Understanding Chargebacks

What is a chargeback?

Credit card and debit card companies allow their customers to file disputes on transactions made on those cards. These disputes are known as chargebacks. A chargeback can be filed for many reasons, including when a customer received a defective product or never received a product from a store, incorrect billing, identity theft, cases of unrecognized and/or fraudulent activity on a credit card statement, and more.

What happens when a backer files a chargeback on a contribution or donation to my LACANTUS campaign?

While it is not common for backers of an LACANTUS campaign to file a chargeback, it does happen. In the event a chargeback is filed against the transaction for a contribution or donation made to your campaign, here’s what will happen:

  1. Credit Card holder files a dispute with their financial institution
  2. Our payment processor, Stripe, notifies LACANTUS of the dispute once the payment processor receives notice from the financial institution
  3. LACANTUS then processes the dispute
  4. As part of LACANTUS’s response to chargebacks, we will i) hold the transaction and ii) send out a notification to both the campaign owner and the backer that a chargeback was received. The transaction will reflect a status of “On Hold” on your campaign dashboard or by email.
  5. The financial institution will investigate the credit card holder’s dispute. The investigation may take up to 75 business days and is solely up to the financial institution
  6. Once a decision has been reached, the financial institution will notify the payment processor, who will then notify LACANTUS. The possible results of a chargeback decision will be described below

Note: LACANTUS has no control over the decisions of the financial institutions, or the outcome of a Chargeback.

What should I do if I receive a notification that a chargeback was received?

If you receive notification from us that a chargeback was filed on a donation to your campaign, we recommend that you reach out to the individual backer who filed the dispute to determine the cause of the chargeback and see what you can do to help solve the problem.

There may be any number of reasons a backer files a chargeback, but here are some cases we see commonly:

Your friend, family member, or other backer didn’t remember backing your project on LACANTUS.

  • In this case, feel free to remind them of the campaign, what you were raising funds for, and what they are helping make possible.
  • If they do remember, or otherwise want to continue to support your project, just encourage them to contact their bank to drop the dispute!

The backer is frustrated with a delay in your shipping their Rewards and wants their money back.

  • In this case, we recommend you be transparent about the delays and reiterate your thankfulness for their helping you move forward your idea, and work with them to arrive at a resolution to their concerns. Openness and communication can go a long way in helping resolve these types of disputes.
  • If the backer insists they want to keep the chargeback in place because they want their money back, we recommend you tell the backer you’re happy to issue them a refund if they contact their bank to cancel the chargeback. Issuing them a refund will resolve the matter and help give this customer the best possible experience! It’s in your best interest to issue a refund and move forward with your project and away from the negativity that an unhappy backer may have on your project.
  • LACANTUS strongly recommends you set a clear refund/return policy and include it in your campaign story. If you offer refunds to your backers, you can use your Reserved Funds to issue those refunds. If your Reserved Funds are fully utilized or disbursed, you can refund backers via other online payment methods.
  • Once the refund is out of the way you can focus on continuing forward with your project, and helping make all your other backers happy. Continue with frequent communication on your progress, and strong follow through on delivering their Rewards!

A backer receives the Rewards, but the Rewards is not as the campaigner described in their campaign, or is broken or otherwise defective.

  • In this case, we recommend you work directly with the backer on their satisfaction and work towards a positive solution. A solution could be shipping them a new Rewards to replace their defective Rewards, or even issuing them a refund.

What are the results of a chargeback?

There are two possible outcomes to a chargeback, and each outcome has different implications for your campaign and the backer:

  1. The financial institution determines that the charge is valid and should charged to the backer. In this case, the transaction will NOT be refunded to the backer’s credit card, and it will be reinstated on the campaign page
  • In this instance, the transaction will be re-added to your campaign page. You’ll again see this amount included in your total funds raised, and the backer’s pledge will be listed on the Rewards Claimed & Donations tab of your dashboard.
  1. The financial institutions determines that the charge is invalid and should be refunded to the backer’s credit card. In this case, a refund will be processed from campaign funds from your campaign and returned to the backer’s credit card
  • In this instance, the transaction will be permanently removed from your campaign page. You will see your campaign total funds raised decrease by the amount of the transaction, and the backer’s pledge will be listed as ‘refunded’ on your Rewards Claimed & Donations dashboard and their Contribution Details page.

Should I ship the Reward if the transaction has a pending chargeback?

We recommend that you do not ship any Rewards to the backer while the contribution is showing a status of “On Hold.”

  • If the chargeback is resolved and re-added to the campaign, you are obligated to send the backer the Rewards they claimed.
  • If the chargeback is refunded back to the backer’s credit card, you will not have to ship the backer their Rewards.

What if a chargeback happens on a transaction where I’ve already shipped the Rewards or am shipping soon?

In these situations, we recommend you reach out to the backer and provide them with proof you have shipped their Rewards, or that you will ship shortly. Working with the individual backer can help clear up any confusion on timing of shipping, and may help encourage them to drop the dispute.

Since chargeback decisions are made solely by financial institutions and not by LACANTUS, in some cases the chargeback may be decided in the backer’s favor even if you have resolved this issue with the backer directly. For this reason, we recommend that you contact backers who have initiated a chargeback dispute early on so that you can resolve this dispute as quickly as possible. If you are unable to resolve the issue with the backer, it is possible that these chargebacks can still be decided in the backer’s favor, and will have to be refunded to the backer.

Chargebacks may be a part of running a campaign, and we want to make sure you know how to address them. We hope this helps give you more insight into chargebacks, how to handle them, and how to give your customers the best possible experience!


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