A dispute (also known as a chargeback) occurs when a participant contacts their credit card company or bank to complain about a payment on their statement, leading to a reversal of the payment received. This can happen for a variety of reasons. The most common ones are if the participant thinks it's a fraudulent payment, or if the participant claims not to have received a product/service.
Disputes are an unfortunate reality of accepting payments online, but they are very rare.
I received a dispute/chargeback - what now?
If a dispute/chargeback occurs, WeTravel will inform you immediately and help you every step of the way toward resolution. There are two common scenarios:
- The participant disputed the payment by mistake.
Often, participants simply don't remember that they paid a travel organizer for a certain trip (the credit card or bank statement always shows the first 22 characters of the trip title).
In this case, WeTravel would send an email to the organizer to ask if anything had occurred that might have prompted a dispute by the participant in question, or if it was more likely by mistake. Once the organizer confirms that the dispute was likely initiated by mistake, WeTravel would contact the participant to ask him or her to withdraw the dispute.
2. The participant requested an unjustified refund.
In this case, WeTravel would contact the organizer to confirm that this was the scenario and ask for evidence that the participant requested an unjustified refund. It’s important that the organizer submits sufficient evidence to show that the dispute is in fact unjustified (e.g., email exchanges, copies of the cancellation policy for the trip). WeTravel would then submit this evidence to the bank or credit card company to resolve the dispute.
Can an organizer be sure to "win" a dispute?
Unfortunately, there is never a guarantee that the organizer will win a dispute. WeTravel will submit evidence in a timely manner and build the strongest case possible to fight a dispute on an organizer's behalf. However, the bank or credit card company makes the final ruling. WeTravel can never guarantee that a dispute will be won by the organizer.
How long does it take to receive a decision about a dispute?
Disputes are generally resolved within 2-3 months from the time that WeTravel submits evidence to a bank or credit card company. This is the case even if the participant has withdrawn the dispute in the meantime. Banks are permitted 3 months from the date of evidence submission to reach a resolution (see this article by the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau).
Only after WeTravel's receipt of an official decision that the dispute was won by the organizer will he or she have access through WeTravel to the funds previously disputed.
How are Disputes for ACH payments handled?
Unlike credit and debit card payments, ACH disputes cannot be contested, though they are more difficult for customers to initiate.
In order to dispute an ACH payment, your customer must inform their bank in writing, unlike credit and debit payments, where your customer can dispute a charge simply by clicking a button in their online account.
Given the technical nature of ACH payments, there is no way to fight or contest the dispute of an ACH payment. Your participant will have to submit the payment again in order for you to receive the disputed funds back.
Can I speed up the dispute process?
If your participant has agreed to withdraw the dispute, you can ask them to provide an official "Dispute Withdraw Letter" that we can submit to our payment provider. However, there is no guarantee that this step will speed up the process.
I have lost a dispute - what can I do now?
Disputes are decided by the cardholder’s bank or credit card company. Unfortunately, once a dispute is lost the outcome is final and the payment cannot be recovered.
What are the fees if you "lose" the dispute?
According to our terms and conditions, which are agreed to upon account creation, any travel organizer accountholder is legally liable to cover the disputed amount as well as the associated administrative fees.
In certain cases, WeTravel will honor requests to waive the administrative fees associated with the chargeback as a gesture of goodwill. However, per WeTravel's terms and conditions, this would be a one-off concession made at our discretion.
If the organizer does not have sufficient funds in his or her account to cover the lost amount, per our terms and conditions, the organizer would be required to remit payment to correct a negative balance to his or her WeTravel account.