What is a "dispute" (sometimes called a "chargeback")?

A dispute is when a cardholder calls their credit card company and says a charge to their credit card was illegitimate for any number of reasons (the cardholder didn’t authorize the charge or doesn’t know what it’s for, the cardholder’s card was lost or stolen, the purchase was intended but the merchandise or service was never received, etc). When a transaction goes through, a cardholder has up to 60 days to submit a “dispute” to their card-issuing bank, so this could come a number of days after a ticket sale takes place.

Sadly, the card-issuing banks default to the cardholder being right. That means that when a dispute is submitted, the money for that transaction (plus a dispute fee) is taken out of the merchant’s bank account immediately, and if you want to get your money back, you’ll need to fight the dispute by providing proper documentation of the transaction.

How can I avoid disputes?

We know disputes can be costly, and that’s why we’ve gone as far as humanly possible to help you prevent and fight disputes. Here are just a few of the things we do to prevent disputes in the first place.

  1. Minimize Fraud by Card Information. Most disputes occur when a card or card information was stolen, otherwise known as a fraudulent transaction. Because of that, the first step in minimizing disputes is to minimize fraudulent transactions. In order to limit the amount of fraudulent transactions going through, we match extended information such as the CVV/CVC value (usually on the back of a credit card), street address, and zip code. If they don’t match, the transaction is rejected.
  2. Minimize Fraud by Advanced Filters. We use Artificial Intelligence (AI), manual human reviews, and real-time connections to industry payment networks to assess the risk of each transaction and block potential fraud. You can read more on our practices here.
  3. Minimize Fraud Exposure by Maximum Tickets Per Purchase. As an event organizer, we let you set a maximum number of tickets per purchase. This can be helpful in limiting fraud exposure, because you can limit the size of a potentially fraudulent transaction (to say, 5 tickets instead of 500). This function can also be handy for making sure you get the chance to speak with (and potentially upsell) a large group that may be attending!
  4. Auto Refund Bad Transactions. Fraud can't always be caught before a transaction, but sometimes if can be caught after a transactions, but still before a dispute! If our fraud system finds a recent transaction that was since reported as potentially fraudulent, our system will reach out to you immediately with the option to immediately & pro-actively refund the transaction and disable the ticket. This would avoid any dispute penalties, and the hassle of fighting a dispute.
  5. Provide the Purchase Immediately. We provide printable/downloadable tickets immediately upon the completion of an online purchase. An email backup is also sent to the purchaser, but by providing the ticket immediately upon order completion, we avoid overactive spam filters or other reasons for possibly not receiving the tickets. If someone completes a purchase, they also receive their tickets!

What if I receive a dispute?

First off, don’t panic. A dispute definitely isn’t the end of the world. Here’s the process:

  1. You’ll receive a notice of the dispute in your "Disputes" report (Reports -> Disputes in your admin area) as well as by email (if you have that option enabled in your account settings). This will include documentation of the charge, and an option to provide further information for fighting the dispute. We automatically fight disputes with all the information we have, but if you can provide anything else it can only help! You’ll need to respond to this request within 10 days, but the quicker the better!
  2. The transaction amount and the $15 dispute fee will be withdrawn from your account.
  3. If you fight the dispute, and win, you’ll get your money back (plus the fee!). If not, the money will be refunded to the cardholder.

How do I fight a dispute?

You don't have to: we've got you covered! We automatically fight disputes for you. We have a ton of information about the transaction in question and we use all of that in fighting each dispute. But our chances of winning can only increase with your help! That's why the email notification you receive will also request additional details (if you have any) to help us fight the dispute. 

The list of items we hold on to is extremely long, but here are a few key items:

  1. Transaction Timestamp & Customer IP Address. We store as much information as possible, including the transaction timestamp and customer IP address. For e-commerce, this can be as good as a signature! 80% of dispute are currently initiated online, which means that the card issuer has record of the IP address of the card-holder. If that IP address matches the one we have on file it's an easy win!
  2. A Full Receipt for All Transactions. The more details the better, especially when someone says they didn’t receive what they expected to receive. When a copy of the receipt they received can be shown, it’s often enough to eliminate any doubt that they got what they paid for.
  3. In-Person Signatures. If a transaction is done in person, we provide the ability to gather a signature directly on the mobile device during the checkout process. A customer can simply sign with their finger. When a signature of the cardholder can be produced, that cardholder was likely present and in possession of their card.
  4. An Optional Ticket Signature Space. We’re also providing the option for venues to require a signature on the tickets. This can also be valuable for limiting legal liabilities by having customers sign directly on the ticket, stating that they understand the purchase and your event terms.
  5. If you have any additional details you'd like us to include in the fight, please send them to us at support@gopassage.com! This could be anything from information about the customer, to surveillance footage, to additional waivers you have them sign on-site.

With all of these precautions, we keep dispute rates to less than 0.15% of transactions. That’s less than 1/5th of the average rate in the event ticketing industry!

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