Understanding What to Provide in your Response to Disputes

Created by Allison Cloyd, Modified on Mon, 14 Nov 2022 at 01:13 AM by Allison Cloyd

It is possible for a client to challenge a credit card payment once it has been made, requesting that their credit card provider reverse a payment on their card. There are various stages to a dispute and you as the person who received the payment may be asked for details of what the payment is for and you have the option to contest a challenge.

In this article, we explain how you can respond to credit card disputes through the Actionstep Payments Portal. You may also want to read our articles on Understanding Credit Card Disputes{link to other article} and Dispute Reasons{Link to other article} and Submitting a Dispute Response{link to other article}.

 

KEY TERMS

Cardholder:        The client that is disputing a transaction

Merchant:           You, the law firm who provided the services being disputed

Issuing Bank:      The bank that issued the card to the client (i.e. the cardholder’s bank)

Card Brand:         The card brand the client’s card is associated with (Visa, Mastercard, Amex etc.)

Representment:  The response a Merchant sends to the issuing bank when a transaction is disputed

 

When a dispute is initiated against a Merchant, they have the opportunity to respond to the issuing bank by providing compelling evidence in their favor (representment). For Retrievals and (most) First Chargebacks, dispute responses can be submitted by the Merchant directly in the Payrix Portal. The Pre-Arbitration response process varies by Card Brand, and thus, they cannot be submitted in the Portal.

 

How long do you have to respond to a dispute?

The timeframe allotted for a Merchant to submit a dispute response varies by a) the reason for the dispute, and b) the Card Brand. In the Payrix Portal, you will notice a Response Due Date indicating when the Merchant has to respond.

It’s important for Merchants to check the due date for each chargeback initiated against them because the timeframe can vary significantly depending on the circumstances. For some chargebacks, Merchants will have as little as seven days to respond, while for other chargebacks, they may have up to 30 days.

 

If the Merchant fails to respond by the due date, the dispute will automatically be considered lost and the held funds will be credited to the cardholder.

 

What information should you include in their Representment?

Although there are no definitive guidelines for what is considered “compelling evidence,” and much of this depends on the reason for the dispute, valid representment evidence falls into two categories:

Formal Evidence

This includes official documentation directly related to the transaction. Formal evidence includes, but is not limited to:

  • Corresponding Invoice with cardholder contact information

  • Engagement letters or agreements

Informal Evidence

Informal evidence is relevant documentation that is not directly related to the transaction. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Logs of correspondence between the Merchant & cardholder

  • Screenshots of the Merchant’s website and/or published Terms of Service

  • A summary of the incident written by the law firm

Your Merchant’s representment should include all formal & informal evidence supporting their side of the dispute, presented clearly and concisely for the issuing bank. Providing too little evidence will likely render the representment uncompelling, but providing too much documentation may render the representment irrelevant.

For a more comprehensive guide to dispute responses please visit the Dispute Response Best Practices & Tips for Merchants.

Once a Merchant submits a dispute response they will not be able to add or modify their representment in any way. Thus, be sure your representment includes all of the compelling evidence you want the issuing bank to review.