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Many times, a merchant will have post-sale interaction with a customer and will consider the sale over and the deal completely done. They fail to recognize that chargebacks can occur well after an actual sale is processed and occasionally engage in communication that spurs consumers to act rashly.
This does not mean that one must be overly accommodating to customers who may be considering a chargeback or disputing their bill. In many cases, taking a hard-line in negotiations can prevent would-be cheaters from following through with their plans. One internet entrepreneur illustrates this clearly.
“I had a customer who was threatening a chargeback. She claimed she didn’t make the purchase at all. When confronted with the fact that the code on the back of the card matched up and that I had her correct address, she backed off a little. I explained to her that if she persisted, all of that information would be relayed to the credit card company. I told her that it sure looked like she had made the purchase—and if it wasn’t her it must have been someone else who knew an awful lot about her. Maybe a family member or a friend. I told her that I wouldn’t give in to a chargeback attempt easily and that I’d make sure a full investigation was made.”
This hard-line approach worked. “After hearing that, she changed her tune. She indicated that it must have been her husband and that I didn’t need to worry about the whole thing. I don’t know if the information I had opened her eyes to the fact that someone at her place made the buy or if my approach just convinced her it wasn’t worth trying to wriggle out of the purchase. Either way, the threat of chargeback disappeared.”
This story not only illustrates the potential power of taking a serious attitude toward those who are attempting to effectuate a chargeback. It also underlines the importance of acquiring good information (in this case a CVV2 code and using AVS) in order to prevent chargebacks after a sale.
When discussing matters with customers who may be contemplating a chargeback, the merchant must be firm and protective of his or her self-interests. That does not, however, mean that the merchant should act in any way that would upset a customer. Too hard an approach can actually encourage a chargeback.
Like any other negotiation, dealing with dissatisfied customers requires “people skills” and a clear understanding of one’s objectives. When conducted appropriately, these interactions can result in avoiding chargebacks.