Learn how to effectively respond to disputes.
When a cardholder files a dispute against a payment, their bank alerts Zip and Zip notifies you via email and in the Zip Merchant Portal. The notification email provides a link to the Disputes page in the Merchant Portal, where you can learn more about the reason for the dispute and take appropriate action.
When you receive a dispute notification, take action to resolve it before the deadline. Failing to respond to a dispute results in irretrievable refund to the account holder and a dispute fee charged to your account.
1. Review the dispute category
When you get a dispute, the corresponding category or reason appears in the Merchant Portal.
Each dispute category specifies different response requirements and recommendations to make it effective in addressing the root claim from the cardholder, so your first step is to review our response guidelines for the category of your dispute so you can collect the best set of evidence to counter the dispute claim.
2. Work with the customer
When possible, the Dispute details page provides you with a copy of the bank’s submission to Zip, based on the account owner’s claim, and a means to email the customer. Reviewing the claim and contacting the customer may give you insight to better understand the complaint and help you decide how to proceed.
Be sure to keep a record of all communication with your customer during this process, as it can be helpful evidence to submit with your response.
3. Decide to accept or challenge the dispute
When you have a clear picture of the dispute details, decide whether you will accept or challenge the dispute. Consider the following questions in your determination:
- Is the account owner’s claim valid?
- If not, do I have the evidence required to disprove the claim?
- Can I convince the account owner to withdraw their dispute if I resolve their complaint amicably, for example, by offering a store credit or a replacement item?
When you’ve decided how to respond, select the corresponding button on the Dispute details page in the Merchant Portal:
- Accept dispute submits a response to the issuing bank affirming that you agree to refund the customer for the disputed payment and pay the dispute fee. The remainder of the order, if any, remains unchanged.
- Counter dispute opens a form that guides you through the submission process, prompts you for evidence that is relevant to the dispute type and your response type, and allows you to easily upload supporting files.
You can’t address a formally disputed payment (such as by refunding the customer directly) outside this process because the issuing bank has already refunded the account owner through the chargeback process and you risk refunding the customer twice.
4. Submit evidence through the Merchant Portal
You have only one opportunity to submit your response. Zip immediately forwards your response and all supporting files to the issuing bank and you can’t edit the response or submit additional files, so make sure you’ve assembled all your evidence before you submit.
Click Counter dispute to open Zip’s dispute response form.
Tell us about the dispute In the first page of the form, tell us the product type of the original purchase. This information along with the dispute category helps Zip recommend the most relevant evidence to support your challenge on the next page of the form. For example, if your counter to a customer’s claim that they canceled a subscription for an online service is that the customer agreed to a minimum term, it doesn’t make sense to ask you for shipping and tracking details.
Assemble your evidence
The second page of the form has a dynamic set of sections representing the most relevant details you can provide for your individual case.
In the Supporting evidence section, use the File Upload tool to attach evidence that matches the checklist of evidence types relevant to your dispute type and counter argument. For each uploaded file, specify which type of evidence it satisfies. You can only submit one file per type of evidence, so if you have several files representing one type of evidence, combine them into a single, multi-page file.
Consider the following guidelines to make sure your supporting files are effective:
Consult the evidence recommendations for your specific dispute category.
Organize each piece of evidence according to the evidence type it satisfies.
Combine items of the same evidence type into a single file.
Check that your evidence files don’t exceed the combined size limit of 5 MB.
Banks evaluating the dispute won’t review any external content, so don’t include:
Audio or video files
Requests to call or email for more information
Links to click for further information (for example, file downloads or links to tracking information)
- Background evidence
The other sections of the second page vary depending on the dispute type and your answers in the first page. When your integration supports it, Zip automatically captures the data for these sections and pre-populates the form fields in the Merchant Portal, but if any of these fields aren’t pre-populated, include as much as you can before you submit your response.
These sections can include:
- Shipping details
- Refund policy details
- Customer details
- Product details
- Submit evidence
Click the checkbox to acknowledge your understanding that your response is final. Once you click to submit, Zip automatically puts the evidence you provide into a format accepted by the issuing bank and submits it for consideration. At this point, you can’t amend what you’ve submitted or provide any additional information, so make sure you have included every relevant detail.
5. Check the dispute status
After you submit a response, the status of the dispute changes to Reviewing. When the issuer informs Zip of its decision, the dispute status in the Merchant Portal will be updated to one of the following:
- Won indicates that the bank decided in your favor and overturned the dispute. In this case, the chargeback is reversed and the original purchase amount, plus the dispute fee, are credited back to your account.
- Lost indicates that the bank decided in the account owner’s favor and upheld the dispute. In this case, the refund for the dispute amount is permanent and the dispute fee is not returned.