Compass Sneak Peek

Compass Sneak Peek: Reduce Credit Card Disputes with Tips from the FareHarbor Payments Team

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Collecting payments is essential to doing business. So when a customer files a credit card dispute, you want to act quickly to protect your company. Not only are disputes costly, but they’re also stressful and time consuming.

Fortunately, the FareHarbor Payments Team is here to help with their top tips on preventing disputes before they happen.

Common Reasons Customers File Disputes

You may think credit card disputes only happen when a customer doesn’t receive a product, but they can occur in the travel industry as well.

In fact, 1 in 8 disputes filed by cardholders in 2019 were in the travel industry (Chargebacks911).

A customer may file a dispute before or after they participate in the tour or activity. Take a look at these common reasons for disputes.

  • Product unacceptable: The customer claims that the service you provided was not as described, or they were dissatisfied with the experience.
  • Services canceled: The customer claims they were charged even after they canceled their tour or activity.
  • Unrecognized: The cardholder doesn’t recognize the charge on their credit card statement and reports it as fraud. (This can happen when someone borrows a friend or family member’s credit card and the person doesn’t know or remember).

These are just a few reasons you might receive a dispute. Log in to FareHarbor Compass for more examples.

The Payments Team’s Top Tips for Preventing Disputes

1. Write a Detailed Cancellation Policy

Publish a thorough cancellation policy on your website. The policy should include who the customer can contact to make the cancellation, as well as a specific window of time by which they need to cancel.

You also need to share the cancellation policy in your confirmation and reminder emails.

FareHarbor Client Tip: Through FareHarbor, customers can easily cancel their activity and collect a refund or gift card, helping avoid issues that might lead to a credit card dispute. Follow these steps to activate this feature on your Dashboard.

2. Practice Good Communication with Customers

Being transparent about the experience details helps prevent disputes. Send a confirmation email after the customer books, and also send a reminder email closer to the tour date so that guests don’t miss it.

3. Accurately Advertise your Tour or Activity

To avoid customers disputing based on unmet expectations, make sure you are clear in advertising the tour or activity. 

4. Refund Fraudulent Payments

One of the best ways to stay on top of potential disputes is to keep an eye out for fraudulent payments. They can be hard to spot, so be on the lookout for bookings where the name on the credit card doesn’t match the name of the person who made the booking. If there is other information that doesn’t match (like email or phone number), you may have stumbled on a fraudulent payment.

Tour Operator Tip: Always check the first and last name of the credit card used and make sure it matches the booking name. When checking people in, you should collect cash or refund in full anyone who cannot provide the credit card used online.

5. Keep Track of Guest Activities 

One of the most effective ways to fight a dispute is to prove that the customer did in fact attend the tour or activity. Make these best practices part of your daily routine.

  • Compare guests’ IDs with the credit card they used to make the booking.
  • Ask guests to sign a receipt or waiver to streamline the booking and check-in process. Wherewolf and SmartWaiver are two waiver systems that seamlessly integrate with FareHarbor.
  • Customize your FareHarbor manifest to quickly check customers in.
  • For more expensive bookings or those with greater liability (like jet ski, boat, car rentals, or helicopter tours), scan a copy of the customer’s ID and keep it on file in a secure location.
  • After the tour or activity, keep necessary documentation detailing incidents like accidents or damages caused by the customer.

My Business Got a Dispute. What Happens Next?

Despite your best efforts, disputes happen, and the FareHarbor Payments Team has your back. We’ll notify you of the dispute and help you put together an evidence packet to fight it. 

Although no two disputes are the same, these tips should put you on the right track to avoid them before they happen. Learn more about this topic on FareHarbor Compass.

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