Payment disputes occur when someone initiates a dispute against a payment you have received via LiveHeats.
How do disputes occur?
Disputes are always created by the owner of the payment method used when purchasing a membership or a registration into an event. The payment method owner might:
- not recognise the transaction (e.g. the athlete used a parent or partners credit card)
- not compete and forget to cancel their entry
- have requested a cancelation and refund but not heard back
then, they may initiate a dispute with their financial institution.
What happens in the dispute process?
The process is:
- The athlete's financial institution contacts Stripe
- Stripe notifies LiveHeats and charges a dispute fee (fees are different depending on the country of the transaction), as well as immediately returns the funds to the payment method owner
- We notify the organiser and the athleter of the situation and request the athlete to remove the dispute, or to ask the payment method owner (in the case they are a different person) to remove the dispute
- Regardless of the outcome of these communications, we must submit evidence to counter the dispute. This can include emails communications where they payment method owner has stated they will/have removed the dispute with their financial institution, or any evidence that they participated in the event or made use of their membership
- The Financial institution decides to resolve the dispute either in our favor, or in the favor of the payment method owner. In the case of a resolution in our favor, the funds are returned. Dispute fees are never returned
It is important to note that once a dispute is created, it is no longer possible to refund a payment normally, the only way to solve the issue is to go through the dispute process above.
How can you reduce the likelihood of disputes, and increase the chances of successful resolutions when they occur?
The following instructions are what we consider best practices to reduce the chances of disputes and maximise the chances of successful resolutions when they occur:
- create a registration custom field of the type checkbox that each athlete must check when registering, which clearly indicates your refund policy, e.g. something like: "I understand and accept that event registration fees are non-refundable", or "I accept that registration fees will only be refunded when cancellations are made with at least 72 hours notice". A field like this will come up on their email confirmation as well which we can then easily submit as evidence that they were aware of the policy. Check how to use custom fields here
- upload your terms document when setting up event registration, and ensure they include your refund policy. A link to these terms will also appear in the confirmation email. Check how to upload terms documents here
- both options above: you can upload a terms document and also include a checkbox that says something like: "I have read and accept the terms and conditions listed below, including the refund policy"
Note that it's impossible to completely remove the possibility of disputes, and even when the below are implemented, disputes can be resolved in the payment method owner's favor. It is also possible that actual cases of fraud occur, if for example someone uses someone else's credit card without their authorization.