By Eli Waldman
Director of Recovery Services
MyChargeBack talks to consumers. A lot. We talk to them about chargebacks. All the time. And one thing we’ve learned from our conversations is that consumers do not know nearly enough about chargebacks.
But the merchants know.
It’s what psychologists call a case of asymmetric information. And that’s exceedingly disadvantageous for the consumer in the event of conflict, such as a payment dispute.
If you believe you’ve been unfairly charged, or are unfairly being denied a refund, it can be difficult to make your case, often because you don’t even know what you don’t know. None of this is your fault; you are living your life, and you likely do not . How often do you have to deal with a complex payment dispute? Perhaps this is the first and only time in your life that you will find yourself in this situation. Your lack of proficiency is understandable.
The Merchant’s Chargeback Toolbox
But for the people on the other side of the dispute, this is not their first time. In fact, payment disputes form such a big part of their business, they probably have professionals dedicated to resolving them. Some merchants do it in-house, while others outsource it to any of several professional chargeback companies that exist to service them.
That means that one way or another, there may be an entire team of experts on call all day every day whose entire job description is based on successfully resolving payment disputes in the merchant’s favor.
The Consumer’s Old Chargeback Toolbox
And what do you have? You have us. MyChargeBack is the professional financial services company on the consumer’s side. And today we will educate you about a few of the facts that you need to know about chargebacks.
But before there was MyChargeBack, there was your bank. The bank that issued your credit card.
There is a department at your bank that exists only to deal with their customers’ credit card disputes. In principle, they are there to help you, just as a separate department at your merchant’s bank exists to help them. In practice, however, it doesn’t work that way.
The merchant’s banker has a relatively small number of relatively high-value customers, each of which is, therefore, able to demand (and receive) a relatively large allocation of time and resources.
The consumer by comparison is just one of many similar consumers making innumerable ostensibly similar payment disputes. Most banks have simply not allocated sufficient manpower to adequately deal with them all.
A further problem for the consumer lies in the fact that, in addition to the bank dispute department being understaffed (and therefore overworked), there is a good chance that the banker assigned to a particular case will be inadequately trained.
Inadequately trained? How is that possible?
The problem lies in the fact that the majority of payment disputes are simple, and fairly similar to one another. Complex disputes, by comparison, can take vastly different forms, while forming a minority (though a highly significant minority) of cases. Credit card networks like Visa and Mastercard do hold workshops around the world on a regular basis to better familiarize bank dispute department employees with advanced training in chargeback processing. Unfortunately, they are sparsely attended, since most banks do not provide budgets to enable their relevant employees to participate.
This means that when consumers go to their banks with complex payment disputes, they will often be dealing with bankers overburdened with excessive caseloads, looking to pigeonhole the new dispute into one of just a few simple and quick resolutions with which they are already familiar. Complex disputes are simply beyond their grasp. This is a recipe for disaster, as MyChargeBack has witnessed time and again.
A New Chargeback Toolbox For Consumers
Many of MyChargeBack‘s clients only come to us after experiencing a catastrophic breakdown in communication with their banker due to the issues discussed above. The asymmetry between the merchant and the customer in terms of in-house, third-party, and banking expertise is exactly the problem that MyChargeBack exists in order to solve.
No more will consumers be forced to resolve their payment disputes alone, with the other side possessing a decisive information advantage.
Where the merchants have their dispute experts, the consumers have MyChargeBack. We know all the card rules, and how they apply to every conceivable case. We constantly update our strategies in response to the frequent amendments made to the official rules.
Where the merchants have responsive and competent bank dispute departments, the consumers have MyChargeBack. We have formed effective and cordial business relationships with hundreds of banks on six continents. We have developed a proprietary playbook of best practices for each of those hundreds of banks, and keep the playbook constantly updated as the policies or preferences of a particular bank change.
We have learned how to take our expertise in the field of rules and regulations and apply it to the equally critical field of effective communication with our client’s bank. The presentation of a case in such a way as to be conclusively persuasive depends on a combination of skills that MyChargeBack possesses. Simply burying the banker in a mountain of incontrovertible proof is not effective. The documentation must also be concise and easy to understand and follow.
It’s not an easy balance to strike. Comprehensiveness vs. concision. What’s more, it’s a balance that must be tailored to the preferences of each bank separately. Sometimes for each banker. It’s a delicate operation, but MyChargeBack has proven itself to be up to the task time and again.