Time to read you your rights. Even within a system that is so thoroughly pro-cardholder, and thus merchant-unfriendly by proxy, merchants do have rights when dealing with chargebacks. Like most other rights, they only offer protection to those that know them. Take the following to heart and position yourself to redeem them for maximum protection.


You’ll be given reason codes. Each and every card association has an exhaustive list of reasons for a chargeback. Each reason has a code and you will receive that code when notified of a dispute.

    1. Merchants are protected against late delivery. Late delivery does not have a reason code. If a purchased item arrives after it was promised, the customer must take up the issue with the merchant and not the issuer.
    2. There is a mandatory waiting period. Issuers must wait 15 days after they receive a dispute before it can become a chargeback. The issuer or card scheme reviews the dispute at this time to determine if the merchant is at fault. This also affords merchants some time to deal with a customer.
    3. Chargebacks only apply to the item purchased. If the item in question was delivered, cardholders can not chargeback shipping, handling, or any attendant fees charged for order fulfillment.
    4. No chargebacks allowed for cashback. Cash-back transactions are final and can not be refunded or charged back. Could you imagine otherwise?
    5. Merchants have a right to representment. If you disagree with a transaction dispute for any reason, you can argue your case through representment. This almost invariably pertains to friendly fraud disputes.

Merchants don’t get to passively enjoy these rights, however. It’s incumbent on them to understand the terms and conditions of the card associations they process; that includes their various reason codes. A card scheme’s terms can sandbag a merchant’s rights with caveats and limitations. The more you know about these, the more prepared you’ll be.

The most important of these rights is the right to representment. Not exercising that right properly is tantamount to giving your revenue away. Be sure to review our resources on representment to ensure you’re in an optimum position to use it successfully. At ChargebackHelp, representment is our specialty. There’s nothing we like more than helping our merchants beat bogus disputes.

If you’re unclear about your merchant rights, or curious about protecting your revenue with representment, ChargebackHelp is here to help. Drop us a chat down on the right, shoot us an email, or go old-school and call us 1.888.821.5302.