Receiving disputes

    Learn where to find disputes and how to manage them.

    Inquiries and retrievals

    Some card issuers may begin to investigate a payment before creating a formal dispute, and request further information about it. This is known as either an “inquiry” or “retrieval”, depending on the card brand. Unlike a formal dispute, no funds have been withdrawn and the payment it relates to can still be refunded. Inquiries are common for American Express payments, as are retrievals for Discover cards. Mastercard and Visa almost always create a full dispute immediately.

    Inquiries and retrievals still appear as disputed payments in the Dashboard. To avoid it becoming a formal dispute, you should submit any required evidence or refund the payment in full. This marks the inquiry or retrieval as resolved and no dispute fee is incurred.

    Many inquiries or retrievals are the result of the cardholder not recognizing the transaction, and providing basic info about your business and what was purchased is usually sufficient to close the case. However, if the cardholder refutes your evidence, or the card issuer considers it insufficient, the card issuer might escalate the inquiry or retrieval into a formal dispute and reclaim the cardholder’s funds. It’s important to resolve the case while it is still in the inquiry or retrieval stage.

    Regardless of which option you choose, it’s always best to reach out to your customer first to get more information about the reason for the inquiry or retrieval. Failure to respond to an inquiry or retrieval with sufficient evidence may lead to a full dispute that cannot be remedied. Always respond to inquiries and retrievals as if they were formal disputes, and make every effort to resolve issues with your customer during this stage.

    The status of a Dispute object relating to an inquiry or retrieval can be one of the following:

    • warning_needs_response, no evidence has yet been provided for the dispute
    • warning_under_review, evidence has been submitted to the card issuer and it is under review
    • warning_closed, the inquiry or retrieval has timed out and did not escalate into a full dispute

    Where to find disputes

    Disputes can be found in the Dashboard. Each one includes all relevant information about the payment being disputed and the reason the cardholder reported to the card issuer. When you receive a dispute, you have the opportunity to respond to it and submit the appropriate evidence or accept it.

    Disputes are an unfortunate part of accepting payments online, but they are not typically common. Disputes and the reasons for them (e.g., fraud) are ultimately your responsibility so you must take the appropriate actions to prevent and respond to disputes.

    Disputes in the Dashboard.

    If the original payment was converted into your account’s default currency (e.g., a USD payment converted into EUR and deposited into your account), the disputed amount is converted back to the payment’s original currency (e.g., EUR is withdrawn from your account and converted back to USD).

    When a dispute occurs, Stripe receives a notification of the disputed payment and sends you an automated email about it. A Dispute object is created with the status needs_response. If your integration is set up to receive webhooks, Stripe also sends a charge.dispute.created event.

    Disputed amount

    The amount of a dispute can sometimes exceed the original charge amount. In certain cases, this discrepancy is due to currency conversion. It can also occur when the card’s issuer bundles multiple charges into a single chargeback. This bundling discrepancy is more common for regular, recurring charges, or multiple charges of small amounts—usually less than $50 USD.

    If you receive a dispute for more than the original charge amount, and currency conversion is not a factor: you should review all payments made to your business by the same customer or card, to determine whether more than one charge might be included in the disputed amount. If you are unable to determine why a dispute is for more than the original charge, you can contact support to ask for more details.

    Disputes on Partially Refunded Payments

    While uncommon, a payment can be disputed for the full amount even if a partial refund has already been made (e.g., a refund of a smaller amount that has been agreed upon). We understand this can be frustrating as it leaves you responsible for the partial refund you’ve already processed and the full amount disputed, though card issuers are very willing to rectify this situation.

    Even if you plan to accept the unrefunded portion of the dispute, it’s important for you to provide evidence of the partial refund in your response. This should include the amount and date of the refund, and even a screenshot of the refund information from your Dashboard (this is known as a “credit issued” response).

    In most cases, the card issuer cancels the original dispute and then creates a separate one for the corrected amount. On Stripe, the existing dispute is used to track the overall outcome. If the dispute is fully resolved in your favor, the entire amount is returned to you. If it’s not, only the partially refunded amount is returned. In this case, the dispute’s status is set to lost, and in the Dashboard, the dispute is marked as “partially won”.

    Next steps

    Congrats! You can now receive and manage disputes. You may want to learn more about the different reasons for disputes, or move on to related subjects:

    If you require assistance with a dispute, please contact Stripe support.

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