To win the dispute process and recover lost revenue, you will need to present what’s called “compelling evidence," or proof that you had all rights to charge the disputed amount from the provided credit card.
every chargeback dispute is different and requires custom-fit evidence to prove the case. That is why it is very important to check every case properly and fit in the evidence that suits the most, to prove the legitimacy of the transaction.
Here you can find the most common reasons for the hotel industry's disputes and what qualifies as “compelling evidence” based on Stripe and Adyen Recommendations.
General evidence for all dispute categories
Including as much relevant information as possible when you submit your response to us increases the likelihood that the dispute will be found in your favor. When responding to any dispute type, make sure you include the following evidence:
Customer name – guest name and cardholder name (in case of third-party payments)
Customer email address – the email the client used to make a booking
Billing address – Address that you see in the Customer’s profile
Customer signature (if available) – any document showing the customer’s signature
Customer communication – any digital communication with the customer that you feel is relevant to your case
Receipt – Bill or Invoice
Service description – description of the service provided as per the template in the “How to respond to a chargeback” section.
Compelling evidence per most common reasons in the hospitality industry
1. Unrecognized transaction – stayover
Any documentation with the customer’s signature ( if available)
Customer communication in digital format ( if available)
2. Cancellation/no show
The customer claims to the bank that the property was not entitled to be charged for the cancellation/no-show fee. You need to prove that the customer was aware of the cancellation and no-show policy.
An explanation of how and when the customer was shown a refund policy and an explanation of why the customer is not entitled to a refund
The original reservation confirmation
Screenshots from the website the guest booked from, clearly displaying the rate policy. The bank needs to see that guests see the policy during the sign-up process and check-out. Provide screenshots from your website on the same page as check out.
Please note that it is required to have a click to accept prior to completion.
Any digital communication with the guest ( if available)
3. Additional services
Before charging any additional services, please contact the customer and receive the authorization to charge a certain amount from the credit card. Only then is there a chance to win the dispute. These might include penalties and extra services purchased during the stay.
We do highly recommend not to bill cardholder for loss, theft, or damages unless authorized by the cardholder.
Communication with the customer ( if available)
Proof of guest being acknowledged with the T&Cs of the property
Please note the below:
The legitimacy of this claim will be determined by the institution's investigation.
The cardholder is asserting an unauthorized or incorrect electronic funds transfer. The obligation is on the institution to investigate and determine if the claim is valid.
In order to process this additional charge to a debit card, VISA/MasterCard requires that the hotel obtain the cardholder's consent to charge the card. This must be in the form of a signed receipt or other card verification method. A blanket, "I agree to be held liable for room damages..." does not give the hotel carte blanche to charge the card without guests' permission.
4. OTA Virtual Card Chargeback
First, reach out to the OTA and discuss the case with them. If OTA is unresponsive, please provide us with the below:
An agreement between you and OTA that they are not allowed to refund the customer without your permission
Screenshots from the website from which the guest booked, clearly displaying the rate policy. The bank needs to see that guests see the policy during the sign-up process
Digital communication between you and OTA ( if available)
Please review the below Guidelines.
These guidelines relate specifically to goods and services canceled directly due to a government order or prohibition.
For all industries, the best actions you can take are to proactively communicate with your customers and issue an immediate refund where appropriate, especially when requested.
Keep in mind
1. Keep your evidence relevant and to the point
Card issuers review thousands of dispute responses every day. A long introduction about your product or company, a complaint about the customer, or the dispute's unfairness isn’t going to make your responses more compelling. Instead, provide only the original purchase facts, using a neutral and professional tone.
Many merchants also include email correspondence or texts with the customer, but it’s important to know that these exchanges do not verify identity. If you’re going to include them, make sure only the relevant information is included.
Your evidence should be factual, professional, and concise. While providing too little evidence is a problem, overwhelming the card issuer with unnecessary information can have the same effect.
2. Provide clear and accurate evidence
Card issuers do not follow any links provided in a response. Instead, you must include a clear screenshot of your terms or policies as they appear during checkout or on your site if they are an essential part of your defense.
3. Include a copy of your terms of service and refund policy
When it comes to disputes, the fine print matters. Providing proof that your customer agreed to and understood your terms of service at check-out or did not follow your policies regarding returns or refunds is critical. A clean screenshot of how your terms of service or other policies are presented during check-out is an important addition to your evidence—it's not enough to simply include a text copy of these.
Do you want to learn more about chargebacks? Read the FAQs below: