If you've done business with us before, you've probably hear the term "chargeback" thrown around (it's the reason that part of event payouts are held for 60 days). If you're still a little unsure about what a chargeback is, how they arise, and how they're dealt with, read on to learn everything you need to know about this pesky part of the event marketing business.
What Is a Chargeback?
It is very important to know that a chargeback is not the same as a refund request: a chargeback is when a customer contacts their credit card provider to report a certain charge as invalid, and acts as the last line of defense that a customer has against fraud and bad business.
Upon doing so, the customer's credit card provider will then charge the amount back to the merchant, and the merchant ultimately loses a sale. Sometimes customers may dispute charges because they do not recognize the merchant, or simply because they changed their mind and no longer want to pay for the service/product they initially bought (we refer to these as fraudulent chargebacks). A customer has up to six months to dispute a charge to their credit card provider.
A merchant can receive a chargeback at any time of the year, but we have noted that the post-New Year's Eve period is the busiest season.
How We Deal With Chargebacks
If/when we do receive a chargeback, we notify our clients immediately. We then compile all the information we have about the purchase (such as customer and credit card details, AVS verifications, will call signatures, etc.) and send that information to the banks who then handle the rest of the process. If the customer's reason for the chargeback is "product not as described" or "services not rendered" we also request our clients to produce a report and photos (or any other evidence they have) to prove that the event was as described.
Finally, once the banks have completed their processes, we flag the customer's account and set the order as a chargeback.
We do our best to fight on our clients' behalf against any kind of chargeback, and we have several security measures/procedures in place in order to protect you against this kind of behaviour.
When a customer makes a purchase, we do everything possible to verify as much as their information as possible and make sure they are not fraudulent. This includes:
- Extra verification: A customer's CVV2 and zip code are always verified against the billing address on their order upon checkout.
- Enforcing purchase limits per credit card: We allow our clients to set purchase limits per credit card per event to protect against credit card fraud and prevent the chances of you receiving a hefty chargeback.
- Clearly identifying ourselves as the merchant: All of our charges now appear on CC statements with the URL www.ticketzone-charge.com so that customers can identify the origin of our charge.
- Direct customer contact: We always contact any customers making big purchases directly. We also verify their information in order to make sure they are not fraudulent.
- Cross-referenced member accounts: We can track a customer's order/s via their credit card details and IP address in order to verify purchases.
- Terms of Purchase: All our customers are encouraged to read these terms of purchase prior to finalizing their purchase.
What Can We Do If You Receive a Chargeback?
The most common reasons we receive for chargebacks are either basic fraud (ie. misuse or possession of a credit card) or claims that the merchandise/services were not received or not as described.
Both of these reasons are quite easy to dispute. However, whether or not you win a dispute depends purely on having the right evidence. The EASIEST way to fight back against a chargeback is by providing us with either the signed will call list or evidence that the tickets were scanned in (if you are using scanners at your event). Keeping an accurate will call list or using scanners are two of the simplest and most important ways of protecting yourself against chargebacks. Be sure to check the customers' IDs to ensure they match their credit cards. We will also do our best to support your dispute using evidence such as event photos, Facebook and Twitter updates, and any communication that we've had with the customer.
Another great way to protect yourself against chargebacks is having a strict door policy. We highly recommend you use a customer's ID to match their order and credit card details. While it may seem over the top, turning people away who cannot prove that they are who they say they are and refunding their ticket WILL send a quick and direct message to any fraudsters. Just make sure you make your customers aware of the policy upon purchasing their tickets!
For example, if you are making tickets available for collection at the door, you may enforce the following policy:
- Only the credit card holder may collect tickets
- The cardholder must provide government issue photo identification and the original card used for the purchase (the names on the ID and card must match). Photocopies, bank documents, and replacement cards will not be accepted.
Finally, reach out to us if you have any concerns. No one knows your customers as well as you do, so if you ever have any doubts about an order simply contact us and we can verify their details for you (for example, we can ask them to sign an authorization form for the purchase and provide us with copies of their card and ID).
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