Chargebacks: How Ticketleap Defends Against Them
What is a chargeback?
Simply put, a chargeback occurs when a ticket buyer, after purchasing a ticket to your event, disputes the charge with their credit card company. This could be for many reasons, but the result is the same: they're essentially asking their bank to reverse the transaction. Some chargebacks may be filed shortly after a transaction, or they can be filed up to four months after a purchase! For you, the event organiser, this can feel a bit like a financial punch in the gut, especially if it's unexpected.
There are a few typical reasons ticket buyers might file a chargeback:
1. Unauthorised purchases
The buyer claims they never authorised the ticket purchase. Maybe they think someone nabbed their credit card details and went on a ticket-buying spree.
2. Not as described or defective
They might argue that the event didn't match its description. So, if they were expecting a rock concert and got a jazz performance instead, they might be reaching for that chargeback option.
3. Technical glitches
Sometimes, technology can be a little...finicky. A guest could be charged twice due to a system glitch, leading them to dispute the extra charge.
4. Missed attendance
The customer claims they purchased a ticket but, for whatever reason, were unable to attend the event.
5. Awaiting refund
The cardholder says they reversed their ticket purchase or returned their tickets, yet they're still waiting for their money back.
While some of these chargebacks might be genuine errors or miscommunications, others can be more malicious or fraudulent. Whatever the reason, they can be a real headache for event organisers, especially if they're frequent or for large sums. That's why understanding them and having a strategy in place is so crucial.
How Ticketleap helps
Unlike many platforms, we have a dedicated team (including a full-time risk manager) laser-focused on addressing every single chargeback and offering as much evidence as possible for the best chance of winning each case. Because of these efforts, we’ve won over 50% of all chargeback claims filed—nearly 20% above the industry average win rate of 32%. So, rest assured, your events are in good hands!
Here’s how a chargeback works and how we help:
After the cardholder contacts their bank, your ticketing platform (e.g., Ticketleap) receives notification that a customer has filed a dispute, and they have 30 days to respond. At Ticketleap, we first determine whether the person filing a chargeback has a valid claim. For example, if a customer's card was stolen, they would be entitled to a refund. But if it's clear the claim isn't legitimate, we provide the event organiser with information including the buyer’s name, order information, and dispute reason. If there was an error in filing, we encourage organisers to contact the ticket buyer.
But if the buyer and organiser are unable to come to an agreement, we’ll put together a case and file for dispute. During this process, we’ll need proof that the filer actually bought tickets and attended the event. This could be scan logs with timestamps or event photos that customers shared on social media. After submitting the evidence to the bank, the case stays open for 45 days before a ruling. If the case is won, you and the ticket platform keep the revenue. But if the case is lost, the cardholder will get a refund. In all, it can take 45 to 90 days from the initial chargeback claim to see the money returned to your account.
How event organisers can prevent chargebacks
While Ticketleap is always ready to swoop in and handle chargebacks, there's a lot of power in prevention. By taking a few proactive measures, you can drastically reduce the risk of these pesky issues even popping up:
1. Have a clear refund policy
Before finalising any ticket purchase, have buyers digitally sign or acknowledge your event's refund policy in an event waiver. This not only sets clear expectations for them but also offers you concrete evidence should a dispute arise.
2. Scan tickets at the gate
Scanning tickets at the entrance isn't just for show! It gives you undeniable proof of attendance. If someone claims they never came to your event, you have the digital records to prove otherwise.
3. Ask for ID and payment verification
Make the ticket purchase more secure by asking attendees to present the credit card used for the purchase and a matching photo ID upon entry. This simple step can deter potential fraudsters and reassure genuine attendees of a secure event experience.
4. Train staff to check suspicious activities
Equip your staff with the knowledge and tools to spot suspicious ticketing behaviour. Train them to identify potential scalpers or attendees with multiple duplicate tickets with their smartphones. A vigilant staff can stop fraud in its tracks!
5. Use timed online sales
By halting online ticket sales 24 hours before your event, you reduce the window for last-minute fraudulent purchases.
6. Monitor bulk purchases
Large ticket orders (8 or more) can be a red flag for scalping or resale schemes. Look out for unusual names, fake emails, and billing addresses that don't match (often locations far away from your event).
7. Verify suspected fraudulent orders
If something feels off about an order, get in touch with the buyer. A genuine purchaser will appreciate your diligence, while those with ill intent might think twice about their actions.
Chargebacks can be a real buzzkill. But with Ticketleap in your corner, you've got an ally. We're here to ensure you can focus on hosting those amazing events. And remember, if you're all set to kick off your next event, Ticketleap's user-friendly event ticketing system is ready to roll!