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How to prevent disputes

Dealing with card payment disputes: why they happen, how to handle them and ensure a smooth customer experience

Laura from Montonio avatar
Written by Laura from Montonio
Updated over a week ago

Why do disputes happen?

Allowing customers to pay with their cards at checkout is convenient for both customers and merchants. With this convenience comes a specific challenge: disputes.
Disputes occur when customers question a charge on their bank statement. While managing disputes can cause operational complications for businesses and can lead to financial losses, disputes are a common part of e-commerce and an expected risk when offering the ease of card payments.

Merchants have the power to mitigate this risk by embracing their role in dispute resolution and prioritizing the customer experience. By focusing on creating a positive and transparent shopping environment, merchants can not only reduce disputes but also build loyal customer relationships that are beneficial in the long run.

The responsibility of dealing with disputes

It's crucial to understand that dealing with customer disputes is part of online payments. When a customer encounters an issue, it's not just their problem; it's an opportunity for the merchant to step in and provide a solution. Here's why it's essential to embrace this responsibility:

  • Customer trust: When customers know that you are responsive and willing to address their concerns, it builds trust in your brand. They are more likely to shop with you again and recommend your business to others.

  • Protecting your brand reputation: Handling disputes gracefully can protect your reputation. Customers who have a positive experience resolving issues are less likely to resort to chargebacks or post negative reviews online.

Preventing disputes through exceptional customer experience

The best way to reduce disputes is to prevent them from happening in the first place. A significant portion of disputes can be resolved and prevented through a positive customer experience.

☝️ Most customers tend to contact the merchant before initiating a formal dispute, and typically, disputes are a last resort when resolution with the merchant isn't achieved.

  • Clear and transparent policies: Make sure your return, refund, and cancellation policies are easy to find and understand. Transparency helps customers know what to expect and minimises surprises.

  • Responsive customer support: Offer reliable and responsive customer support channels. Ensure that customers can easily contact you with questions or concerns, and be diligent in responding promptly. A fast response can often resolve issues before they escalate into disputes.

  • Proactive updates: Keep customers informed about their order status, shipping, and any delays. Proactive updates show that you care about their satisfaction.

  • Quality product descriptions and images: Provide accurate and detailed product descriptions and high-quality images. This helps set the right expectations and reduces the likelihood of customers receiving something different from what they imagined.

  • Managing customer expectations: Setting clear shipping time expectations and providing proactive updates about order status and delays can further reduce the chances of disputes.

If a cardholder contacts you directly and informs you of their wish to dispute a payment, act promptly to resolve the situation. Issue a refund, as appropriate, and inform the cardholder of your decision. This proactive approach can help prevent potential disputes, saving time and costs.

While these steps can reduce the risk of disputes, they may still occur. If a customer raises a dispute, you can learn how to handle it by reading our guide on How to handle Disputes. Providing detailed information to counter disputes is essential, and taking timely action at each stage of the process is crucial.

While the dispute process is managed by the cardholder bank and through Stripe, we're here to assist you, so feel free to reach out to us for help.

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