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We’ve had more than our share of charge-backs due to no fault of our own. I think sometimes we even see a spike in charge-backs after the likes of an ill-informed Current Affair story gets a run, telling the ‘viewers’ they have every right to claim a charge-back. Our experience is that no matter what our policies state, if the card holder claims a charge-back, the bank will process in the the card-holders favour every time! The scenario we had a few weeks back was a great example of how the system can work against business:

1. Card-holder contacted back requesting a ‘please explain’ on a transaction they saw on the statement.

2. Bank contacted us (the Merchant) with a ‘please explain.

3. We provided the bank with proof of purchase and authority the charge to card-holder. We also contacted the customer directly to explain the transaction to them.

4. The customer came back to us very apologetic. They advised that they had contacted their bank to cancel the charge-back, and their bank informed them to ask us to re-submit the transaction, rather than cancel the charge-back.

5. The initial charge-back against us was processed by the bank, and we were hit with the $25 bank charge.

Our bank manager wonders why I label his bank our biggest enemy in business!

They’re a law unto themselves.

We just build their costs into the cost of doing business. We don’t have much of a choice.

Sorry to turn a ‘charge-back’ question into a bit of ‘bank bashing’ but the two go hand-on-hand in our experiences.