If you’ve ever tried to figure out chargeback time limits, didn’t get very far, and gave up – you’re not alone! These chargeback time limits, or timelines/deadlines, are complicated to say the least. There are so many different numbers to keep in mind, but hopefully we can simplify this complicated landscape for you here to help you with your chargeback management.
Chargeback Time Limits Overview
So let’s first break down the major timelines without getting into the minutiae. The first thing you need to understand is that no two chargebacks will be exactly alike. They always have unique characteristics and are handled in their own way. If not, or your service provider is fighting expired chargebacks, you have a serious problem! let’s outline some of the most important numbers when it comes to chargeback time limits.
By the Numbers:
The two main time frames you need to be aware of are the chargeback time limits a merchant has to respond to a chargeback, and the timeframe in which a consumer is able to initiate a chargeback:
- 120 Days – this is the most common time frame in which a consumer has to initiate a chargeback. There are exceptions to this rule, but for the most part, you as a merchant need to know that a consumer can file a chargeback up to 4 months after the initial purchase, +/- 15 days or so depending on when the consumer actually received their product.
- 45 Days – this is the most common timeframe for merchants and acquirers to respond to each phase of a disputed charge – again, with a few exceptions.
- 30 days – with the new Visa chargeback programs [VCR – Visa Claims Resolution, VMPI – Visa Merchant Purchase Inquiry, VROL – Visa Resolve Online] this is now the timeframe in which a merchant has to respond to a Visa chargeback. Check out this article for more on VCR, VROL, and VMPI. Mastercard still sticks with 45 days for the most part.
- 2 Seconds (or less) – don’t be alarmed! This is the new mandate that VMPI responses must be submitted to the issuer. Responses can be submitted by just about any Visa facilitator, but the companies on that list that aren’t based on software and technology could be fighting the chargebacks after they’re expired – which is a giant waste of money and resources.
Moral of the Story
We could write a million more words on chargeback time limits, and while it gets incredibly complex and difficult to manage, there are companies out there that have stepped into the 21st century and are handling chargeback alerts, chargebacks, disputed charges, representments, and dispute resolutions with technology and software rather than manual processes and archaic techniques.
FInd yourself a solid chargeback service provider and you can make these complicated issues a thing of the past. You need to do what you do best … get back to business!