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Old 15-05-2016, 07:44 AM   #1
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Smile The Credit Card Chargeback Guide

Singapore Credit Card Chargeback guide
  • Have you ever had a dispute with a merchant over goods or services that were not delivered after payment?
  • Have you ever bought something from a merchant but the goods were not as described?

Then you have one avenue to get your money back. The Credit Card Chargeback. Note that if you use a Debit card, the chargeback guide applies as well.

Credit card chargebacks procedures in Singapore are not widely known because banks do not advertise it. Most banks have the dispute form available online but it is not immediately obvious. DBS Bank does not even have the form online at all. In fact, almost all customer support officers in the banks will tell you that they cannot do anything to help you get your money back from the errant merchant. This is not true. The reason is simply because chargebacks cost the banks on both sides of the dispute, time and money to investigate and resolve. It is the bank’s duty to investigate diligently if they accept your chargeback case.

Terms to know
  • Issuer bank: This is the bank that issues you, the cardholder, your credit card/debit card.
  • Acquirer bank: This is the bank that facilitates the Merchant’s banking account. Sometimes they are called the Merchant bank.
  • Credit card association: Visa and Mastercard are the most widely known brands. They have agreements with banks to carry their brand. In return, Visa and Mastercard charges a fee called the interchange fee for transactions between issuing banks and acquirer banks.
  • Cardholder: You

Chargeback Timelines
  • 1st Presentment: This is when the acquirer bank presents your purchase transaction to your issuer bank. You will have between 30 to 60 days (for Singapore banks) after the purchase to file a chargeback.
  • Bank Investigation: Do note that when you submit a dispute, it is not immediate. The chargeback department of your bank will investigate the complaint thoroughly. They will deny or proceed with the chargeback. If they deny the chargeback, ask for an explanation as to why. Sometimes if you persist, they will eventually file the chargeback, make sure to properly explain your case in detail as to why the chargeback claim is valid. If they proceed, the department will then need time to prepare the case to avoid any technical errors. This will take about 30-60 days. If the case is straightforward, sometimes it can be sooner.
  • 1st Chargeback: Your issuer submits the chargeback to the acquirer or merchant bank. Acquirer has 30-45 days to respond. If the acquirer bank accepts the presented evidence, cardholders wins the chargeback. If the acquirer bank does not respond because the merchant in turn did not respond, cardholder wins the chargeback.
  • 2nd Presentment: Acquirer bank resubmits to issuer the original transaction with support documents to rebutt cardholder's claim. This will be another 30-45 days.
  • Pre-Arbitration: Issuer bank does not agree with acquirer bank merchant's reasons and files for pre-arbitration. At this point, the acquirer bank can accept or deny the pre-arbitration. If the supporting evidence is strong, the acquirer will accept the pre-arbitration and cardholder wins. If they do not accept the pre-arbitration, the case will move on to arbitration. Letters are sent to both cardholder and merchant to accept the responsibility of US$500 per transaction on top of the original charge if they lose. For MasterCard, it is the acquirer that files for pre-arbitration instead. This will be another 30-45 days.
  • Arbitration: At this point, the case is submitted to credit card association arbitration committee along with all supporting evidence submitted during the 1st chargeback and pre-arbitration phase. This will take another 30-45 days. The merchant's Terms and Conditions do not apply and the outcome of the arbitration is final. For Visa, if the charge is more than US$5000, you can file an appeal provided there is new evidence that was not available at the time of the chargeback/pre-arbitration stages. For MasterCard, there are no appeals.

Chargebacks and fraud.

Have you ever bought something from a merchant and you’re presented with a screen asking you to enter a pin? The pin is usually sent to your phone. This is the Mastercard Securecode or Verified By Visa 2FA.

By entering this pin and authorizing the transaction, the merchant is protected against ALL fraud chargeback codes. This is very hard to fight against because a bank will not admit liability when they advertise that their 2FA is working fine, because for most people it is. So if you lose your wallet and your phone, be sure to report it to the bank immediately.


Visa and Mastercard Chargeback reason codes. Note that not all options are available in the bank dispute forms.

Visa Chargeback Reason Codes
• 30: Services Not Provided or Merchandise Not Received
• 41: Cancelled Recurring Transaction
• 53: Not as Described or Defective Merchandise
• 57: Fraudulent Multiple Transactions
• 60: Illegible Fulfillment
• 62: Counterfeit Transaction
• 71: Declined Authorization
• 72: No Authorization
• 73: Expired Card
• 74: Late Presentment
• 75: Transaction Not Recognized
• 76: Incorrect Currency or Transaction Code or Domestic
• Transaction Processing Violation
• 77: Non-Matching Account Number
• 80: Incorrect Transaction Amount or Account Number
• 81: Fraud—Card-Present Environment
• 82: Duplicate Processing
• 83: Fraud—Card-Absent Environment
• 85: Credit Not Processed
• 86: Paid by Other Means
• 96: Transaction Exceeds Limited Amount

MasterCard Chargeback Reason Codes
• 4802: Requested/Required Information Illegible or Missing
• 4807: Warning Bulletin File
• 4808: Requested/Required Authorization Not Obtained
• 4812: Account Number Not On File
• 4831: Transaction Amount Differs
• 4834: Duplicate Processing
• 4837: No Cardholder Authorization
• 4840: Fraudulent Processing of Transactions
• 4841: Cancelled Recurring Transaction
• 4842: Late Presentment
• 4846: Correct Transaction Currency Code Not Provided
• 4847: Requested/Required Authorization Not Obtained and Fraudulent Transaction
• 4849: Questionable Merchant Activity
• 4850: Installment Billing Dispute
• 4853: Cardholder Dispute—Defective Merchandise/Not as Described
• 4854: Cardholder Dispute—Not Elsewhere Classified (U.S. region only)
• 4855: Goods or services not provided
• 4857: Card-Activated Telephone Transaction (fraud only)
• 4859: Change to Addendum, No-show, or ATM Dispute
• 4860: Credit Not Processed
• 4862: Counterfeit Transaction Magnetic Stripe POS Fraud
• 4863: Cardholder Does Not Recognize—Potential Fraud
• 4870: Chip Liability Shift
• 4871: Chip/PIN Liability Shift

Things you should know before starting a chargeback dispute.
  • Have you contacted the merchant to resolve the problem?
  • If you received a wrong item, did the merchant offer to replace them?

The banks and credit card associations require that you do this and provide some sort of proof that you attempted to contact the merchant to resolve the matter. Keep any email communication that you have with the merchant. The bank WILL reject your chargeback attempt if you do not have any proof of communication with the merchant.

When was the transaction?

This is very important, some banks state that you have to file the chargeback within 60 days of the transaction or within 2 billing cycles. Any longer than that and you lose the right to file a chargeback.
Leave your feelings at the door when writing your complaint. The bank is only interested in whether your case describes one of the chargeback codes above.

Visa Pre-arbitration and Mastercard second arbitration chargeback.

When your first chargeback attempt fails, your bank will send you the rebuttal documents from the merchant stating why they are refusing to accept the chargeback. Read through the documents carefully and check whether they truly address the issue that you have initiated the chargeback for. If the issue is addressed, you will need to consider if you were actually rightfully charged. If the issue is not addressed, usually because of something else that is not in the documents, then you will need to submit to the bank and highlight the issue that you have initiated the chargeback for that the merchant did not address in their rebuttal documents.

The banks will then ask you sign a document stating that if the case goes to arbitration and if you lose, you will need to pay US$500/per charge plus fees if any on top of the original charges. The merchant will be sent the same letter as well. If you think the merchant did not address your issue and you feel that you have a strong case, then you may consider risking the case going to arbitration. However, if you feel that the merchant has addressed the issue and that they have provided strong evidence against it, you may need to consider accepting the original charge.

Most cases will end at the pre-arbitration stage as merchants/cardholders do not want to risk paying the US$500 fee.

When a case goes to arbitration, Visa or Mastercard’s decision is final. The arbitration committee will consider all evidence submitted during the first chargeback and Visa pre-arbitration/MC second chargeback phase. No further documentation is allowed during this stage so it is important that you submit as much documentation to strengthen your case during the first chargeback/Visa pre-arbitration/MS second chargeback phases.

A merchant will most likely lose if the original complaint by the cardholder was not addressed. A cardholder will most likely lose if the original complaint was addressed and there are no further evidence to rebut the evidence.

Dispute form Download
Citibank
https://www.citibank.com.sg/global_d...isputeform.pdf
Standard Chartered
https://www.sc.com/sg/useful-forms/e...form_final.pdf
UOB
http://www.uob.com.sg/personal/cardt...isputeform.pdf
OCBC
https://www.ocbc.com/assets/pdf/ddf-cc.pdf
DBS/POSB
http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php...99357771421627

How to decide if a service/product was not provided or a service/product was not as described by the merchant?

Example 1. You bought a pair of black shoes from a website, the website product description says “Black shoes”. The merchant sends you a pair of grey shoes. You email the merchant a photo of the pair of shoes and inform them that the product was not as described and they insist that it was a pair of black shoes. The label on the shoebox says “Black”. You send the shoes back to the merchant but merchant says they will take 3 months to fulfil you order and that they do not provide refunds. What do you do?

Fill up the dispute form for the respective bank above and select product/service not as described. Attach a screenshot of the website with the item description. Attach a photo of the pair of shoes you received. Attach a screenshot of the email conversation with the merchant. Attach the airway bill to show proof that you returned the shoes.

In this case, the bank will most likely rule in your favor because you have fulfilled the requirements of the chargeback and also it is unfair for the consumer to wait 3 months for the order fulfillment as most chargeback rights will lapse after 3 months.

Consumer tip: Checkup on the merchant and their returns and refunds policies. A good merchant will always have an acceptable return policy (7 or 14 days) and a refund policy (upon receipt of the merchandise on their end).




Example 2. You subscribe to an online trading company and deposit $100, your intention is to learn to trade and you do not mind losing the $100. You receive a call from a representative of the company stating that you should invest more, he tells you that he will be your account manager and will teach you to trade. He tells you to invest more to earn more and that he will follow risk management and help you to trade only 5% of the account. He helps you to trade $5 each trade and all of them won returning you $8 per trade. You think it sounds good and you deposit $1000. The next day the account manager trades the entire $1000 and loses it. You realize that all conversation was by phone and there are no email conversations or chat conversations.

What do you do?

The above example is tricky because it is difficult to establish culpability. If you submit the case as service not provided, stating how the account manager did not provide the risk management service. The company will then rebutt and state that the service of providing a trading platform was indeed fulfilled and that you have no case in which your first chargeback will fail. If you decide to go to arbitration, you will likely lose because there was no evidence of your conversation with the account manager. And also the company did provide the trading platform service.

Consumer tip: If at all possible, try to get email and skype chat documentation to strengthen the case. Or avoid all dodgy online trading companies.


Sample dispute letter to the bank.

Chargeback response – (You) VS (Merchant)

Dear Sir/madam,

In this letter, I will provide you with full evidence to back my chargeback claim against (Merchant), as follows:
1. Basis of claim is Visa chargeback code 53/Mastercard chargeback code 4853, services/product not as described.
2. The black shoes I bought online were delivered and they turned out to be grey. Shoe picture exhibit A
3. The website shows a pair of black shoes. Website picture exhibit B
In email screenshot exhibit C attached, I have attempted to resolve the matter with the merchant and the merchant stated 3 months to fulfil my order of a pair of black shoes. They also do not attempt a refund. I have included proof that I have sent the items back to the merchant in airway bill exhibit D.

Please let me know if you require any clarification or additional evidence to resolve my claim and return my funds.
Sincerely
(You)
Important!: Do not attempt to lie to the bank. If the merchant provides rebuttal documents, your chargeback will fail.

Example. You bought something from a store, you signed for the purchase. You decide to participate in friendly fraud and file a chargeback. The merchant rebutts and provides CCTV camera footage of you, and the signed slip with a matching signature that matches the credit card signature at the back.


How long does it take to resolve a dispute?
Usually within 2 billing cycles. However some chargebacks have been known to take up to 6 months. So be prepared for the long haul. And good luck.

What is the minimum amount that I can chargeback?
Any amount that is charged to your card can be charged back. However if the amount is small, for example, less than $100. Most banks will simply accept the chargeback and provide a courtesy credit, thus taking the loss. The chargeback must of course be a valid one. It is not in the banks' interest to pursue a case that will result in significant loss to them as the chargeback process is expensive to both sides.

Important: You must always attempt to resolve the issue with the merchant first. Document ALL conversations and communicate via email if at all possible. Chargeback only as a LAST resort.
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Last edited by Chargeback; 15-05-2016 at 07:47 PM..
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Old 15-05-2016, 07:49 AM   #2
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American Express Chargeback Guide

Most of the above guide above applies except for a few differences.

AMEX Chargeback form link.

http://www.americanexpress.com/austr...ex_dispute.pdf


American Express : Issuer and Acquirer

American Express is not part of any card association that has member banks interact directly with cardholders and merchants. It is both the issuer and acquirer meaning the cardholder only has to interact with one financial institution.


Like a MasterCard or Visa chargeback, the process starts when a cardmember contacts American Express to dispute a transaction.

Using the abundance of information available (gathered while acting as both the issuer and acquirer), American Express will review the dispute and handle the situation in one of three ways.

American Express will…
  • Dismiss the case and inform the cardmember that the charge is valid.
  • Send an inquiry to the merchant.
  • Issue an immediate chargeback.

There are no second chargebacks or pre-arbitration for Amex unlike Visa and MasterCard. Amex accepts or rejects your chargeback case. If they accept it, please provide as much evidence as you can.

Inquiries and Copy requests

MasterCard and Visa regularly use copy requests to gain more information from the merchant. Similarly, American Express makes inquiries with the merchant.

Usually, American Express is able to settle all transaction disputes based on the in-house information. In the rare situations where the financial institution doesn’t have the necessary information, an inquiry will be issued to the merchant. At that point, the merchant has 20 days to respond.

The merchant can respond in one of four ways:
  • Authorise the chargeback.
  • Issue a credit or supply evidence of a previously-issued credit.
  • Issue a partial credit (and evidence to support the reduced refund amount).
  • Provide sufficient evidence to validate the original charge.

To validate the charge, the merchant will need to provide items such as:
  • Email communications that confirm successful delivery or purchase satisfaction
  • Delivery confirmation
  • Signed policies or terms of service

Four outcomes are possible when merchants are issued inquiries:
  • The inquiry response successfully settles the dispute in the merchant’s favor.
  • A chargeback is issued because the merchant failed to respond to the inquiry or didn’t reply within the 20 day time limit.
  • A chargeback is issued because the merchant replied to the inquiry with inaccurate or insufficient documentation.
  • A chargeback is issued because the merchant authorised it.
  • Immediate Chargebacks

In most cases, American Express will issue an immediate chargeback to the merchant; few situations require an inquiry. In fact, if a merchant experiences high inquiry rates, American Express will advance the dispute process by issuing immediate chargebacks to that merchant. Inquiries will no longer be sent.


Chargeback Codes
  • C02 Credit (or partial credit) Not Processed
  • C04 Goods / Services Returned or Refused
  • C05 Goods / Services Cancelled
  • C08 Goods / Services Not Received
  • C14 Paid by Other Means
  • C18 “No Show” or CARDeposit Cancelled
  • C28 Cancelled Recurring Billing
  • C31 Goods / Services Not as Described
  • C32 Goods / Services Damaged or Defective
  • M10 Vehicle Rental — Capital Damages
  • M49 Vehicle Rental — Theft or Loss of Use

Edited and summarized from Chargebacktech.eu

Last edited by Chargeback; 20-05-2016 at 07:45 PM..
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Old 15-05-2016, 07:50 AM   #3
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For Amex cards that are issued by banks and not Amex themselves, please follow the Visa/Mastercard guide and use the banks chargeback form. When writing your chargeback, you need not put in the chargeback code number as the bank will do it for you if the chargeback is accepted.

Last edited by Chargeback; 23-06-2016 at 03:31 PM..
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Old 15-05-2016, 07:50 AM   #4
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3 Reserved....
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Old 15-05-2016, 10:54 AM   #5
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• 53: Not as Described or Defective Merchandise
Does this apply to hotels/accomodations?

Say you took advantage of a promotion offered by a hotel, which require full pre-payment and is non refundable.
When you check into the hotel, you realized the room is not what was described in the promotion page i.e run down condition, smaller room etc. The hotel subsequently refuse to refund your money citing photo used as templates.

What would be the chance of Visa/Mastercard refunding your money in a chargeback filed?
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Old 15-05-2016, 11:03 AM   #6
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Does this apply to hotels/accomodations?

Say you took advantage of a promotion offered by a hotel, which require full pre-payment and is non refundable.
When you check into the hotel, you realized the room is not what was described in the promotion page i.e run down condition, smaller room etc. The hotel subsequently refuse to refund your money citing photo used as templates.

What would be the chance of Visa/Mastercard refunding your money in a chargeback filed?
Yes, Visa code 53 can be used to chargeback against hotel room reservations. However, you must take note of the website description, did it say "Pictures used for illustration purposes only" or something similar? If the website does NOT say this at all, then you have a case, if you can provide pictures that you took.

You must also have NOT checked into the hotel room and instead refuse to check into it citing that it was not as described. The bank will not process your chargeback if you checked into the hotel room because you have 'consumed' the service knowing that it was not as described.

Hope that helps.

Last edited by Chargeback; 15-05-2016 at 04:18 PM..
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Old 15-05-2016, 03:42 PM   #7
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Thanks for sharing, this is very informative.
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Old 15-05-2016, 04:03 PM   #8
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Very informative, but the last bit, what's in it for you?

If this thread is ruled as advertising, the very detailed info will be gone, which would be a shame.

Sorry if I sound rude and you're doing it 100% out of courtesy.
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Old 15-05-2016, 04:12 PM   #9
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Very informative, but the last bit, what's in it for you?

If this thread is ruled as advertising, the very detailed info will be gone, which would be a shame.

Sorry if I sound rude and you're doing it 100% out of courtesy.
Hi I have removed the email address. There is nothing in it for me as I have been somewhat of a reluctant "expert" due to my own chargeback experience. I have spent months reading various chargeback stories on the internet and doing my own research into the technical aspects of the process. I'm here just hoping to be of service to fellow Singaporeans who are not aware of the chargeback facility that they are entitled to.
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Old 15-05-2016, 04:18 PM   #10
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That's great. I don't think there's problem with the email if you're doing it pro bono.

My hats off to you and hopefully I don't need to ask for your help!
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Old 15-05-2016, 07:48 PM   #11
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I thought chargeback window is 120 days from transaction date?
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Old 15-05-2016, 07:57 PM   #12
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I thought chargeback window is 120 days from transaction date?
It depends on each bank. MasterCard itself states the chargeback time limits of 45, 60, 90, 120, and 540 days.

Please find out from your bank as each bank is different.
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Old 16-05-2016, 03:18 PM   #13
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Does this apply to hotels/accomodations?

Say you took advantage of a promotion offered by a hotel, which require full pre-payment and is non refundable.
When you check into the hotel, you realized the room is not what was described in the promotion page i.e run down condition, smaller room etc. The hotel subsequently refuse to refund your money citing photo used as templates.

What would be the chance of Visa/Mastercard refunding your money in a chargeback filed?
Yes, Visa code 53 can be used to chargeback against hotel room reservations. However, you must take note of the website description, did it say "Pictures used for illustration purposes only" or something similar? If the website does NOT say this at all, then you have a case, if you can provide pictures that you took.

You must also have NOT checked into the hotel room and instead refuse to check into it citing that it was not as described. The bank will not process your chargeback if you checked into the hotel room because you have 'consumed' the service knowing that it was not as described.

Hope that helps.
I bumped into something similar as well for my Phuket trip. the resort I booked told me that their booking system experienced "overbooking" when I arrived at their counter.

They offered to transfer us to another sister resort, which is about 1-2 mins driving from the existing hotel, and a free upgrade to their VIP suite, which we didn't reject

So, do look at the terms & conditions closer for further clarifications on "clients rejecting alternative solutions offered by the service providers". and then determine whether is it worth fighting for a refund.
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Old 16-05-2016, 04:08 PM   #14
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very informative article, could i ask what if we engage an online money transfer service to buy something or book a hotel. let's say paypal, and we intent to get a chargeback, will the process be any different? As I seem to recall paypal has their own conflict resolution team as well
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Old 16-05-2016, 05:20 PM   #15
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very informative article, could i ask what if we engage an online money transfer service to buy something or book a hotel. let's say paypal, and we intent to get a chargeback, will the process be any different? As I seem to recall paypal has their own conflict resolution team as well
because the payment went through a 3rd party payment platform, probably you will need to check with Paypal's terms and condition for such matters first

and then with the bank or credit card company.
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