For Sanity’s Sake, Make Your Return Policy Sing!

For Sanity’s Sake, Make Your Return Policy Sing!

This time of year, the most important element on an e-commerce website’s front page – along with sales and offers – is the return policy. Merchants need to make it as prominent as possible.

See, American consumers have clever nicknames for particular shopping days: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, for example.

We’ve dubbed the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day ‘Chargeback Week,’ even though chargebacks know no real season.

And it’s a merchant’s responsibility to prepare his or herself for Chargeback Week by having a prominent return policy.

Chargebacks from the Consumer’s Point of View

This is an educated guess…

The overwhelming majority of all consumer chargeback cases – that aren’t friendly fraud – are knee-jerk reactions, a convenient way out of a return by the consumer, who is unknowing of the repercussions on the merchant.

We believe only a small percentage happen (again, an educated guess) because the consumer is legitimately unhappy with the merchant.

It makes the merchant’s refund policy all the more important, particularly this time of year.

4 Ways a Prominent Return Policy Can Prevent Chargebacks

A refund is always better than a chargeback, for all parties involved. Make that very statement – as well as your refund policy – prominent with your customers in the following places:

  1. Website: This is E-Commerce 101. A consumer should be able to find a merchant’s return policy (and a phone number) within a matter of seconds. It should also be easily readable and understood. Refrain from an SAT words.
  2. E-Mail Receipt: When purchasing items online, consumers need to submit an e-mail address to complete the checkout. Along with the purchase information in the email receipt, a merchant’s refund policy should be prominently displayed.
  3. Billing Descriptor: A billing descriptor is the description of the charge a consumer sees on their credit card statement. Adding a contact number or e-mail is always good practice.
  4. Verbal: For you brick and mortar merchants, a simple comment at the checkout is worthwhile; something like ‘If you’re dissatisfied, just give us a call.’


With a little preparation, chargebacks can be kept to a minimum. And this is the time to do it.

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