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How to Write a Chargeback Response

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Last editedJan 20233 min read

If you want to dispute a chargeback, the most important task you will undertake is composing a chargeback response.

The chargeback response is your opportunity to prove why the chargeback was unmerited, but is often far from straightforward. In fact, it can be an arduous, time-consuming process to put together.

In this article, we’ve compiled some tips and tricks to help you write a chargeback response that will lead to success in winning your case.

What is a chargeback response?

A merchant’s response to receiving a chargeback notice from the issuer is called a chargeback response letter. It can sometimes also be known as a chargeback rebuttal letter.

It is standard procedure that every business has the right to refute a chargeback claim if they believe it is meritless or a case of friendly fraud. If you can prove that the chargeback is unjust in your response, then the dispute will be settled in your favor. This means you can recover some of the revenue you lost due to the chargeback.

How to write a chargeback response

In order to successfully overturn a chargeback claim, you will need to present a highly convincing case that the chargeback is unjust. This will involve a well put-together statement, excellent presentation and thorough and compelling evidence to support your case.

This will include details about the transaction and the chargeback, such as merchant account ID, transaction ID, and chargeback amount.

You will also need to gather and present any evidence that contradicts the grounds for the chargeback. Some example of these documents include:

  • Confirmation of order delivery

  • Records of communication with the customer

  • Verification codes (AVS, 3D Secure 2.0 etc.)

  • Contracts

What should a chargeback response letter contain?

There are several elements you will need to include when writing your chargeback response. These are outlined below:

1.  Chargeback reason code

This will be referenced in the chargeback notice you received.

2.  Terms and conditions

It’s important that you include a copy of your customer terms and conditions in order to prove that the customer knew what to expect from the outset. Include any terms relevant to the transaction, including return, cancellation and refund policies.

3. Proof of delivery

If the customer has claimed a chargeback on the grounds that the item they ordered did not arrive (chargeback reason code is 13.1 - Merchandise/Services Not Received), you can refute this with evidence that the package was delivered.

4. A cover letter

A cover letter is a crucial element of the chargeback response as it provides an overview of your case and references all the documents and information you will use to build your response. A cover letter sample is included below.

5. Transaction information

Be sure to include any important transaction information, such as receipt, purchase order or invoice.

You should also evidence that supports your site security, such as AVS or 3D Secure responses.

6. Order details

Your response should contain order details acquired from the cardholder at checkout, such a shipping information. If you sell digital software, include computer logs and time stamps which demonstrate the customer accessed the goods after purchasing them.

7. Order history and customer service records

It can help your case immensely if you can prove that you tried to work with the customer to deal with their complaint or issue. Proof of this can take the form of screenshots of conversations, copies of email exchanges, telephone call transcripts and order history.

8. Images from your ecommerce site

Additionally, you can include screenshots of your website showing what the customer would have seen when purchasing from you. This will include the page of the purchased item (along with a description and images), the payment page, checkout and the confirmation of order page.

Chargeback response template

Below is a basic chargeback response template that can be adapted for use for your own rebuttal letter:

Dear [Name of Recipient],

I am writing this chargeback response letter in order to contest chargeback [ins. code] for [$]. The chargeback reason code is [ins code]. As we will prove with the attached evidence, the transaction referenced above reflects the legitimate purchase of a [ins. Item/service] from our online store. To support our rebuttal, I am attaching the following pieces of evidence:

  • Attachment A

  • Attachment B

  • Attachment C

If you require any further information, please contact me directly and I will endeavor to respond as soon as possible. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

[Name]

[Company]

[email address/phone number]

Avoiding chargebacks with GoCardless

Chargebacks are one of those things that all merchants are going to encounter at one point or another, and while an effective chargeback response letter can help to reduce the number of successful chargebacks that you face, there are plenty of other ways to avoid dealing with chargebacks in the first place. 

One of the most effective methods is to provide customers with alternative ways to pay. GoCardless enables businesses to collect payment directly from the customer’s bank account via Direct Debit. Not only does this reduce transaction fees, but minimizes the number of chargebacks that you can expect to face.

Bottom line: GoCardless puts you in control of incoming payments, integrating seamlessly with 300+ partners, including major invoicing software like Xero.

We can help

GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.

Over 70,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

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