By Judith Dayan Persson
Vice President of European Operations and Business Development
A chargeback is a refund made to a cardholder’s account for transactions that qualify under the credit card network’s rules. Among the various card networks, of which Visa and Mastercard are the largest, there are thousands of pages of rules covering chargeback rights and obligations. MyChargeBack knows it all backwards and forwards so you don’t need to, but you still should.
If you read our quick and engaging articles, you will be a wiser, safer and richer consumer.
Today you’ll be learning about a little-known and even less well understood — but extremely important — chargeback skill: how to make use of your right to a refund for services.
What we’re talking about here are services that you bought and paid for, but didn’t receive, or received in a manner different from how they were promised, advertised, or contracted. Here are some examples:
- You paid for your driveway to be resurfaced, but the work was grossly substandard.
- You invested in an online investment or trading platform, but your withdrawal requests are being denied.
- You purchased a magazine subscription or a gym membership and continued to be charged after you canceled it or it expired.
- You purchased a reservation for a flight or hotel room that was canceled and the merchant refuses to refund you.
Obviously, your actual right to a chargeback depends on the specific details of your case, in addition to the general rules outlined below. The most important thing to remember is that if you ever feel like you are in over your head, MyChargeBack is there for you.
1. You Can Chargeback Payments For Services
Many clients come to us under the misapprehension that while chargebacks for physical goods are possible, disputing a payment related to intangible services is either theoretically or practically impossible.
The truth is that service-related chargebacks are covered in great detail within the Visa and Mastercard rulebooks, and are a right that all cardholders have. The problem is that in practice, if the merchant contests the chargeback, it can be hard for the consumer to make their case adequately in the absence of a physical item that is the subject of the dispute.
That means that if you ordered a service and you either didn’t receive it or it was of poor quality, that money doesn’t have to be gone forever, but the path to recovery will not necessarily be an easy one. You will need to overcome a number of obstacles before your service-related chargeback will be a reality.
- Do you qualify?
Success will depend first and foremost on whether the particular details of your case accord with the published chargeback rules for the card network (e.g., Visa or Mastercard) that you paid through. Assuming that you do, in fact, qualify for a chargeback, success nevertheless depends on a number of additional factors.
- Dealing with your bank
You will need to make your case to your bank well enough to convince them to raise the chargeback in the first place. You’ll see much more about this important problem in Section 2 below. No matter your rights, if your bank isn’t convinced, your case is dead in the water. Building a convincing case for your banker is a skill for which MyChargeBack has built a legendary reputation. More on that in Section 3 below.
- Dealing with the merchant
You will need to overcome any objections and appeals that the merchant brings in response to your chargeback request. The merchant’s right to defend their case (known as a representment) is built into the chargeback rules. If you’re not prepared for some of the common merchant representments, it will be very difficult to successfully navigate the service-related chargeback process. Again, that is what MyChargeBack is there to help you with. We’ve seen it all countless times and know ahead of time exactly how to respond to every conceivable objection in a way that the bank will understand and agree with.
2. Your Bank Might Not Know Your Rights
The bank that issued your credit card is responsible for acting on your behalf in all payment disputes pertaining to that card. To be more precise, not all disputes; just the ones it agrees with. Furthermore, your chargeback will not proceed until your bank agrees that you have an actionable dispute. In other words, your bank is the gatekeeper, the first hurdle that must be cleared in order to get your money back.
In principle, it should be a simple task. After all, they are there to protect your rights.
In reality, the situation is far more complex. At your local bank branch sits a real live person tasked with dealing with your dispute. One problem is that he or she has potentially dozens of other cases to clear at the same time. And service-related disputes take the most time and effort.
A second problem is that, in addition to being overworked, the banker is probably inadequately trained to deal with complex disputes. And service-related disputes are the most complex of all. The credit card companies provide training for bank dispute departments to deal with these situations, but the training sessions are optional and rarely fully attended.
The result is a banker dealing with your case while overburdened and unprepared. Faced with a confusing chargeback scenario for services without physical goods as evidence, the easiest thing to do is to simply say “no.”
3. MyChargeBack Knows Your Rights
There are simply too many obstacles in the consumer’s way when it comes to chargebacks for services. That’s why MyChargeBack arrived to be the expert on the consumer’s side for complex payment dispute resolution.
We know the rules for each card network, and how they apply to every conceivable scenario. We stay updated as the rules evolve and are frequently amended.
We know the laws and regulations in over 100 countries on six continents, and have experience speaking with hundreds of banks.
MyChargeBack is there for you, the consumer. If you want or need help with a service-related chargeback, contact us for a free no-commitment consultation.