Handling credit card disputes

How credit card disputes are resolved

Updated over a week ago

When you accept credit card payments, there’s always a risk that your client will dispute the validity of their purchase or simply not recognize the charge. Cardholders can initiate a payment dispute or a chargeback by asking their bank to reverse the charge. 

Unfortunately, HoneyBook doesn’t decide who wins or loses a dispute—that’s up to the bank that issued your customer’s credit card. However, our Disputes Resolution Team can help you make your case to your customer’s bank. Here’s how the process works:

Step 1: We notify you of the dispute, and dispute amount is held from upcoming payments

When your client initiates a dispute, their bank will do two things:

  • The bank will withdraw the disputed amount from HoneyBook on behalf of your client

  • The bank will contact us to get more information about the transaction

Holding the dispute amount

Since the bank needs to recover funds for the client as soon as the dispute is initiated, the amount of the dispute (plus a $10 dispute fee incurred from Stripe) will be withdrawn from the bank account you have linked to HoneyBook. This withdrawal is initiated by your client’s bank, and the funds will be held until the dispute has been settled. Resolutions by the bank can take 60-90 days, but rest assured that if the dispute is resolved in your favor, all held funds will be returned back to you!

Bank’s request for more information

Based on the details of the dispute that the bank provides, we’ll reach out to you to gather more information on the situation. In the email you receive, all known information about the dispute will be included, as well as what information the client’s bank needs from you for this dispute. 

Our goal is to advocate for you to your client’s bank, and the information you submit will aid in contesting the dispute. In the next step, we’ll detail what information might be helpful. We may reach back out to you if we think the bank will need more information.

📚 Tip

The bank only provides a short time frame to submit your information to them, so the sooner you can respond with the requested information—more info on that below—the better!

Step 2: You send us your supporting documentation 

If you’d like to proceed with challenging the dispute, you’ll need to respond with any relevant documentation you have that may help verify that the purchase occurred and products/services were provided. The bank will be looking for any evidence about the transaction to prove its validity—receipts, invoices, email correspondence, proof of delivery, photos, etc. 

The documentation you submit should help you directly contradict the client’s claim. For example, a signed receipt alone would not be effective evidence to challenge a dispute in which the client claims the goods were not received. Their bank would need to see proof of delivery, as well. The more evidence you can provide, the better!

📣 Note

The bank only provides a short time frame to submit your information to them. If you aren’t able to submit your information within the allotted time, we’ll have to move forward and respond to the dispute using the information about the disputed transaction that we already have, such as invoices and contracts you’ve sent via HoneyBook.

In the dispute email you receive, read over the details of the dispute, paying attention to what your customer is claiming (including the reason and the amount disputed). This will help you determine which transaction is being disputed, and which supporting evidence to submit. To submit your evidence, please respond via the form in the email. 

Once you’ve sent in your evidence, HoneyBook will send the information to your client’s bank. 

Step 3: Wait for the bank to resolve the case

As soon as you submit your information, we’ll forward it on to your client’s bank. It’s up to the bank to review the case, and it can take 60-90 days for them to make their decision. We’ll notify you of the ruling by email as soon as we hear back.

If the bank resolves the case in your client’s favor, your client will receive the funds back on their credit card. Unfortunately, when the bank makes its decision, it is final. 

If the dispute is resolved in your favor, there will be no further action for you to take! We’ll let you know, and the funds that were withdrawn initially—including the $10 dispute fee—will be deposited back into your linked bank account.

If the dispute is resolved in your client’s favor, the process will move on to Step 4. 

Step 4: Processing payment

If the dispute is resolved in your client’s favor, the funds that were withdrawn from your linked bank account (the amount of the dispute minus the transaction fee, plus a $10 dispute fee) will be processed in order to return the amount of the dispute to your client. No further action will be needed from you.

Still have questions? Feel free to send us a message by clicking the Question Mark icon on any HoneyBook page. Our team is always happy to help!

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