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Internet Credit Card Transactions Informative - Merchant disputing "disputed CC charges".

Review by Doc J on 2006-06-01
Had a patient who just started doing a little Internet commerce ask me this. I don't buy via the Internet. And all of my CC intake is POS type. I'm looking for an expert whom I can quote...

The merchant sold an item via his Website. He received his payment statement from the CC company. The purchaser is stating "I never made this purchase". The transaction was researched by the merchant. The name, address, phone, e-mail, etc matches the purchaser. The item was a "gift" that was accepted when delivered to a third party.

How can a merchant support that a purchase was really made and that the purchaser is now attempting to duck payment? I'm sure it's not just "my word against theirs".
Comments:6 Replies - Latest reply on 2006-06-01
Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2006-06-01:
Doc - I have run into the same thing before. It is possible that someone has lifted this person's address, email, and CC number and is scamming them. In my case, the items were shipped to a college student in NY state that then shipped the goods to Ghana. Your friend's hope is that you can bring some charges against the recipient of the package, but it's a long shot.....we have since greatly restricted who we take CC's from - the merchants have no protection in these cases.
Posted by Doc J on 2006-06-01:
Thanks Hugh. I told my patient that the charge may have resulted from a lifted CC# etc. That's why I asked. I would hate to see a victim of such a theft get beaten up by the merchant who doesn't believe him. I suggested, (am I right?) to ask the cardholder to bring a copy of a police report, and his letter to the CC company disputing the charge, to the store. Then, the merchant can forgive the charges. Also, if the purchaser turns out to be lying, there's a criminal complaint for filing a false police report. Your thoughts?
Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2006-06-01:
Your approach makes sense if the CC holder is a local. In my case, they were out of town as well and we just ran the CC number thru our terminal and got an approval. The cardholder didn't know he had been compromised until he got his bill. Sadly, the merchant takes the hit in most of these cases - the CC company will wash their hands of you and law enforcement won't get involved until the theft is a sizable one - I was told not to expect much help for less than a $100,000 loss.
Posted by Doc J on 2006-06-01:
Again, as I suspected. Thanks Hugh!
Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2006-06-01:
Sorry I could help! Tell your friend the merchant to check with his card processor - the more information I get from the cardholder (street address, CVV number), the better rate I get on my transactions. They encourage you to gather that info by dangling a fraction of a percent better rate, but it is worth doing. And I've found most legitimate customers appreciate the extra level of caution.
Posted by Doc J on 2006-06-01:
Yes, he's already doing that, gathering as much info as he can.

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