What do you want to learn about?
- Retrieval requests
- Reasons for chargebacks
A retrieval request is a request for evidence of products sold, services rendered, or cash disbursed.
When a cardholder requests details about a transaction or disputes a transaction, we'll notify you by U.S. mail or fax (depending on your communication preference) and ask you to submit evidence of the transaction to potentially avoid a chargeback.
For more information about retrieval requests, please see Respond to retrieval requests and chargeback notifications.
A chargeback is a bank-initiated transaction that debits funds from a merchant's account and returns those funds to a cardholder. Depending on circumstances surrounding a chargeback, merchants may submit evidence to dispute a chargeback and potentially have the chargeback reversed.
When a chargeback occurs, we’ll notify you by U.S. mail or fax (depending on your communication preference) and, if applicable, describe how you can submit evidence of the transaction to reverse the chargeback.
For more information about chargeback notifications, see Respond to retrieval requests and chargeback notifications.
Chargebacks occur primarily because of friendly fraud and merchant errors, but criminal fraud can occur. See the following sections for details.
Tip: For information about reducing your risk of chargebacks, please see Prevent fraud and transaction disputes.
Friendly fraud accounts for a majority of all chargebacks and occurs when a cardholder disputes a charge that they or a family member knowingly made. Examples include:
- Customer wants a product or service for free.
- Customer never receives a product or service.
- Product is defective.
- Product or service doesn't meet a customer's expectations.
- Charge is greater than than a customer expects.
- Subscription continues after a customer cancels the subscription.
- Cardholder's family member purchases a product or service without the cardholder's knowledge.
Merchant errors account for nearly half of all chargebacks, and most errors are preventable. Examples include:
- Merchant charges a customer for an incorrect amount.
- Merchant duplicates a charge.
- Merchant doesn't refund an amount as promised.
- Merchant doesn't stop a recurring charge before the next payment date.
- Merchant ships an item late or to a wrong address.
- Merchant's customer service doesn't meet a customer’s expectations.
Criminal fraud, which accounts for only a small fraction of all chargebacks, occurs when someone other than the cardholder and who is not part of the cardholder’s family buys a product or service without the cardholder's knowledge. Examples include:
- Identity theft — Someone stole the cardholder’s identifying information and opened an account in the cardholder's name.
- Card theft — Someone stole the cardholder's credit card, debit credit, or account number.
- Hacking theft — Someone hacked a database or other digital space and stole the cardholder's account information.