Chargeback prevention alerts can be a valuable dispute management tool. But sometimes, users run into unexpected challenges with the technology — like receiving the wrong alerts.
Fortunately, there are several troubleshooting tips that can help. Here’s what you should do if you receive alerts for transactions that weren’t processed by your business.
What is Happening?
An alert platform has to trace the disputed transaction back to the business that processed it. The technology uses billing descriptors to make this match.
When a transaction is disputed, the cardholder’s bank (referred to as the issuing bank) enters the transaction’s billing descriptor into the prevention alert platform. If the descriptor has been enrolled, the bank may send an alert.
But if multiple businesses are using the same or similar billing descriptors, the alert technology won’t be able to accurately determine which business processed the transaction.
Therefore, if your business’s billing descriptor is the same as or similar to another business’s, you may receive alerts that aren’t yours.
How Do I Solve This Problem?
Here’s what you can do if you receive alerts that don’t belong to you.
STEP #1: Understand Billing Descriptors
If you haven’t already, please read this help center article. It explains billing descriptors and their variations.
STEP #2: Check Your Current Descriptors
Ask your processor for your main descriptor. Then, try to discover as many variations as you can.
Make several test purchases with different cards (credit, debit, Visa, Mastercard, etc.). Check to see how your descriptors display.
NOTE: You’ll want to actually run these test transactions as sales. Simply requesting authorization isn’t enough. Pending transactions display different billing descriptors than settled transactions. Be sure to review your descriptors at both stages of the transaction lifecycle.
STEP #3: Edit Your Descriptors
Check to see if it is possible to edit your existing descriptors.
How could you make them unique? What wording would make it easy for customers to recognize your business yet help you stand out from other companies?
Here are some suggestions:
- Avoid common abbreviations. Most descriptors are limited to about 20 to 25 characters, so abbreviations can help shorten long words. But descriptor overlap could be more frequent with abbreviations.
- Avoid generic product or service names. The more specific your descriptor, the less likely it is to be used by someone else. Avoid words and phrases that your competitors might also use (games, online, hemp, etc.).
- Rearrange the words in your descriptor. When Ethoca processes alerts, the technology looks for descriptors that start with the same word or phrase. Edit your descriptors so they begin with something different and unique.
- Add your phone number. Verifi’s technology can match customer service phone numbers. If possible, add a phone number to your descriptor to provide additional matching opportunities. (Also, it’s best practice to include a phone number in your descriptor so customers have the opportunity to call you instead of the bank.)
STEP #4: Get Help
If these suggestions don’t help, please contact the Midigator support team. We’ll take a look at your account, consult the alert providers, and investigate other options.
You can reach the team via the chat feature or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If this feature isn’t visible in your Midigator account and you want to know why, read this article.