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What happens if I receive a charge dispute?
What happens if I receive a charge dispute?
Petra Molnar avatar
Written by Petra Molnar
Updated over a week ago

There's something magical seeing those order notification emails appear in your inbox after every sale you make via your Flodesk Checkout. But occasionally, you may get an unhappy customer disputing those charges.

Rest assured, we're here to help you with that.

What is a dispute?

A dispute, also known as a chargeback, happens when the cardholder of a Flodesk Checkout transaction—your Checkout customer in this case—reports the transaction to their card provider. Their financial institution removes the funds from your Stripe account (plus a $15 dispute fee) and sets them aside while reviewing the dispute case.

Why may a buyer open a dispute?

Some common reasons buyers may open a dispute include:

  • They don’t recognize or remember the charge

  • The purchase was made by someone else without the cardholder's authorization

  • They didn’t receive the product they purchased

  • They were unsatisfied with the product

  • They request a refund or credit, but are unable to reach a resolution with the seller directly

  • They may have registered for a paid event, coaching or consulting session that they want to cancel

  • In some rare cases, buyers may simply dispute charges in order to add funds back to their card, or to try and receive your products or services for free. This is known as buyer fraud.

What happens when you get a charge dispute?

When a dispute is created, Flodesk will notify you 4 times and request that you provide information about the transaction and subsequent communication with the buyer.

It’s your responsibility as the merchant to respond and provide this information in order for Flodesk to refute your dispute. If our team doesn’t receive this information from you, the dispute will be accepted automatically, a full refund will be issued to the buyer, and you’ll be charged a $15 dispute fee.

In some cases where you win a dispute, you may still be charged a $15 dispute fee. This fee is charged by the payment processor and can’t be waived.

What to do when you get a charge dispute

While it may seem like the simplest solution to simply refund the buyer, do not issue a refund for disputed charges. You will not be able to refund disputed charges within your Flodesk Checkout. Issuing a refund outside of Flodesk Checkout is not recommended.

In the event that you lose the dispute, you will have issued a refund to the buyer, as well as have the funds removed from your Stripe balance if the buyer wins their dispute.

I know the cardholder, and they didn’t intentionally dispute the charge.

If you know the cardholder personally, try reaching out to them to remind them what the charge was for. If you’re able to resolve the issue with them directly, request they call their card provider to drop the dispute.

Do not issue a refund to a cardholder until you receive notification that their dispute was canceled successfully. The dispute could be lost, and you would lose both the disputed funds plus fees and the refunded amount

I don't know the cardholder, but I want to refute the dispute.

If you believe that you should win the dispute, please respond to the email survey linked in the Checkout Dispute Notification email. Check your inbox for emails from review[@]flodesk.com.

Ensure that you fill out the survey completely and provide the best documentation possible so our team can submit this evidence when countering the dispute.

Below are some recommended documents to submit when refuting a dispute, but feel free to include anything else you feel might assist in winning the dispute:

  • Receipt

  • Proof of product or service delivery

  • Any communications with the buyer

  • The Terms of Service for your Checkout (Learn more about adding a ToS to your Checkout here.)

  • The Checkout Sales page

I submitted my documentation to refute a dispute. Now what?

Once we receive your documentation, Flodesk will submit this information to the buyer's financial institution. When they reach a decision on the dispute, Stripe will notify you directly of their decision.

Disputes can take up to several months to resolve and are handled directly by the buyer's financial institution. Flodesk is not able to send additional details or influence the outcome of your dispute.

In the meantime, the disputed funds will be deducted from your Stripe payouts along with the $15 dispute fee.

Tips to avoid disputes

We recommend implementing these best practices to avoid disputes:

  • Make sure your Credit Card Descriptor reflects your brand, so buyers recognize you on their credit card statements. Learn more about CC Descriptors here

  • Be transparent about your cancelation, refund, and return policies on your Checkout page

  • Include your contact information with the product delivery so buyers can easily reach you to resolve issues with their order

  • When a buyer contacts you about a refund or cancelation, keep in mind they may escalate to disputing the charge. Document any communications to protect your business in the event of a dispute.

Summary

Buyers who’ve purchased from you via Flodesk Checkout may dispute the charge with their card issuer for a number of reasons.

Flodesk will notify you in the event of a dispute, and it’s your responsibility to provide sufficient documentation to refute the dispute, if you wish to do so.

If you’re able to contact the buyer and resolve the issue with them directly, you can ask them to call their financial institution and drop the dispute. However, be sure not to issue any refund or credit until the dispute is fully canceled.

Be sure to implement best practices, as detailed above, to reduce your risk of disputes.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact our team by writing to support[@]flodesk.com.

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