ahead of 'reply by' dates.
- • Scan and send your supporting documents electronically
- By submitting receipts, proof of delivery notices, or other supporting documents online, you can respond more quickly and improve your chances of a speedy resolution.
- • Clearly explain every supporting document you send in
- Submitting supporting documents helps build your defense against a dispute. But without a proper description of what each document is, they may not help your case. Take the extra few minutes to add a description to every supporting document you submit. If you prefer to respond to disputes via notification letters, be sure to carefully read through the inquiry to fully understand the claim and what you will be required to submit as supporting documentation.
- • Respond by the specified date
- Which is 20 calendar days from the date that the inquiry is sent, unless otherwise noted in your merchant agreement. If you do not respond by the specified date, you could be charged for a no-reply chargeback. If your reply does not support the validity of the charge and/or you don't follow Card acceptance procedures, you will be charged back for the transaction. You can submit your response by mail or fax. The fax number and address information can be found on the cover page of the inquiry letter.