A dispute is when a customer contests a payment made with their card. Handling disputes from customers can be one of the most unpleasant parts of running a business. The best way to avoid that unpleasantness is to stop disputes from occurring in the first place. There are a number of tactics you can use to do this, which are discussed in this document.
It’s also helpful to keep in mind that there is always some risk that a customer will dispute their purchase, regardless of the payment gateway or platform you are using for your store. In other words, your goal should not be to have absolutely no disputes. Rather, your goal should be to minimize the odds of a dispute occurring.
For guidance on how to respond to disputes after they’ve been filed, please refer to the document on managing disputes.
The more information you collect about your customer during the checkout process, the easier it is for their bank to verify that the purchase is legitimate. You should strongly consider collecting the following details, even if they aren’t strictly necessary for your own business operations.
- Customer name
- Customer email
- CVC number on their card
- Full billing address and post code
- Shipping address (if different from billing)
Many disputes occur because customers are unhappy with the product or service they received. If you are helpful and responsive to your customers (for example, by handling issues quickly or refunding orders in a timely manner), they will be less likely to file a dispute.
Here are some specific tips that may help prevent disputes:
- On your website, make your contact details, refund policy, and customer service information easily available so that customers can reach out to you should they encounter any issues.
- Check to make sure that the default WooCommerce emails, which keep your customers updated about the status of their orders, are all enabled.
- Consider having a “Terms and Conditions” checkbox that customers must complete before placing an order. This makes your store’s terms more discoverable during checkout.
- If you ship physical items, provide tracking information to customers as soon as possible.
- Ensure that your store’s bank statement descriptor follows our suggested guidelines.
WooCommerce Payments has built-in measures to prevent fraud, but ultimately merchants are responsible for their own fraud prevention. We recommend reviewing your orders regularly and installing other plugins to help fight fraud.
If your site is attacked by card testers, we also have a checklist on how to respond.