Dealing With Disputes

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

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Keeping our customers happy can prevent disputes and save lots of time, energy & money! When a customer feels as if they did not get what they paid for or they do not recognize an item on their statement, they can initiate a chargeback or dispute so they do not have to pay for the charge. Disputes can be very costly for business owners and that is why we wanted to give you a few tips for making sure you are taking the steps necessary to keep your customers happy and prevent disputes!

  • Deliver on your promises: Making sure that your product offering or service is what you said it would be is the number one way to prevent disputes! When a customer gets what they thought they were getting, there is no reason for them to dispute the transaction.
  • Have a clearly defined refund/exchange policy: If a customer decides they are not satisfied with your product or service, they need to know how to refund or exchange the item. If you have a specific refund time frame, restocking policy or all sales are final policy; make sure that your customer knows exactly what your rules are! Nothing sours a customer experience like not understanding your policies.
  • Be responsive when a customer lets you know there is a problem: If a customer calls to report a challenge you need to take immediate action. Listen to the complaint and work diligently to find a resolution that leaves the customer wanting to come back and do business with you in the future. Ignoring challenges, being slow to respond or not finding a resolution, will only alienate your customers and add extra expenses in the dispute department.
  • Check ID: One of the growing reasons for disputes are fraudulent charges made on credit cards. When you take the time to make sure that the person using the card is the actual cardholder, you let your customers know that you care AND you prevent free merchandise from walking out of your establishment!

Consumers need to make sure they take the necessary steps to prevent the unauthorized use of their card and they need to know that they have a right to expect business owners to deliver on their promises! Here are a few tips on the other side of the dispute issue!!

  • Check your credit card statement monthly: Mistakes happen so review your monthly credit card statement each month to verify that you have been billed properly. Sometimes online statements are not as accurate, since charges can be preauthorized- so review the monthly statement. Make sure to dispute any unauthorized charges or mistakes within 60 days to give yourself the best chance of getting corrections made.
  • Be aware of refunds/return policies: When you make a purchase, be aware of the store’s refund/exchange policies and be sure to follow the guidelines so you have no reason to dispute a charge later.
  • Call the store/company first: Many consumers call their credit card company when they have a challenge but the card issuing banks require that disputes are addressed directly with the business first. When you call the business, explain the challenge and see if you can work through a resolution. More often than not, a business owner will work to make you happy and everything will end well. If a business does not respond or does not work to find a resolution for you- it is time to call the card issuing bank and dispute the charge.
  • Require that businesses review your ID: In order to prevent unauthorized use of your credit card, start with the basics and get your ID out before each purchase. Let business owners know that you appreciate it when you are asked for ID (so many consumers throw mini temper tantrums, so your response will be most welcomed!!). Getting proactive about preventing credit card fraud can save EVERYONE lots of time & money.

Disputes are a pain for both businesses and consumers! Taking care of your customers (business owners) and making sure you are taking the steps to protect yourself (consumers), will reduce the time, energy & effort spent worrying about and dealing with disputes & chargebacks.

Cheri Perry 11/13/2012

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