Where to find disputes
You can find disputes in the Dashboard. Each one includes all relevant information about the payment being disputed and the reason the cardholder reported it to the card issuer. When you receive a dispute, you can respond to it and submit the appropriate evidence or accept it.
When a dispute occurs, Stripe receives a notification of the disputed payment and sends you an automated email. This process creates a Dispute with the status
needs_response. If your integration is set up to receive webhooks, Stripe also sends a
Inquiries and retrievals
Inquiries and retrievals appear as disputed payments in the Dashboard. The status of a
Dispute object relating to an inquiry or retrieval can be one of the following:
warning_needs_response, no evidence has been provided for the dispute yet
warning_under_review, evidence has been submitted to the card issuer and it’s under review
warning_closed, the inquiry or retrieval has timed out and didn’t escalate into a full dispute (known as a chargeback)
Responding to disputes in the Dashboard
We recommend that most users respond within the Dashboard. The Dashboard guides you through the submission process, step-by-step, automatically formatting the information you provide. You’re asked to provide different pieces of evidence and upload any necessary files, depending on the dispute type. These steps increase the likelihood of a dispute being found in your favor.
If you receive a dispute, contact the customer and discuss it before you respond. It’s possible that they didn’t recognize or remember the transaction when they viewed their statement. If you have an email address (created to send an email receipt or using a Customer object), click Email customer to create a new email that contains information about the dispute.
Clicking Submit evidence begins the response process and provides additional information about the type of dispute and what steps you should take. If you have any information you think the card issuer might want to see, submit it as dispute evidence.
You have a limited period of time to respond to disputes—you can see how much time you have by looking at the
evidence_details.due_by attribute. After that time elapses, you can’t submit further responses or evidence.
In some cases, such as using evidence we consider valid per card network rules, we auto-submit evidence at the deadline. Submitting evidence this way is done as a best-effort, but isn’t guaranteed. Make sure to finalize your evidence submission by clicking Submit evidence at the bottom of the dispute evidence form.
After you submit a response, the status of the dispute changes to
under_review. If you win the dispute, this changes to
won. If the card issuer upholds the cardholder’s dispute, the status changes to
lost. After a dispute closes, we send you an email with information about the outcome and a
charge.dispute.closed webhook event.
Likelihood of winning disputes
If you’re using Radar for Fraud Teams, you can quickly identify which disputes you’re likely to win. Using machine learning (ML) models powered by Radar, Stripe estimates your chances of winning a dispute with a customer’s card issuer, allowing you to prioritize which disputes to respond to first.
Your chances of winning the dispute-providing you submit evidence-are ranked from lowest (1 dot) to highest (5 dots). Be aware that these are only predictions. And while we base our ML models on millions of disputes, we can’t guarantee outcomes all of the time.
If you don’t see a win likelihood prediction next to a payment, it’s because:
- the payment wasn’t made with a credit card;
- or the payment has only received an inquiry, not an actual dispute;
- or, in some rare cases, an error has prevented us from generating a prediction
The following table shows the expected win percentage for each ranking (measured across the entire Stripe network):
|Dispute Win Likelihood Ranking||Chance of Winning the Dispute|
The evidence you submit should be appropriate for the reason for the dispute. Web logs, email communications, shipment tracking numbers and delivery confirmation, proof of prior refunds or replacement shipments, etc., can all help. For example, a response to a dispute with the reason “product not received” should have evidence that includes shipping information and any screenshots of package tracking. Stripe electronically submits this information to your cardholder’s issuer and notifies you of any updates to the dispute.
Stripe automatically puts the evidence you provide into a format accepted by card issuers. This includes all mandatory payment information (e.g., amount, date of payment), CVC or postal code verification results (if available), and any additional information or documents that you provide.
You can prepare a suitable response that has the most relevant evidence using the following best practices. Following them can help ensure you have the greatest possible chance of a dispute being found in your favor—and your funds returned.
Keep your evidence relevant and to the point
Card issuers review thousands of dispute responses every day. A long introduction about your product or company, complaint about the customer, or the unfairness of the dispute isn’t going to make your responses more compelling. Instead, provide only the facts surrounding the original purchase, using a neutral and professional tone. For example:
Jenny Rosen purchased X from our company on [date] using a Visa credit card. The customer agreed to our terms of service and authorized this transaction. We shipped the product on [date] to the address provided by the customer, and it was delivered on [date].
You can investigate the dispute while collecting evidence to submit. For example, you can take a look at Google Maps and Street View to see where your delivery took place, or check social media like Facebook or LinkedIn to help establish the customer as the legitimate cardholder.
Many merchants also include email correspondence or texts with the customer, but be aware that these exchanges don’t verify identity. If you’re going to include them, make sure to include only the relevant information (e.g., if you’re going to include a long email thread, redact any text that only quotes previous emails).
Your evidence should be factual, professional, and concise. While providing little evidence is a problem, overwhelming the card issuer with unnecessary information can have the same effect.
Provide clear and accurate evidence
Card issuers don’t follow any links that you provide in a response. Instead, you must include a clear screenshot of your terms or policies as they appear during checkout or on your site if they’re an important part of your defense (e.g., a customer disputed a subscription but you have a minimum contract term that they must adhere to).
Include proof of customer authorization
Fraudulent disputes account for over half of all disputes. It’s important to prove the legitimate cardholder was aware of and authorized the transaction in such cases. Any data that shows proof of this is a standard part of a compelling response, such as:
- AVS (Address Verification System) matches
- CVC (Card Verification Code) confirmations
- Signed receipts or contracts
- IP address that matches the cardholder’s verified billing address
Stripe always includes any AVS or CVC results along with the purchase IP address (if available from your Stripe integration). But if you have any other evidence of authorization (e.g., 3DS authentication) include it too.
Include proof of service or delivery
In addition to fraudulent disputes, claims from cardholders that products or services never arrived or happened, were defective or unsatisfactory, or not as described are also potential dispute reasons. Assuming that all is well on your side (the product was not faulty, was as described, was shipped and delivered prior to the dispute date) then you’ll want to provide proof of service or delivery.
For a merchandise purchase, provide proof of shipment and delivery that includes the full delivery address, not just the city and postal code verification.
If your customer provides a “Ship to” name that differs from their own (e.g., a gift purchase), be prepared to provide documentation explaining why they’re different. While it’s common practice to purchase and ship to an address that doesn’t match the verified billing address for the card, this is an additional dispute risk.
If your business provides digital goods, include evidence such as an IP address or system log proving the customer downloaded the content or used your software or service.
Include a copy of your terms of service and refund policy
When it comes to disputes, fine print matters. When it comes to returns or refunds, it’s critical to provide proof that your customer agreed to and understood your terms of service at checkout, or didn’t follow your policies. A clean screenshot of how you present your terms of service or other policies during checkout is an important addition to your evidence—it’s not enough to include a text copy of these only.
Formatting documents and images to upload
Dispute evidence is often transmitted through several legacy systems and most card issuers are still faxing paper documents. Before sending your response, make sure that any text or images are clear and large enough to show up clearly in a black and white fax transmission.
While you can zoom in on your electronic documents, the card issuer won’t be able to do so. The card issuer won’t consider any evidence that’s too small to transmit clearly, so it’s better to have large, full-page images than try to fit too many on one page.
Whether you upload files through the dashboard or the API, both have limitations on the acceptable file types and the combined file size.
- Only PDF, JPEG, or PNG file types are accepted
- The combined file size can’t be more than 5MB
- The combined page count must be less than 50 pages
- You can compress your files with tools such as Smallpdf
When submitting documents or images as evidence, use the following recommendations to make sure they can remain legible:
- Use a 12 point font or larger
- Make sure that documents are US Letter or A4 size, in portrait orientation (you can still add screenshots to your documents in landscape orientation)
- Use bold text, callouts, or arrows to draw attention to pertinent information
- Avoid using color highlighting
When uploading screenshots:
- Crop the screenshot to the area of interest and circle any key components (e.g., delivery confirmation or signature)
- Use the text fields in the dispute evidence form to describe what the image contains and how it supports your response
The card issuer will consider a response incomplete and won’t review it if it contains any illegible text or data.
You can accept a dispute, effectively agreeing with the cardholder that the dispute was valid for the reason given. Accepting a dispute isn’t considered an admission of wrongdoing and is sometimes the most appropriate response. The customer has already received their refund through the dispute process—if you agree with the refund, it’s best to accept the dispute. This is the action you should take if you don’t intend to respond and submit evidence. Although accepting disputes doesn’t negatively affect your business any further, it’s not a viable alternative to an effective refund or returns policy. Dispute activity is calculated based upon the disputes received, not won or lost, so dispute prevention is critical.
For disputes that are the result of a misunderstanding, your customer can tell their card issuer that they no longer dispute the transaction. It’s still important that you submit evidence to show that the payment was valid, however, and to ensure that the card issuer knows you’re not accepting the dispute.
In cases where you agree that the customer should keep the disputed funds, accept the dispute rather than ask the cardholder to withdraw the dispute for a regular refund. Remember, the card networks don’t consider how many disputes you win or lose, only how many you receive—a withdrawn dispute still counts as a dispute.
Disputes on partially refunded payments
While uncommon, a customer can dispute a payment for the full amount even if they’ve already received a partial refund (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, we use the existing dispute to track the overall outcome. If the dispute is fully resolved in your favor, you receive the entire amount back. If it’s not, you only receive the partially refunded amount. In this case, the dispute’s
status is set to
lost, and in the Dashboard, the dispute is marked as “partially won”.
If you require assistance with a dispute, please contact Stripe support.