August 15, 2007


Credit Card Imprinters

Great article! I have been involved in the Canadian Merchant Account industry for several years and I see this frustration with merchants all the time. There are too many consumers who are abusing the system and Merchants do have to learn these things to protect themselves. The credit card processing companies puts the burden of proof on the merchants - I am not saying that is right, but it is what it is currently. This article offers some real gems in protecting yourself when you have a MO/TO type business.


Brilliant article and very informative. I agree that "Fraudulent" purchases are the bane for online merchants. I would also appreciate a copy of the form letters and the contact details of a good Collection Agency, and any other info you feel could be helpful for that matter.
Thanking you.

Sean Mulrooney

Great Article! Could you email me the form you use to send to the customers?



[QUOTE] This is very important: NEVER allow a customer to purchase after he or she inquires about your money-back guarantee. BAN THEM! After about a year of selling my products online, it occured to me that fully 100% of customers who called or e-mailed in advance to verify that a money-back guarantee existed returned the products for a refund almost immediately after receiving them! I now ban customers who inquire about the money-back guarantee, [QUOTE]

Fuck you you scam a customer i have every right to know if you stand behind your product...and if asking this question is a reason to be "banned", then it is obvious that you are a crooked POS and you are running a fly-by-night buisness
Go fuck-yourself


[quote]This is very important: NEVER allow a customer to purchase after he or she inquires about your money-back guarantee. BAN THEM! [/quote]
You are a piece of sh*it con-artist...not a is my right as a customer to know if you stand behind your product, which you are obviously not....

Connie Wallace

This article is great and the best I have read. I feel empowered now. I am going through a charge back...first one!
At first I felt like I am at the mercy of my credit card processor (Papal) and the customers credit card...Discover, but I know you can do more and rise above their piggish heads. I plan to hire a collection agency, send a bill, and I just reported the offending charge back jerks "Discover" to the Better Business Bureau for Theft! I have a customer who purchased 276.00 of merchandise, have proof of tracking, and proof of invoice, sale etc. I am in the RIGHT all the way, and this customer has the nerve to file an "unauthorized use of credit card" which then became a charge back. Now, my view is this? Why doesn't the customer's card do some investigating first before they give a customer their money back? This is aiding and abeting theft! Also I am left with the burden of proof and all the hassle. Still waiting on a decision from the HIGH KINGDOM credit card and my processor to say if it's ok if I get paid. That is BS! I plan to file a police report and fight this tooth and nails until I get paid!

Connie Wallace

Oh, and the latest, I have to wait 3 motnhs for the CC company to decide if my claim is legitimate. But it only took 24 hours for customer's CC to file the chargeback and my processor to remove the funds. They give you 10 days to repsond. What if you are on vacation? I just decided that it really isn't even worth waiting out the 75-80 days for anyone esle to decide if you should receive payment. It is all BS, and an insult to anyone's intelligence. I wouldn't even respond to the chargeback. Take the power out of the processor's hands and the CC hands and put it back in your own hands. It is your merchandise and your business. Send the customer a letter demanding payment, give them 15 days (not 30 and only accept certified check mailed certified so you have to sign for it.), if not received, then just go direct to a collection agency who only charges 25-30% At the least you recoup your losses. This whole chargeback reversal process is nonsense. It basically sides with the customer right off. They try to intimidate you so you don't fight it. Think about it...if it only takes a phone call from a customer to have funds reversed within 24 hours (you are guilty before proven innocent), then they only give you 10 days to repond...but now you have to wait 30 days for your processor to decide if they are going to fight it? Then wait another 80 days to see if CC is going to pay. GO DIRECT TO COLLECTIONS and save your sanity.


re "Posted by: Mike | July 19, 2008 at 05:03 AM"

Wow. I may have crossed paths with this Mike guy.
I was the customer (probably one among many he has raped).

Shopping for for an aftermarket (non-OEM) wide-angle lens for use with a Canon Powershot camera, I purchased from the "eBay store" of a volume seller (via PayPal, funded by cc).

Seller canceled/refunded the order & followed up with an email inviting repurchase "in a couple days, when we have them back in stock". Um, I also SELL on eBay... and am aware that this (advertising items for which you do not have physical possession) violates eBay's seller policies...

...but, instead of "calling a spade a spade" and suspecting the seller's offer to repurchase was a tactic designed to avoid ebay/paypal fees, I accepted the invitation to phone the merchant and repurchase direct, via cc. Naively, I also overlooked the fact that although I had called immediately (same day the email arrived informing the vendor's cancellation/refund of the ebay transaction) -- voila! -- yes, the product was in stock & available for immediate purchase.

On the phone, the seller verified my shipping/billing address & I supplied cc info. I declined his "out of the blue" invitation to purchase an "extended warranty" (WTF? the item is a fixed lens -- no moving parts) but *DID* accept his suggestion to "upgrade to expedited delivery" because my motivation in making the purchase was to have the lens onhand during our upcoming family reunion.

Here's what subsequently transpired:

cc was billed day of phone order
58.00 for the product
22.50 for expedited shipping

product (reputedly in stock) didn't ship for 5 days
product was shipped UPS ground (invoiced @ $22.50)

Once in hand, I sadly realized the lens was ABSOLUTE JUNK.
(ridiculous image distortion; severe color fringing)
Surely the "sample" photos which had been presented within the eBay were falsified -- not representative of the actual lens.

When I called the company (Mike's company?) to request a return, the "sales" rep told me that I needed to speak to someone in the "returns department" and provided a separate phone number. Across several days, I repeatedly called the number and no one ever answered... so I again called "sales" but the rep indicated that he (sales) wouldn't have access to generate/issue the required RMA# -- reiterating that I *had* to call the other phone number. More calls, across the following week, each unanswered except once when I called during the evening & got a recording stating the business name & hours of operation...

...until, ultimately, I called sales & explained (complained) that since the 30day mark was approaching, I felt I had no recourse other than to file a cc chargeback. Boom! Upon hearing that, the "rep's" tone was apologetic & he was suddenly, inexplicably, able to able to recite a six digit RMA#. I asked "Is there a separate address I need to return mail the product to?" No. No problem. Just mail it to the address on the package but be sure to mark the RMA# on the package.

I'm in Pennsylvania. "Mike's" outfit is in Manhattan, NY.
I sent the return package USPS priority, insured...
...and, a week later, by Day29, no refund had been issued. I called "sales" to DEMAND a refund be posted to my cc account TODAY or I *will* be initiating a chargeback TOMORROW.

Yeah, at that point, "Mike" had my money AND had his product back... and, in between fits of his baseball bat ranting, he basically accused *me* of being a crook, a scammer. "We're gonna do it by the book" he said "and I'll take care of the refund right NOW! Hold on while I run the transaction and get you a confirmation #... Here ya go (#xyzabc) If you're checking online, you should see it post to your account almost immediately."

After hanging up, I mused "Well, what a temper (attitude)... but, okay, issuance my refund had just fallen through the cracks."

I did, in fact, followup by checking online to verify that the refund had posted to my cc account. Aha! Sad joke -- and the joke's on me! No, I'm not taking this sitting down...

"Mike's" idea of a refund:
-- no refund on shipping
-- unconditional, non-negotiable 25% restocking fee

Yeah, damn right my followup was to place a chargeback.
In "explaining" the refund amount in response to chargeback, "Mike" cited the company's terms "as clearly posted on our website" (which, ironically, I had never visited).

In any event, the cc upheld the chargeback.
I received a full refund of the original transaction amount.
I lost the $10 return shipping & "countless hours" of hassle... and gained a "sad learning experience".

Mike, man... get a new business model, eh?

Sometime later, I happened to find an "exposé" website which let me know that my experience wasn't/isn't an isolated case.
Apparently quite a few "gray market" and/or "backstreet NY" photographic/electronics vendors exist, who:
Sell crap, scalp on non-refundable shipping FULLY expecting customer dissatisfaction upon receiving crap... and play the numbers, tricking customers into returning the crap so that you can turn around and resell it to the next chump.


Great article. I too am a merchant that accepts credit cards, but my chargebacks always involve customers who say they don't recognize the charge. I'm amazed how easily these charges are put in dispute without even requiring the customer to contact the merchant. Our website and phone number clearly appear on their statement but they don't even bother to call. We always win the dispute because we can easily verify that the product was received, but we are hit with the $15 chargeback fee. This really hurts when we often sell innexpensive products where our profit is less than the $15. Any suggestions on how to recover these fees?



Can you please refer me to a collection agency for chargebacks. I had a customer file a charge back for 1,300 for merchandise that had a tiny sratch and visa gave him his money back and let him keep the merchandise. It was up to me to try to collect the merchandise back and we all know they are not going to send it back once they got their money back....

Please email me a collection agency that handles chargebacks like this...



Can you please refer me to a collection agency for chargebacks. I had a customer file a charge back for 1,300 for merchandise that had a tiny sratch and visa gave him his money back and let him keep the merchandise. It was up to me to try to collect the merchandise back and we all know they are not going to send it back once they got their money back....

Please email me a collection agency that handles chargebacks like this...

R.L. Rasmus

This article is extraordinary. We run a nationwide online auction company and have been struggling to fend off unjust chargebacks for more than a decade. We've tried various means of recovery when our rebuttals are denied, but none have seemed to work consistently.

The idea of going to a collections service is a very interesting one to us. If the offer is still open, we’d love a referral for a good collections agency.



You should also have a chargeback policy on your website. Mine is very clear - customers who pull chargebacks *will* be reported to all major credit bureaus as a delinquent collection account. End of story. Even if they pay, they will still have a paid collection account on their credit for at least seven years; this is an extremely strong motivator against chargebacks and will be your primary weapon in motivating people to pay after disputing directly with your merchant bank fails. It’s also perfectly legal as long as the information you report to the credit bureaus is up-to-date and accurate.

Fuck you you fucking conartist!!!....
I hope that people will "charge you back" out of buisness you greedy dick....
You are trying to steal peoples hard earned money by sending tham your garbage product and when they realize that you fucked them over, you try to keep their money, like the low-life piece of shit you are, hiding in the shadows behind your computer in your basement....

Johnson Andrews


I have been using the similar process as you. I further do file a civil complaints against accounts larger than $500. Only about 5% of them show, and of those the judge has always found in our favor. Is it possible for you to let me know which collection agency you use?

Thanks for the excellent article!


Johnson Andrews,

Can you please explain the "civil complaints". How do you file them and how do they work?

Since this is all for internet sales and the customer is in another state, how do you do it?

Hope to hear from you... Just post on the forum...

Petar Petrov

I am glad I found your article. I have responded to some chargebacks we have with Visa/Mastercard, but no one of them were decided in our favor. That is why I will try your suggestions with the chargeback we just received. The reason for it is: GOOD FAITH EFFORT MADE UNABLE TO AUTHENTICATE RESPONSE.

Please send me a copy of your demand letter if possible and the contact information of the Collection company you work with. It would be greatly appreciated.

G Rich

Please email me name and number of a good collection agency. Also I will appreciate a copy of your form-letter that you send to a fraudulent customer giving him/her 30 days to pay chargeback money back. Thanks!



I believe under the uniform commercial code (UCC) for Visa and Mastercard, the client is only obligated to "make the merchandise available for pickup" by the merchant when we lose a chargeback. Under the terms and conditions we agree to, to be able to accept the cards, we also agree that it's up to us to pick the goods up.

If, the client doesn't make the goods available for pickup, and you can demonstrate that you have sent a call tag, or other proof that FEDEX came by the house to get the goods and they were not "available for pickup", often you can reverse the chargeback to your favor even after it's been closed.

As far as small claims goes, you can only file in the client's county. So, if you are in California and they are in Rhode Island, you would have to fly there to appear.

Also, even you have terms and conditions on your site that the client is forced to agree to at time of checkout (a checkbox next to a hyperlink to your terms) the terms stated in the Visa/MC merchant agreement will take precedence. You can include your terms in the rebuttal, and show the client's agreement to your terms, but in the end, it's what's in the merchant agreement with Visa/MC that will prevail.

I just read a review on Seems like a great concept (deny selling to anyone who appears in their chargeback database), but the graphics that come up when even a "good" client purchases would put me off. I do like the concept though.

Kelly W.

If you can send us collection agency recommendations that would be terrific.
Thank you for the great article and for your time.


I just stumbled on this article and it is extremely helpful. However I am wondering if these methods still stand in 2009, and if not, which ones have changed. We've experienced only a few chargebacks, but Meritus has been of no help to us and it's very difficult to win.

Sick Of Deadbeats

I love u! I am so tired of all the fraud customers. I have called some, asking why they have filed a chargeback after they recieved a refund, or after they recieved their product. And they actually think they have the right. I explained to one customer that it isn't nice because I paid for the products, I paid for shipping, I shipped it on time, I sent her free products, and now I have to pay $35 on top of the cost of her products and all because she thought the products looked like they were used? I package and ship my products myself. I know I do not & would not ever use a product before I ship it. What am I crazy? NO! I am an honest hard working small business owner who gets taken advantage of by the dishonest customers. I don't get it. How do other small business owners deal with this? how do u not take it personal?

Eric Gillette

This was a great and informative article. I have just reported another client to my favorite collection agency, -- they charge a flat rate of whatever they collect from the client, they report to all 3 major credit bureaus, and even report to Dun and Bradstreet if the client owns a business! So if you have clients that think they'll get off because you're only reporting their business, they'll be shocked to find out that they collection account appears on their business credit report with Dun and Bradstreet AND their personal credit reports with TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian as well! They have been successful in getting my money back in almost 98% of cases, and I am very happy with them. I deal with chargeback clients not that frequently, but when I do have the serial chargeback clients, I go after them tooth and nail until I get paid, because I don't work for free, and neither do you folks. Try and see what they can recover for you! =0)


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I am a start up company and have been running for 4 months now. I have one customer that keeps threatening me with charge backs if I don't do what he wants me to do. I brought this issue up with my merchant provider and they said that if I get a charge back they would probably drop me as there provider. So to make a long story short and over $500 of loss revenue I have done everything and more this customer has asked and he is still threatening a charge back. After reading this article I fill more confident how to handle this customer and future customers like him. Only wished I had found this article when I started my business. If you could send a collection agency referral via email to me that would be appreciated. Thank you for the helpful info.


Please note, this is no longer my primary
email address. If you are trying to reach
me, please contact my helpdesk and
provide your full contact info so they
can forward it to me:

Thanks, and talk to you soon!
Frank Rumbauskas

***Follow me on Twitter***

Learn the secrets of Google AdWords:

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