Chargeback Dispute Process

The chargeback dispute process can be fairly complex. It is a good idea to have an understanding of the process before proceeding with a dispute. This page describes the process of fighting chargeback disputes. Customers may be reach out with a retrieval request prior to initiating a chargeback.

  1. A customer begins a chargeback dispute by calling their bank asking for a refund. For non-fraud chargebacks, the bank is typically a last resort; they'll often attempt to reach your business first to resolve the dispute. To that end, great customer service is your best prevention strategy for non-fraud chargebacks.
  2. When the customer initiates the dispute, Bolt receives a notification. Once a day, the Bolt Risk Team reviews all notifications and determines whether the liability for the chargeback resides with Bolt or with the merchant based on Bolt's chargeback liability criteria
  3. If the liability resides with Bolt (usually in the case of fraudulent chargebacks), Bolt will assume responsibility for all fees and costs associated with the chargeback. Typically, no action is needed from the merchant when this occurs and the merchant will not be notified. However, Bolt may sometimes request shipping documentation from the merchant to assist in fighting the dispute. If the merchant does not have the shipping documentation, the merchant may assume responsibility for a Bolt-liable chargeback.
  4. If the liability resides with the merchant (usually in the case of non-fraudulent chargebacks), several actions will occur:
    • The merchant's account will be debited for the amount of the chargeback, and the customer will receive the funds within the next 7 days.
    • The merchant will be charged an additional $15 chargeback processing fee.
    • The merchant will receive an email notification from Bolt. This email will contain the following information related to the chargeback:
      • Name of customer
      • Bolt transaction ID
      • Amount of chargeback
      • Reply-by Date
      • Instructions for fighting the dispute
  1. Prior to the reply-by date, the merchant will send the relevant documentation to Bolt Merchant Support. If the documentation is not sent by the reply-by date, the dispute will end and the merchant will assume liability for the chargeback. For guidelines as to what documentation will enable you to win chargeback disputes with the highest probability, please review this page.
  1. Bolt will then submit the documentation to the issuing bank to represent the merchant in the dispute. If the merchant wins, Bolt will return the chargeback amount and the fee to the merchant. 
  2. Sometimes, when the merchant wins the dispute, the customer will disagree with the conclusion and charge back again. This will move the dispute into pre-arbitration, and Bolt will debit the merchant again. The merchant will need to provide additional evidence and documentation to Bolt to win the dispute.

If you've received a chargeback and haven't previously corresponded with the customer, we recommend contacting them about why they issued their chargeback. This is especially useful in the event of Product Not as Described or Defective chargebacks.

Contacting the customer may provide benefits such as:

  • Resolution of a misunderstanding that results in the customer retracting their dispute.
  • Additional evidence to help your case (especially if there is email correspondence).
  • Feedback on your company's product & customer experience.
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