Chargeback Rebuttal Letters: The Complete Guide
- August 24, 2020
- 7 minutes
Chargeback rebuttal letters are an important part of your dispute management strategy.
If you want to fight an invalid chargeback, you need to create a dispute response (sometimes called a chargeback representment). A dispute response is a package of documents that serve as compelling evidence for the argument you are trying to make. This package should include a chargeback rebuttal letter.
Contesting chargebacks is an important part of the chargeback process. But writing a dispute letter is no easy task — unless you have help.
Use this detailed guide to create rebuttal letters that have a positive impact on your business’s reputation, win rates, and revenue recovery efforts.
What is a Chargeback Rebuttal Letter?
A chargeback rebuttal letter is a type of cover letter. And a cover letter is defined as a letter that is sent with, and explains the contents of, another document.
For example, a cover letter is often sent with a resume or job application. The cover letter gives an overview of why the applicant would be a good fit for the position, and the claims are supported with evidence in the attached resume.
Your chargeback rebuttal letter serves a similar purpose. The letter introduces the chargeback response package and gives an overview of the important information it contains.
What Should Be Included in a Rebuttal Letter?
As you prepare your rebuttal letter, think about its purpose — the goal is to prove the transaction was a legitimate purchase and the chargeback is invalid. So what information would a reader need to reach that conclusion?
Both your bank and the card issuer (cardholder’s bank) need to be able to match your dispute response to the chargeback you are challenging.
Check your chargeback notice for identifiers like the acquirer reference number (ARN), the chargeback case number, and/or the dispute ID. You’ll also want to include your business’s name and the merchant account number (MID) used to process the original transaction.
The banks also need to know what you are challenging. Include the chargeback reason code, the customer’s name, the transaction amount, and a short description of the item that was purchased.
Help the readers understand the context of the transaction. Give a brief description of the goods or services you sell and the environment in which they are purchased (online, over the phone, as part of a subscription, etc.).
Compelling Evidence Highlights
Concisely explain the compelling evidence that is included in your dispute response, and point out the particularly important elements.
Needed evidence to write a chargeback rebuttal letter
What evidence should you include in your chargeback response? That depends on the chargeback reason code assigned to the case.
The card brands list specific requirements for each code based on the reasoning for the cardholder dispute. The following are some examples of supporting documents you might provide:
- Positive response codes from identity verification tools like CVV, AVS, or 3D Secure
- Email conversations between you and the cardholder
- A sales receipt, order form, or contract
- Deliver confirmation or usage logs
If you’d like to learn more about what supporting documents or compelling evidence should be included in a chargeback response, reach out to our team of experts.
Call to Action
Formally state what you want to happen — which is to overturn the dispute. It may seem like your motives are obvious, but it’s important to reiterate your purpose to the issuing bank.
How Should I Write the Chargeback Rebuttal Letter?
As you begin writing your chargeback rebuttal letter, keep these tips in mind.
We suggest you organize your content in a traditional letter format.
- Use a generic greeting or salutation like “Dear Sir or Madam” or “To whom it may concern”.
- Add the body of your letter.
- End with a closing like “Sincerely” or “Thank you for your time”.
It’s often a good idea to create a template for your chargeback rebuttal letter and repurpose generic information that is commonly used in your responses. This helps reduce the risk of errors or forgotten information.
However, you’ll want to customize each letter with dispute-specific information. Every customer experience is different; your response should likewise be unique.
Format your letter so it is simple for readers to identify the most important and compelling information. Elements like bold and bullet lists can enhance the user experience, making it easy to read your content at a glance.
Several people will be reading your rebuttal letter, so remember to be professional. Don’t be emotional or argumentative.
Also, remember the outcome — whether you win or lose — is based on how well you present your case. If no one can understand what you are trying to say, you’ll have a hard time winning. Check for spelling errors, typos, run-on sentences, grammar mistakes, and anything else that could confuse your message.
How do I send my rebuttal letter?
Here are a few things to know about submitting a chargeback response.
Before you submit your chargeback response, save a copy of the entire package, including the rebuttal letter. There are three reasons why this is helpful.
- You will save time. It will be easier and less time consuming to create future responses.
- You will improve accuracy. Working from a template will reduce the risk of errors and forgotten information.
- You can evaluate return on investment (ROI). Check to see which responses have the best win rates. Try different strategies and monitor their effectiveness.
Each chargeback has a response deadline. The deadline is determined by your processor, and timelines can vary significantly from one processor to another.
If you submit your chargeback response late, it won’t be accepted. Your case won’t advance, and you won’t have the opportunity to recover revenue. Therefore, it’s very important to submit your response before it expires.
Best practice is to submit your response at least three days before the expiration date. This allows time for the processor to follow up if items are missing or to resubmit if the first attempt didn’t go through.
When it comes time to send your chargeback response, make sure you adhere to your processor’s preferences. Expectations can differ. Everything from submission method to file type to document order can vary by processor.
Find out how your processor wants you to submit responses and then comply with what has been asked — no matter how unusual it may be. If the processor wants you to fax the package last page first, then do it!
Chargeback Rebuttal Letter Example
Now it’s time to put all of these tips to good use and start writing your letter.
The following is an example of a chargeback rebuttal letter. Feel free to use this as a general template to craft your own letters to support your case.
Business Name: Fiona’s Fashions
Dispute ID: 91827364
Dear Sir or Madam,
Fiona’s Fashions is a high-end boutique that sells luxury women’s apparel and accessories online.
On March 28, 2020, first-time customer Rose Nylund purchased one of our most popular handbags. On the same day, the merchandise was shipped and Rose’s credit card was charged $389.74. On April 1, 2020, Rose received the handbag and signed for delivery.
Because most of the merchandise at Fiona’s Fashions costs more than the average clothing purchase, we take great care to provide exceptional customer service before and after the transaction. Our product descriptions are extremely detailed, we follow up with customers after each purchase to ensure satisfaction, and our refund policy allows product returns for any reason.
But despite our best efforts, Rose Nylund disputed the transaction on May 19, 2020, claiming that the product is counterfeit. We are disputing this claim with evidence that validates the quality of our merchandise.
Because dispute #91827364 was submitted with reason code 13.4 Counterfeit Merchandise, we are providing the attached compelling evidence. The following is an overview of what those documents contain:
- Before completing the purchase, Rose Nylund agreed to our terms and conditions which clearly state that customers can return merchandise if they are dissatisfied.
- Our customer service department exchanged emails with Rose seven days after she received the merchandise. Rose confirmed that the handbag was what she expected.
- Fiona’s Fashions has a certificate of authenticity from an independent, third-party expert for the item that Rose Nylund purchased.
As our policies clearly state, Fiona’s Fashions would have been happy to resolve any issues with Rose directly. However, she did not give us the opportunity. Moreover, the attached evidence proves the claims made in the dispute are not valid. For these reasons, we request the disputed funds be reversed.
Please contact our team if you have any questions about this case.
The customer service team at Fiona’s Fashions
In addition to the generic example above, we also have several other chargeback rebuttal letter examples that are customized by item sold, billing structure, and reason code. Download a copy today to make the letter writing process as simple as possible.
Rebuttal Letter Templates
Our complete guide has several different rebuttal letter examples. If any of the following characteristics are applicable to your business, this template can help you create winning letters that recover the maximum amount of revenue possible.
- Physical goods
- Digital goods
- One-time transactions
- Consumer disputes
- Processing Errors
Need More Help with Chargebacks?
A chargeback rebuttal letter is an important part of a winning dispute response, but it is just one small piece of your overall strategy. There are several other components that need to be optimized in order to achieve the best results possible.
At Midigator, we aim to remove the complexity of payment disputes. If you’d like a simple, effective approach to chargeback management that includes everything from preventing disputes to fighting chargebacks, we can help. Sign up for a demo today.