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Attention high risk merchants: Visa chargeback rule changes coming April 15 by Instabill February 13, 2018 1 comment high risk merchants High risk merchants, particularly those of the e-commerce sort, need to gear for another set of Visa Chargeback rule changes, effective April 15, 2018. The time limit for a chargeback request is either 90 or 120 days. Online casino chargebacks are made under the code “4855”, and the time limit for them is 120 days. In other words, you have 4 months to make an online casino chargeback and this period starts with the day of the transaction. An Interac Online payment from a Player’s bank account that the Player is an authorized user, as defined by the bank, to access for such purpose. When Interac Online is selected as the payment option, a Player will be redirected to the online banking website for his or her bank. The Casino accepts players only from those countries and geographic regions where online gambling is allowed by law. It is the player’s sole responsibility to inquire about the existing gambling laws and regulations of the given jurisdiction before placing bets on the website. In the casino affiliate world, chargebacks are often associated with accusations of fraud and bonus abuse — and not without some justification. Bonus abuse does happen, and it’s not always caught by the processor or casino, as it should be. And this, of course, can be a problem — emotions tend to run high when those kinds of accusations.
As a gaming affiliate, chargebacks are a part of the business you’ll have to deal with sooner or later, if you’re not already. That’s the bad news. The good news is that you won’t have to deal with them nearly as much as you would have five or ten years ago.
What are chargebacks?
A chargeback is when a credit or debit card purchase is refunded, because the card holder:
• Didn’t recognize the charges;
• Didn’t receive what was purchased;
• Was charged more than once for the same purchase;
• Was wrongly charged because of a processing issue; and/or
• Was charged a different amount than what was originally agreed upon.
And before you jump to the obvious conclusion, be aware: Chargebacks are processed only after a full investigation has occurred. Someone who gambled and lost can’t simply get their money back by claiming not to have spent the money in the first place. They have to prove it.
If they do prove it, and the chargeback is successful, then it’ll be deducted from your earnings and listed as a chargeback on your monthly affiliate statement.
Or at least, that’s how all this is supposed to work. In the casino affiliate world, chargebacks are often associated with accusations of fraud and bonus abuse — and not without some justification. Bonus abuse does happen, and it’s not always caught by the processor or casino, as it should be. And this, of course, can be a problem — emotions tend to run high when those kinds of accusations are thrown around.
Affiliates should understand that most operators are licensed in their respective jurisdictions and would not knowingly commit any sort of fraud or other illicit behavior that could put that license at risk. The right attitude is to work with the operator when addressing chargebacks, not against the operator. At least, that’s how you should start out.
Know the rules
For lots of affiliates, chargebacks are a non-issue. Many veteran affiliates offer targeted, niche sites that appeal to high-level players — not the kind that typically rack up deposit bonuses and then try to get their money back.
Arcade slots games free. Still, problems with chargebacks are always possible, for any affiliate or operator. That’s why each operator describes its policy toward chargebacks in the terms and conditions provided to affiliates.
“Chargebacks are deducted in the month they are charged,” specifies LiveCasinoPartners. Any operator with whom you do business should offer the same kind of clarity on their chargeback policy — and you should hold them to it.
Is the chargeback policy fair? Are administrative fees lumped in with chargebacks in a way you’re not comfortable with? It’s best to get answers to these questions before you start to do business with an operator.
When you understand how chargebacks are supposed to occur with an operator, you have the power to look at your affiliate statement and spot legitimately suspicious chargeback activity.
Timing. Typically, chargebacks should appear no later than three months after the original purchase. In some countries, though, those rules are different; check where your operator is licensed to find out whether you should expect something different.
Consistency. If you see inconsistency, particularly with the same operator, or if you realize you’re getting more chargebacks now than you were before, and those are all coming from the same source, that’s a warning sign.
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Amount. If you do have to take a chargeback hit, make sure it’s the proper amount. In other words, make sure you’re only paying back the commission you earned in the first place, and not the entire amount the player deposited.
Patterns. If you’re getting a lot of chargebacks from one operator, and haven’t been able to resolve the issue with the affiliate manager, you’ve got a valid reason to start phasing out your business with that program.
What to do if you suspect an unfair chargeback:
Communicate with your AM. If you have any suspicions, express them immediately to your affiliate manager — before you go making accusations in the forums. There’s a chance that if fraud is present, the affiliate program isn’t aware of it, either. At any rate, give them a chance to sort things out before starting a flame war online for the whole world to see.
Get on the forum. If you’re concerned about a chargeback or series of chargebacks you’re being faced with a particular operator, get together with other gaming affiliates and see what their experiences have been. See if their records of deposits and chargebacks syncs up with yours. The CAP Forum, of course, is the ideal place to do that.
The final word is yours
Have you had bad experiences with chargebacks? Sound off in the comments and share your experience and advice.
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A reader who works in the chargeback section of a major credit card company has just about had enough with people tossing around “chargeback! chargeback!” as the solution to every customer service problem. While it is a great tool, you gotta make sure you use it right. To help you do that, here’s our credit card company insider’s guide to the top 10 reasons why your chargeback will get rejected.
Remember, the merchant does have a chance to rebut these things. If you tell us that you ordered widget A but received widget B but have no proof, and the merchant sends proof that you actually ordered widget B, you’ll probably be getting rebilled!
9. THE CHARGE IS TOO OLD
Please, please check your statement every month. We work within very limited timeframes, and, technically, you are required to notify us of a dispute (in writing! Just calling in doesn’t obligate us to do anything), within 60 days of the statement date the charge appears on. Visa gives some extensions: non-receipt and quality. With quality, you have to show you’ve been working with the merchant consistently to resolve the problem. MasterCard pretty much only gives extensions on non-receipt.
8. NOT GETTING A SECOND OPINION LETTER FOR CHARGEBACKS OVER $100
If you’re disputing the quality of something over $100.00 or so, it pays to get a second opinion letter. Within reason, of course. If you’re disputing the quality of a repair, on the other hand, you pretty much have to have one. These need to be on a merchant’s letterhead and have actual details about your dispute. “Car still broken,” will get you started, but if the merchant sends a rebuttal it’s probably not going to fly.
7. YOU BOUGHT IT IN FRANCE
The lovely consumer protections we enjoy in the U.S. do not follow you across our borders. If you buy something overseas, the burden is on you to return the item and prove it the merchant accepted the return before we can do anything. International quality disputes? Forget it. Strangely enough, this is the one category that MasterCard is better in as it does not differentiate between domestic and foreign merchants.
6. TRYING TO CHARGEBACK A DIRTY HOTEL ROOM AFTER YOU STAYED IN IT
If you go to a hotel and the room is filthy, leave within 20 minutes and get proof of your checkout, if possible. If you stay the night, you accept the room.
5. NO PROOF YOU MADE THE RETURN BY MAIL
When you return something by mail, GET PROOF OF RETURN. This can not be emphasized enough. Tracking numbers work best, return receipts work as well. When you return something you have the same burden of proof to show the merchant gets it back as they do to show you have it in the first place.
4. FORGETTING THE DATE IT HAPPENED
When asked for dates, please provide them and be as specific as possible. It doesn’t have to be exact, but if you called around the middle of the month, April 15, 2009 is better than April 2009, especially since we’re going to have to call you to get a more specific range and do the same thing anyway. “Don’t remember” is not a valid option.
3. NOT GIVING THE MERCHANT A CHANCE TO FIX THE PROBLEM
Get in touch with them before you get in touch with us. Believe it or not, most merchants are actually on the up and up! If the merchant offers to try to fix whatever problem you have without charging more, you have to give them the chance. If you’re from New York and got your car repaired in Florida, you get back home and the repair isn’t working right, still have to give them a chance.
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2. DISPUTING THINGS FOR THE WRONG REASON
It makes things more difficult and makes it more likely that you will lose. Don’t dispute things as “unauthorized” unless you never gave the merchant your credit card number. Don’t dispute things as “non-receipt” if the merchant did do something but you didn’t get the results you wanted.
1. USING MASTERCARD
With Mastercard (MC) the burden of proof lies on you. If you buy something face-to-face, get home and realize that it’s not as described, you’re out of luck entirely as you had a chance to examine the merchandise. Also, with MC it’s entirely up to you to know the merchant’s cancellation/return policy, even if they don’t disclose it. They didn’t tell you that you couldn’t cancel after three days? Too bad. Seriously, just use a Visa. It’s easier for everyone.
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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Consumerist.