In every dispute, you need to prove that goods and services were provided, and the cardholder either received them or agreed to pay for them. The reason for the dispute will be your main guide for gathering evidence.
Remember, your audience is the bank or network that issued the card. Be respectful, professional, and to the point. The validity of the evidence will do much more to win the dispute than a large quantity of evidence.
Evidence to Gather
The reason is the most important piece of information to know in picking evidence, creating statements, and writing narratives. Review the reason for the dispute and claim details if available. If no reason was available, reach out to the cardholder and inquire why they disputed. View the most common reasons and what to gather for each.
You need to make these points with evidence supporting:
- You provided goods and services for which your office incurred expenses and is due compensation for
- The cardholder either benefited from the goods or services you provided or agreed to pay for them on behalf of someone who did.
- The reason for the dispute is invalid
*A reason must be provided in every dispute, but because the networks do not all have the same standards for "other," Weave and its partners are not always able to provide a specific reason.
At times proving points one and two may inherently prove point three, such as with fraud. However, it's not always the case.
You set up a payment plan and the cardholder claims “you charged the wrong card” and the reason code is charged after canceling. You prove that you provided service and incurred expenses by providing an itemized invoice showing the cost for each item or service. You prove the cardholder agreed to and received the service by providing a signed service agreement or a receipt with the cardholder's name.
Even though you have evidence, you have still not yet proven that the reason for the dispute is invalid.
To win this dispute, you would need to provide a treatment plan showing that they provided the card, agreed to allow you to charge it, agreed to the dates you will charge it on, and that you provided them a proper channel to contact you and change the card on file. ie "If you need to change the card on file please email or text the office at least 5 business days before the next charge."
Here's what you should focus on proving:
For every dispute, you should provide evidence that your office either provided a service or a good or that you had reasonable expectation for compensation. You do not need to go to extremes to prove this. Invoices, Clinical notes, x-rays, treatment plans, expense reports, shipping documents, and receipts can all be used to show your office provided a service or good. For many dispute reasons, an invoice and a receipt are sufficient. If the cardholder is denying receiving or stating that a good or service was not as expected, you will want to focus on this type of evidence.
Every card network has different sets of rules about taking transactions using their cards. However, they all include that their cardholder must receive something of value or gain in order for the transaction to be considered valid in a dispute. The merchant is responsible for proving that the cardholder got the goods or services or at the very least they agreed to pay for them on behalf of someone who did.
The best ways to prove this are through a signed service agreement, a text or email originating from the cardholder requesting a good or service, tracking numbers, signed contracts, or a purchase history. If you are not currently able to provide one of these for all of your transactions, we highly recommend that you change your processes. Failure to prove the cardholder received anything of value from this transaction often results in lost disputes.
Transaction disputes are not arbitrary. They are not created by Weave or solely by the whim of the cardholder. There are good reasons for the dispute system. Card networks and card issuers are not the enemy or getaway driver for fraudsters stealing from your pocket. Their intent is to protect their cardholders and provide them reassurance to keep using the cards they are issued.
It may seem at times that the card issuer simply assumes the merchant is at fault, but unless they have good reason to believe otherwise, they assume all transactions are valid. A cardholder can not simply reach out to the card issuer to have a dispute and chargeback created. They have to provide the card issuer an explanation to justify why they should get the funds back.
This does not prevent a cardholder with selfish or malicious intent from providing false information. The card networks know this. As a solution, they offer an opportunity for the merchant to counter and provide evidence. This is why they provide the reason code.
There are too many dispute reasons, circumstances, and types of transactions to provide a full guide for every dispute reason and type of evidence. In general, you simply need to show the bank that the reason for the dispute is not correct or it does not justify the dispute.
There are many types of evidence you can submit. See the full list.
Here are some other tips to consider as you counter a dispute:
This is not a legal action and you are not speaking to a judge. Your counter may be to a massive card issuer, but it will be read and decided on by an individual person representing the card issuer. They will have a file full of dispute counters to read and make a decision on. You want to make sure you are not sending long, text-heavy documents when it can be avoided. When you do need to send long documents (such as with terms or refund and cancellation policy), use highlights, circles, and arrows to help them find important information and understand the meaning.
Provide concrete evidence whenever possible, including emails, screenshots of text messages, copies of terms, service documents, etc. In certain circumstances, you may want to use the Other category to upload a narrative. This could be to explain video or audio evidence you have. It may also be a good idea when the issue is complicated and may need clarification on the events leading to the dispute.
Keep any narrative short and to the point. Two or three paragraphs long with the first paragraph including the most important details. Try avoiding information that does not involve your evidence. The reader will not likely read or give weight to emotional arguments. They simply want to know if you can disprove the reason for the dispute.
Weave and our partners have a robust process for submitting evidence that significantly improves your odds of winning a dispute. One of the methods we use requires the evidence submitted to be separated into categories. This helps formulate your response so the evidence is easy for the card issuer’s representative to digest.
Combine any documents that fall into the same category into a single pdf. You do not need to submit evidence for each category. Here are the categories:
- Customer Communication
- Customer Signature
- Duplicate Charge Documentation
- Refund and Cancellation Policy
- Service Documentation
- Shipping Documentation
- Terms Disclosure
Always try to submit evidence in the Customer Communication, Service Documentation, and Customer Signature categories. Choose to upload evidence for categories that contend with the dispute reason.
You can upload up to 5 megabits of evidence in total and they must be either png, jpeg, or pdf documents. You can add multiple images to a pdf.
You can not upload video or audio files. If you only have audio or video evidence, we recommend you write a quick and precise narrative of what is on the files. Make sure to start the narrative by stating you have the evidence, what medium it is on, and that you will provide it on request.
We have a limited window to respond to a dispute. Your notification email will include a date to respond by. If you do not see it or it is confusing, reply to the Notification Email asking for clarification.
Send the Dispute Counter Information
When you are ready, reply to the email notification with a simple statement that you would like to counter the dispute, why your office should have the funds returned, and attach your evidence in separate pdfs labeled as the category. Your statement should not be longer than 3 sentences. The file size for all of your evidence should not exceed 5 MB.
Feel free to ask any questions in the email, and make it clear if you have additional evidence you would like to submit later. If you do not, we may submit what you have sent immediately, and we will not be able to submit evidence again.
Example of a counter statement: We would like to counter this dispute. The patient agreed to pay and was provided service. The customer provided the card and the name on the card matched the patient's ID.
What Happens Next?
Upon receiving your reply, one of our Payment Specialists will review the answer and respond to the dispute.
If you accept the dispute, we will accept it on your behalf. The dispute will be lost immediately, and we will notify you that it has been accepted. You will not get any funds back and will not need to take any further action on this dispute
If you are countering the dispute, we will review the evidence. We may make alterations to documents that are not legible or cut out documents that should not be sent. If we feel any other information may be needed or could improve your chance to win, we will email you again asking for that information.
Once we upload the evidence and the counter has been submitted, the dispute will move back to the card issuer, who may take 90 days or longer to make a final decision. Once Weave has submitted evidence, you can not add more info or change your response.
When a final decision is made we will notify you. If you won, we will return the funds to your account. That will appear in your payouts the business day after you receive the result notification.