11 Ways for Bail Agents to Prevent Credit Card Chargebacks
- by AboutBail Staff
- Business Tips
Your bail agency just successfully bonded a person out of jail and you received payment for your services via credit card. You're feeling great about everything - until you discover that the client has initiated a chargeback on the credit card they used to pay you. You groan as you consider the hassles you are about to endure dealing with the client, the client's bank and your merchant processing company.
Bail agents are at a high risk of dealing with chargebacks in part because of the nature of their client base, but there are ways to mitigate the risk. A combination of preparation, high-quality customer service, and solid business practices can prevent chargebacks, as we'll explain.
Why would a bail agent's client resort to a chargeback?
The reasons that a client might initiate a chargeback vary, but they can include dissatisfaction with services, confusion over billing, or even that the person wants something for nothing. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on preventing chargebacks from clients resulting from billing confusion or a dispute over services rendered by a bail agent.
How can bail agencies prevent a chargeback?
Here is a list of 11 preventative measures and resolution tactics you can use to reduce your chances of dealing with a credit card chargeback.
- Clearly explain your billing and refund policies to clients and if possible have them sign a written copy to prove that they read and understand them. Consider adding an item they can sign where they agree that they will not dispute or chargeback the payment.
- Give clients a detailed written description of the services you will be providing. If possible, have them sign a copy of this outlined plan.
- Make sure the business name on the credit card billing statement matches your firm's name (or at least let the client know which name will appear if it's different than your firm's name). People become highly suspicious when they see an unknown charge on their card and may respond with a chargeback.
- Include a phone number on the statement so clients can contact you in the event of confusion or disputes.
- Keep clients fully updated on the status of their bail bond so they don't consider a chargeback because they feel like they're being left in the dark.
- If any tricky situations arise, let them know promptly so they don't try to have their money returned through a chargeback.
- When choosing a merchant processing company or bank, research them thoroughly to compare chargeback resolution measures. Some merchant processing companies side firmly with consumers while giving little recourse to merchants or service-providers, so you should find a company that protects your rights and lets you fairly fight chargebacks.
- Keep detailed records of your interactions with every client. Archive notes about telephone conversations, records of e-mail conversations, receipts, contracts, copies of credit cards and more. The more information you can offer when disputing the chargeback, the better.
- Work with clients to resolve disputes before they resort to a chargeback. You may deal occasionally with a client who turns away all resolution attempts, but often some logical reasoning and customer service can save the day.
- If the client's bank issues a retrieval request, which is where they ask for proof that you delivered the promised services, respond as quickly as possible. The sooner you offer proof, the less chance of a chargeback.
- Last but not least is a tip that you likely practice every day but is nonetheless important: provide top-notch bail services. Good old-fashioned hard work and helpful customer service is an effective way to keep clients from even considering a chargeback.
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