How we reduced chargebacks by 30% (as a percentage of sales) - (37signals)
We’ve never had a lot of chargebacks (a chargeback is when a customer calls their credit card company to dispute a charge they don’t recognize), but last year we made a simple change that reduced our chargebacks by 30% as a percentage of sales. I can’t be certain the reduction is entirely due to this technique, but we didn’t change anything else related to how we deal with chargebacks.
008 I was thinking about how we could do a better job explaining a charge, but we were only allowed a limited number of characters on the customer’s billing statement. According to the merchant/card rules: Your company name/DBA section must be either 3, 7 or 12 characters and the product descriptor 4, 8 or 13 characters. That means we could do something like: 37signa*Basecamp 800.xxx.xxxx IL or even…
If you don’t use a product descriptor (“Basecamp” or “Backpack”), you get 22 characters. So I decided to register 37signals-charge.com, redirect it to 37signals.com/charge, write up a page explaining why there’s a charge on your card, and put that URL on people’s charge slips instead of “37signals, LLC” or “Basecamp” or “Highrise” etc.
This is an interesting one for all of those who are accepting credit card payments online via their website. Chargebacks are the worst and EAT UP your profit. They came up with an interesting way to prevent 'em.
A great little bit of online business advice - having your line item charge on customers' credit card statements read as a URL they can use to identify what they're being charged for.