While it is not common to see chargebacks, or payment disputes, it does happen. When it does, it can be a cumbersome process. To handle disputes with a third-party payment processor like PayPal, your organization typically has to work with representative(s) of that processor, which is far from ideal. One of the benefits of using Payments as your processor is the ability to manage those disputes directly without having to go through a third party, which means the process is smoother.
What Happens When There is a Dispute?
Once a donor initiates a dispute, a few things will happen. First, Virtuous Payments will receive a notification that a dispute has been initiated. Then, your organization will receive an email from RaiseDonors with several different pieces of information:
- A link to the dispute in RaiseDonors
- A PDF of the receipt as a download in the email
- A link to a help article with the dispute process (and how to respond).
Here's an example of the email:
Who gets notified?
This is set by your organization. You should select manage account from the drop down menu in the upper right corner of the screen. Once on the account management page, you'll choose notifications from the right side. Here, you can adjust what members of your team receive notifications. Make sure to separate email addresses by a comma (no space).
Where to Manage Disputes
Log into RaiseDonors and locate the disputed transaction (you can click directly to the transaction from the email RaiseDonors sent to you). Next to the donation status is a link to Virtuous Payments to manage this dispute.
Once you receive your email that there has been a dispute, go to your Payments dashboard and then on the left-hand side, click "Disputes." You can also follow the link in the email to the dispute.
From this screen, you'll see a list of disputed payments and information about those disputes. Usually, these rows appear when a cardholder requests from their bank to have their funds from a transaction returned and the bank has responded by inquiring from the merchant (you). This means that your organization must respond with supporting documentation if you have determined that the dispute is invalid.
If you click the Transaction ID, it will take you to the Payments screen and pull out details regarding the payment being disputed. You'll notice there is a Dispute Hold for this payment; this will be held until there is a resolution.
To challenge the dispute
Click the icon in the Upload Docs column on the Disputes screen to contribute any supporting documentation - this can include materials like receipts, invoices, etc.
- Upload the receipt we send with the initial dispute email
- Upload any support documentation you have
- We recommend a simple cover letter explaining the campaign the donor gave to and it's impact the donation is making in your organization
- If this is a recurring donor or a donor who has given in the past, we recommend providing historical giving records in the cover letter.
Be sure to respond by the date listed.
Once a donation has gone through the dispute, the status in RD will update as needed (dispute_won vs dispute_lost). If the dispute is lost, the CRM integration for Virtuous will create a reversing transaction in the CRM (virtuous). If the dispute is won, we don’t send anything more to the CRM, because we already sent the original donation earlier.
Want to learn more about disputes? Check out this article!