First Chargeback - What To Do?

Business By CakeForte Updated 5 Apr 2009 , 8:24pm by Deb_

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CakeForte Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 2:40pm
post #1 of 17

I'm so upset right now. I just saw in my bank account that I have a chargeback. This has been a BAD week and all I've been doing is crying and not sleeping, I have huge deadlines looming for next week for school so I can graduate, and now this.

I have an idea of the customer, but I need to go back from my files and look to make sure. I'm pissed because they got a nice fancy cake for their wedding and are *possibly* trying to get out of paying for it.

Anyway, I cannot even think logically and straight right now.

What are the steps that I need to do I need to do to handle this? Do I send them an invoice? Do I contact them? I really need it spelled out for me. Thank you.

16 replies
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majka_ze Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 3:10pm
post #2 of 17

I am sorry this happened to you. Please confirm my advice by somebody in US, it can be a tiny bit different there. But the main steps remain the same:

Do not contact the customer first. Contact your bank. Chargeback should come with numeric code describing the reason. If this is "real" chargeback as defined by bank associations, the reasons can be in following groups:

- Expired authorization, non-sufficient funds, or bank processing error
- Duplicate billing, incorrect amount billed, or refund never issued.
- Consumer claims to have never received the goods as promised at the time of purchase.
- Consumer claims they did not authorize the purchase, or identity theft.

You are in very good position to get your money back.

After you receive the reason, you can authorize your bank to dispute the claim. If the reason is expired authorization or non-sufficient funds, I would contact the customer. Any others - you will need the proof of delivery.

But again - your first step should be contacting your bank.

Take deep breath, step back from this problem. If it is possible for you, don't think about it after contacting the bank for few days. You have many other concerns at the moment. Take care of this immediate need (contacting the bank) and forgot it for a week.

I wish you better time in the future and hope all goes well for you.

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juleebug Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 3:20pm
post #3 of 17

Contact the card company and let them know that #1 the goods and services were provided & #2 the client did not contact you to resolve any issues they had. You should be able to re-submit the charge.
This article is aimed toward Internet businesses but the information is relivent to all small biz owners.

Also, this may help.

Good luck!

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Ruth0209 Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 3:23pm
post #4 of 17

So, was it a check that bounced or a charge reversed from a credit card? Either way, I recommend that you require payment in full two weeks before the delivery of the cake. That gives a check time to clear (or not) before you deliver the cake. I don't take credit cards, so I don't know about the timing for that.

I'm sorry you're having a difficult week. I don't know if it'll work for you, but when I have too much to do I make a list of everything I think I need to get done, then I circle the few "absolutely, positively have to do this week" items, and let the rest just sit until later. That helps me put those out of my mind for a while without worrying about forgetting them.

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solascakes Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 3:37pm
post #5 of 17

I'm sorry this happened to you,i can't help you but i feel for you, i hope it all works out well for you.Good luck.

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LovelyCreations Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 3:37pm
post #6 of 17

I think majka_ze had VERY good advice. I would follow just what she said especially about the stepping back for a few days...

I'm so sorry you are having such a horrendous week.

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juleebug Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 3:48pm
post #7 of 17

CakeForte -
I asumed in my 1st post that it was a credit card. But DH and I have dealt with this at our computer store several times. My DH always deals with the card companies and I usually handle the bounced checks.
If it was a credit card charge, DH said all you need is the signed receipt and the card co. will issue payment.
If it was a check, hold on to it. Call the issuing bank every couple days. As soon as the money is in there, drive to the bank and CASH the check.

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classiccake Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 5:26pm
post #8 of 17

If it was a credit card, the CC company is obligated to contact you for you to dispute it. There are steps to go through and I think there is something like 30 days to respond and work on it.l

Don't panic. They can't just chargeback without some recourse....otherwise on one would accept credit cards!

Breathe deeply and relax. You have time and can dispute it.

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onebigdogmama Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 8:10pm
post #9 of 17

When you talk to the customer, let them know that if it was a check, you can "charge" up to 10 times the amount of the returned check legally plus pay the bank fees. Check with your bank and attorney, if necessary. Another is, if you get the check back from your bank, take the check to their bank and ask for a cashiers check, if there is money in the account. It may bounce their account for their charges, but you can get your money.

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sjholderman Posted 3 Apr 2009 , 2:21am
post #10 of 17

If it's a check, contact your bank to determine why it was returned: insufficient funds, bad endorsement, stop payment, closed account are all possible reasons. Your bank may have procedures they want you to follow, but if its an insufficient funds or closed account I would contact the customer and advise them that if you don't receive full payment and reimbursement for any charges incurred you'll be seeking legal counsel. My mom used to run a home business and usually when she threatened this she got her money. Otherwise you can try to go to the issuing bank and get it cashed, but you may get a check cashing fee from that bank (if they'll cash it at all) and you won't be able to make the customer pay your fees.
- Bank Teller at a big crappy bank!

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summernoelle Posted 3 Apr 2009 , 2:32am
post #11 of 17

I know! I know! I know! This happened to me in November for a cake I did in October. Grrrrrr. I was so mad I could not see straight! Basically I had to send in every document, email, proof of phone calls, and photographs of the cake (along with a glowing email saying how much she loved it). I don't mean to make it worse, but like I said this happened in November and I got my money back in March. It takes a looooooooooooooong time.

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indydebi Posted 3 Apr 2009 , 2:34am
post #12 of 17
Originally Posted by onebigdogmama

When you talk to the customer, let them know that if it was a check, you can "charge" up to 10 times the amount of the returned check legally plus pay the bank fees. Check with your bank and attorney, if necessary.

Laws may differ from state to state, but I did check with hubby on this (25 years in banking). If a stop-payment was put on the check just to get out of paying, that is considered fraud and (in his day) you could collect 3 times the amount of the check. (Such as someone who gives the bank a check for their car payment and then stops payment on it "just because". Or they pay the babysitter, then put a stop payment on the check for no reason other than to get out of paying the sitter. Fraud.)

So as onebigdogmama says (man I LUV that screenname! icon_biggrin.gif ), check with your attorney on what is applicable to you.

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cakesdivine Posted 3 Apr 2009 , 3:33pm
post #13 of 17

Unfortunately in Texas if is was a check the most she could charge is $40 NSF fee over and above the amount of the check. But it sounds more to me like it was a credit card charge back. One of the reasons I don't accept checks is due to all the NSF's I had encountered in the past. At my dance studio, at a time that I was very new (only had been open a year) one of my most wealthy clients bounced a $500 check, which of course caused a huge snowball of negativity in my account. At that time in Tx all you could charge was $20 over the check. She laughed about it bouncing like it was an airhead moment for her as she wrote the payment from the wrong account and just forgot to transfer the funds over. It took me 2 whole months to finally collect the money from her, but it cost me over $1500 in NSF charges due to several little checks I had written on that $500 before it has been taken out of my account. It was a nightmare!

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CakeForte Posted 5 Apr 2009 , 6:46pm
post #14 of 17

A HUGE **THANK YOU** To everyone that replied and sent me a PM.

I had a big hard cry to let out all of the junk then I stepped back and followed the advice. Everything just sort of snowballed all at once and then I saw that I was missing a huge chunk of money for no reason and I lost it.

It turns out that it was the check from my job! I put the money in my biz account since I hadn't done that many cake orders lately. I thought it was a cake at first because the amounts were so similar.

Anyway....I told my boss and they cut me a new one right away. So everything worked out.

::sigh:: I'm ready to be done with the "start up" phase

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solascakes Posted 5 Apr 2009 , 6:57pm
post #15 of 17

Glad yoy were able to sort it out.

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-K8memphis Posted 5 Apr 2009 , 7:38pm
post #16 of 17

Oh girl, giant "Whew!"

I was dying for/with yah.

So glad that worked out!!!

Said a prayer for you~~hope all goes very well with school & start up & all.

(((big hug)))

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Deb_ Posted 5 Apr 2009 , 8:24pm
post #17 of 17

Wow as a business owner I'd be very embarrassed if a payroll check I issued to one of my employees bounced. icon_redface.gif

Hopefully your boss will be more careful in the future........this could have caused a huge mess in your account and it would have been his fault.

Whew.........glad it turned out OK for you and good luck with school!

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