The most effective dispute strategy for your business is to reduce the number of disputes it receives in the first place.
If you do receive a dispute, the most effective way to proceed is to work directly with your customer to resolve the issue.
Every card network has some provision in its dispute system for the cardholder to retract a dispute after filing it. If you can settle the matter amicably with your customer, and convince them to withdraw the dispute, that’s the best way to win it.
What is a withdrawn dispute
A withdrawn dispute is one that your customer has asked their card issuer to cancel. It isn’t necessarily a won dispute, as the dispute might still resolve as a loss if you haven’t submitted evidence.
A withdrawn dispute is otherwise no different from any other dispute.
- It doesn’t resolve as a win or loss more quickly than other disputes.
- It doesn’t show up differently from any other dispute in the Dashboard or API.
- It still counts against your dispute rate with the network.
Cardholders can only withdraw fully financial disputes—that is, a chargeback, where your account balance has been debited. They can’t withdraw an Early Fraud Warning or an inquiry, which don’t have financial impact. The cardholder might decline to escalate these, but can’t undo them.
Assessing the value of pursuing a dispute withdrawal
While a dispute withdrawal is a good way to turn a dispute into a win, and a way to resolve a negative experience for your customer, it also requires some effort to initiate and complete an interaction with your customer. It might not be the most cost efficient approach for every dispute, and you’ll have to weigh the increased operational burden against the lift it gives your dispute win rate.
For disputes with a high likelihood of winning, you might want to only submit evidence to fight it, without reaching out to your customer. For low value disputes you might want to go ahead and accept the dispute.
Talk to your customer
Reach out to your customer to better understand their complaint, and try to work through the problem with them. If you’re able to satisfy the customer, ask them to reach out to their card issuer and withdraw the dispute. The process for this varies by issuer, but in general the customer should use whatever normal support channels they use to get help from their issuer.
If your customer does agree to withdraw the dispute, consider asking them whether they would provide confirmation of the withdrawal, such as a withdrawal-confirmation email from their bank or a screenshot of their mobile banking statement showing they were re-billed for the charge. This type of evidence isn’t required for your response to the issuer, but it could be helpful if your customer is willing to do it.
Regardless of what happens between you and your customer, you still need to submit evidence if you want to win the dispute.
You can submit evidence for a dispute just one time, so you want to wait long enough for your conversation with the customer to play out, but not so long that you miss the deadline. The card network rules don’t allow you to submit evidence after the deadline.
If you can’t convince the customer to withdraw the dispute before the evidence deadline, that’s okay. You should still file appropriate evidence to challenge the dispute reason.
Wait for the dispute resolution
In general, disputes that have been withdrawn do not resolve any faster than other kinds of dispute.
After your customer withdraws a dispute, and you submit evidence, you should expect that the dispute will still follow the normal dispute timeline to come back with a win or loss from the network.
Late withdrawal of dispute
It’s technically possible on every card network for a cardholder to withdraw a dispute after the response deadline, and even long after a dispute itself was lost. However, some card issuers within that network might not support the late withdrawal of a dispute in every case. As with any other dispute, the cardholder needs to reach out to their issuer to request a late withdrawal and find out whether or not they allow it.
Keep in mind that late withdrawals often happen outside the networks’ dispute systems. Unlike with the regular dispute lifecycle, they aren’t governed by any network rules or regulations. Consequently when a customer withdraws an old, lost dispute, it’s hard to set a realistic expectation for how soon you should expect to see it reflected in your Stripe account. It’s possible it could take the cardholder’s issuer weeks or months to process this type of adjustment.