What is a disputed payment?
A disputed payment happens when a cardholder reports a transaction as fraudulent or erroneous with their bank. Often it happens when a customer doesn't remember or recognise the company or the payment.
Alongside fraudulent payments, transactions can also be disputed with the following reasons:
- Product Not Acceptable
- Product Not Received
- Credit Not Processed
If a TimelyPay transaction has been disputed you will hear from someone in the TimelyPay team.
What do I need to do if someone has disputed a transaction?
The best thing to do to start with is to reach out to the affected client, and highlight what the payment was, and what it was for.
The client can then either decide to withdraw the dispute, or keep it in place.
Do not refund the client while there is a dispute pending.
Should your client choose to withdraw the dispute you will need to request a copy of the letter of withdrawal or a screenshot of the re-billing as it appears on their statement once they have it and share it with the TimelyPay team. This will be used as evidence toward your case.
Any information you can provide the TimelyPay team about that transaction, client or appointment is critical in helping you win a dispute. Some examples of what is helpful to share include:
- Screenshots of texts, social media messages and emails between the client and the business
- Post-treatment notes
- Online customer reviews
- Photos/CCTV footage
Why can’t I just refund the client the disputed amount?
As the formal dispute process is managed by the cardholder's bank they will need to formally withdraw the dispute to ensure that you do not end up losing the dispute.
Once your client has withdrawn the dispute you will need to request a copy of the letter of withdrawal or a screenshot of the re-billing as it appears on their statement once they have it.
This will then be submitted as evidence for you against the dispute. If you do not do this you risk losing the dispute and having the funds withdrawn a second time after your refund.
What will Timely do if someone has disputed a transaction on my account?
Someone from the TimelyPay team will put some evidence together for the cardholder’s bank to show that the transactions were made via Timely.
This evidence will come directly from your Timely account and will likely include the following:
- Invoice for the payment
- Customer Communication (reminder messages, confirmation emails)
- Service Documentation (Appointment history)
- Cancellation policy (as seen on your booking page)
- Refund Policy (your cancellation terms shared on booking page and in confirmation emails)
What happens if I lose a dispute?
If you lose a dispute the TimelyPay team will let you know. The transaction value will then be deducted from your TimelyPay account to ensure the cardholder and their bank have their rightful funds.
Disputes are decided by the cardholder's bank, according to the bank’s process. The steps TimelyPay and Stripe follow to respond to the dispute and submit evidence are rigidly defined, but the decision made by the bank can be affected by a number of factors. Often the decision on who wins a dispute comes down to a judgement call by the bank. TimelyPay and Stripe have no way to affect this judgement call beyond submitting evidence on your behalf.
For these reasons, the TimelyPay team cannot gain access to any further insight into how specific judgements are reached.
The last thing to note is that you will see a dispute charge of $25 in Australia and New Zealand and £15 in UK/EU against your Timely account. This is a charge applied by the card brands and passed on by Timely. Unfortunately, that charge applies regardless of whether the dispute is upheld, won, or waived. There isn't much we can do about this, it's part of the card scheme regulations.
What happens if I win a dispute?
You’ll be notified by the TimelyPay team and the client will be re-charged by their bank.