Top 5 chargeback reason codes

Determine what documentation to submit to fight your chargeback by finding your reason code below.

If you’ve received a chargeback, Wave will contact you via email to notify you and provide details of your case, including the reason for the chargeback. This “reason code” is important, because it helps you plan the documentation you need to counter the customer’s claim.

Common reason codes

These are the five most common reason codes Wave receives, along with recommended documents you can use to respond to each one. If you don’t have some of the items listed, consider adding them to your business process going forward to help protect your business.

Fraud/No Cardholder Authorization

The cardholder does not recognize the charge and has informed their bank that someone else has used their credit card.

To dispute this, demonstrate that it was the cardholder who paid for this transaction and that they were aware of it.

  1. Credit Card Authorization Form. If they don’t have one, you can provide them with this so they have it for future payments.
  2. Written communication with the cardholder showing that they agreed to the charge. This can be via text, email, or any other form of written communication.
  3. Signed Completion Form. This can be part of their contract if they signed off on a service.
  4. Cardholder’s photo ID.

Merchandise/Services Not Received

The cardholder paid for a product/service and they did not receive what they agreed to. This could be both a product that they did not receive or a service that was to be provided by the merchant that did not occur.

To dispute this, demonstrate that the cardholder is now in possession of the merchant’s product or services.

  1. Shipping and tracking documentation. Usually this comes as a form that is signed at the time of delivery by the delivery service used. It can also be an email or an IP address for digital goods showing that products were downloaded.
  2. Photo Evidence demonstrating the cardholder is now in possession of the service/product.
  3. Communications with the cardholder demonstrating that they have received the product.

Defective/Not as Described

The cardholder received something that was not as they expected, to the quality that they expected, or it was broken or did not work.

To dispute this, demonstrate that the cardholder paid for and received exactly what they should have expected.

  1. Contract or terms of service showing what the cardholder agreed to purchase.
  2. Proof of completed work like a completion form that the cardholder signed off on. This can also be in the form of photos showing an installed product for example.
  3. Communications from the cardholder that shows that they are happy with the product or that they signed off on the product prior to delivery.

Cancelled Recurring

Recurring billing where the cardholder claims they have cancelled services but are still being charged.

To dispute this, demonstrate that the cardholder was aware of the cancellation policy and violated it for the recurring payment. An example is that they are disputing a transaction for the 1st of the month but they did not cancel until the 15th of the month.

  1. Credit Card Authorization with recurring payment details.
  2. Contract or Terms of Service that were agreed to by the cardholder allowing them to be repeatedly billed for the product/service.
  3. Clear communications that breach the merchant’s cancellation policy.

Cancelled Merchandise/Services

The cardholder changed their mind. They said they didn’t want the product/service but still received it and has still been charged for it.

This is for a product/service that was already received. Demonstrate that the cardholder did not reasonably cancel their product/service before the item was shipped or delivered to them.

  1. Contract or Terms of Service that were agreed to by the cardholder that clearly show the cardholder’s cancellation policy.
  2. Communications that show the cardholder breached the merchant’s cancellation policy.
  3. If a product was delivered, show that the cardholder is in possession of the goods. This can be demonstrated through receipt of goods such as a delivery company's confirmation or time stamp of downloaded digital goods.


What do I do if the cardholder recognizes the charge or disputed it in error?

Have your customer call their bank to drop the dispute and request a letter of affirmation to show that the dispute has been dropped. The bank should provide confirmation that the dispute was dropped. Please provide us with this letter.

If a letter of affirmation is not available from the bank, please provide us a written letter signed by the cardholder and including a photo ID stating they the dispute has been dropped.

Often, the cardholder does not recognize the merchant business name that appears on their statement. Please make sure your billing descriptor is properly reflected on your cardholder's statement. It should come up as WAVE - * YOUR BUSINESS NAME HERE.

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