An Overview of Credit Card Disputes

 The purpose of this document is to provide you more in depth information with regards to industry dispute handling.

Please Note: Stripe is the medium by which evidence is submitted and you can use Xola's Dispute Manager to submit evidence to Stripe and they will contact the issuing financial institution directly (Stripe and Xola have no say in the dispute decision making process).  All decisions are made final by the financial institution and the quality of evidence that you the business can provide.

In this Section:

Fighting Disputes

To set expectations: Disputes are often resolved in favor of the cardholder because it is the issuing financial institution who decides the result of all disputes and it is usually in the financial institution's interest to make their customer happy. 

The best thing you can do to win a dispute is to avoid it in the first place by communicating with dissatisfied and tardy/absent customers and offering refunds, coupons or assistance in rescheduling.

Another important thing to know about disputes is that if you issue a partial refund on a transaction, the cardholder can still dispute the full amount of the charge and win the full amount. For this reason we advise against offering a partial refund to an upset customer.

In the case of every dispute, in the Dispute Manager, Xola will put together standard evidence on your behalf such as the date of service and service documentation (your confirmation email including cancellation policy, other considerations and terms of service) for you to submit.

You may submit additional evidence in the Dispute Manager, but the deadlines for responding to disputes are short, so we ask that you submit the evidence, within three days of getting our notification email. 

Please note: Your cancellation policy and/or terms of service will not have much impact on the resolution of a dispute. Though they are great for setting customer expectations, if a customer cancels and is not eligible for refund according to your cancellation policy they are still likely to win the dispute.

 Dispute Types

There are several types of dispute you may encounter (there are others, but you are unlikely to encounter them):

1. Fraudulent
What it means: The owner of the card says that they didn’t authorize the charge. This is the most common reason for a dispute and can happen if the card was lost or stolen. It can also happen if the cardholder doesn’t recognize the charge as it appears on the billing statement from their financial institution.
Required to overturn dispute: Get the cardholder to withdraw the dispute by helping them identify the charge or prove to the financial institution that their cardholder did authorize the transaction.

2. Unrecognized
What it means: The customer doesn’t recognize the charge appearing on their card statement.
Required to overturn dispute: As with fraudulent disputes, get your customer to withdraw the dispute by helping them identify the charge.

3. Product not received
What it means: The customer says they did not receive the products or services purchased.
Required to overturn dispute: Demonstrate that the customer received a physical product or offline service prior to the date the dispute was initiated, or made use of a digital product or online service prior to the date the dispute was initiated.

4. General

What it means: The customer's definition of the problem does not fit the financial institutions's current definitions for a dispute.

Required to overturn dispute: The only way to understand what evidence is best is to communicate with the customer directly so you may understand the reason for the dispute.

Resolution Timeframe

Evidence Submission Timeframe:

Once your dispute has been submitted the financial institutions allow for a range of  7 days - 60 days for evidence to be submitted.  That is why we suggest that all evidence be submitted within 3 days so that if your dispute has this short window of seven days, you are ensured to have time to submit your evidence.

Financial Institution Decision Timeframe:

Financial Institutions typically have reached their decision within 60-75 days.  If the dispute is resolved in your favor, all fees will automatically be refunded directly to your Xola account.  If you lose the dispute, the funds that were withdrawn will not be returned and this decision is final.

If the dispute is resolved in your favor, the funds and fee will then be added back to your Xola balance at the time of resolution and we will notify you of the decision by email. We will also notify you via email. 

If the dispute is resolved in favor of the credit card holder, then there are no further actions from Xola.


Can I communicate directly with the financial institution?

Financial institutions will not communicate on any dispute outside of the disputes process.

Once a dispute is lost, may I appeal the decision?

There is no appeal process for disputes, all dispute decisions are final.


Example of the email you will receive when a dispute is filed

Subject: You have a credit card dispute for $$$$

We're sorry to report that one of your customers has disputed a $$ charge. The credit card processor has deducted this amount and a chargeback fee of $15 from your account balance.
Our dispute resolution team will challenge this dispute by submitting evidence on your behalf. If the dispute is resolved in your favor this amount will be returned to you at the time of resolution.
If you have any questions about this or would like to submit special evidence please write to or just reply to this email.

Here's some more details about the charge that was disputed:
Trip name: <experience name>
Booked on: <order creation date localized>
Arrival date: <arrival date & time localized>
Booking link: <URL to booking details page>
Dispute type: <dispute type>

Please read this article for more information about Disputes.

 <<End of Email>>


Was this article helpful?
5 out of 8 found this helpful