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Preventing Disputes

Where there are purchases, there are payment disputes. As with any transaction, there’s always a risk that your customer will dispute the validity of their purchase. Cardholders can initiate a payment dispute or chargeback by asking their bank to reverse the charge. But you have a better chance of avoiding disputes—and when they do happen, of convincing your customer’s bank that you’re in the right—by following a few best practices.

Make your sales policies clear on your transaction receipts.

If a customer disputes a payment for a service or a product that wasn’t refundable, it’s not enough to provide their bank with a signed receipt. Presenting a “no returns, refunds or cancellations” sign at the register won’t convince them, either. The bank needs evidence that the customer was aware of your refund, return, and/or cancellation policies. Usually, you’re more likely to win a dispute if you can show that the customer signed a receipt or invoice in which these policies are clearly explained. Learn more about customizing your receipts and invoices

You may also consider using one of our contract templates. Using contracts helps you to build good customer relationships and avoid disputes by setting expectations with your customer at the outset. Take a look at the contracts we have available in the Build Your Own Contract feature.

Attach a Contract

One of the best ways to avoid misunderstandings or late payment is to put a contract in place. Contracts allow you and your customer to understand exactly what is expected from your transaction, minimize your chance of a dispute, and help ensure that you get paid.

If you are using Square Invoices to get paid, you can attach a contract right to your customer’s invoice. While contracts aren’t appropriate for every business, they can be invaluable to businesses who work in wholesale or on a project basis.

Using Square Invoices, you can attach a copy of your contract directly to your customer’s invoice. If you aren’t familiar with creating a contract, our team has created two templates that you can use.

  1. Service Based Contract Template

  2. Sale of Goods Contract Template

If you need help attaching a file to your Invoice, our Support Center can help.

Note: Square is not a law firm, an attorney or a professional advisor in any industry. Square provides this template to individuals who choose to prepare their own contractual documents and does not constitute legal advice.

Clarify your business name on your customer’s bank statements.

If your business name isn’t saved correctly within the Square Dashboard, or doesn’t reflect the types of goods or services you provide, it may confuse your customer when they review their bank statement. When they see a name they don’t recognize, they’re more likely to call their bank and initiate a dispute.

For example, it’s best not to use your personal name as your business name, because customers will be looking for your business name on their statement. If you don’t have a business name, use your service type followed by the name of the city where you provide the service (i.e. “Taxi - Austin, TX”).

Communicate with your customers

Open communication with your customers is one of the best ways to clear up confusion and reduce the likelihood of disputes. It helps to clearly communicate your expectations around pricing, sales tax, delivery, shipping, and the services you provide. Check out our full suite of Customer Engagement tools to create better experiences for your customers.

Learn more about: Payment Processing

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