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If you’ve paid for goods or services on a card and something goes wrong - maybe your item never arrived, or you were sent the wrong thing - help could be at hand in the form of the chargeback process. In fact, there are several cases when a chargeback may be in order, including if you’ve accidentally been charged twice for your purchase.

If something like this does go wrong, step one of course is to contact the shop or merchant to ask for your money back. But if you’ve already called and emailed and maybe even physically gone to the store and still haven’t managed to secure a refund, you can then turn to your bank.

In fact, some merchants offer the option to process your transactions via money transfer services such as Paypal, which has its own dispute resolution centre. If this is the case for your transaction, you should contact the shop or merchant first and if that fails, the money transfer service. If both those steps do not secure a refund, you can reach out to your bank.

What is a chargeback?

When you’ve done all you can to resolve the issue with a merchant, a chargeback acts as a fallback. For example, you might want to file a chargeback claim after making a transaction on your Starling debit card, when you:

  • Can see the merchant has charged you twice.
  • Have cancelled a subscription payment but the merchant has continued to bill you.
  • Have been charged an amount on your bank statement that is different to the value on your receipt.
  • Ordered a designer product from the internet and when it arrives, you find that it’s fake.
  • Ordered something and it’s arrived damaged or not as described.
  • Completed an order online and were charged, but the product has not arrived.
  • Notice a transaction on your bank statement that you don’t recognise.

Are chargebacks the same as refunds?

Chargebacks differ from everyday refunds. Instead of contacting the merchant directly for a refund, Starling will assess your claim to see if it is in line with Mastercard’s Rules and Regulations. If our Card Disputes team think that your case qualifies, we will return the money to you and claim it back from the merchant ourselves. However, when we submit your claim, we do need to make sure that it’s accurate and detailed. If it’s inaccurate, the merchant may use their own evidence to dispute the chargeback.

How to claim for a chargeback through Starling

If you’re getting nowhere with the merchant, you can contact Starling via live chat through the app, as well as by email or a call.

To make sure that your chargeback can be processed, we may ask you to provide very specific evidence to support your claim. For example, we could ask you for:

  • A detailed description of why you are raising the chargeback and why the merchant is at fault.
  • Detailed description of the goods or service you ordered.
  • Proof of purchase e.g. receipt or invoice.
  • Proof of liquidation, in the case a merchant has gone bust.
  • Evidence that the goods or service were faulty or not as originally described.
  • Confirmation that you agree for us to raise a fraud chargeback on your behalf, in a case where you do not recognise a transaction.
  • Details of all attempts to resolve with the merchant.

Please ensure that you have made every effort to contact the merchant in the first instance to try and resolve your issue before you contact Starling.

Are there time limits for claiming a chargeback?

A chargeback must be raised within 120 days of the transaction or from the date you were last made aware that you will not be receiving your goods and services. In some cases, this timeframe is reduced to 90 days (for example if you notice a transaction you made has been debited to your account twice). If your item hasn’t arrived and you don’t know an estimated delivery date, wait for 30 days from the order date.

If your item has arrived faulty or not as described, you must have attempted to return the product and allowed the merchant 15 days to provide a refund or replacement items.

We aim to resolve issues as soon as possible but some disputes can be a bit more complicated than others and can take more time to resolve, both for the merchant and for Starling. That’s why it’s important that you provide us with as much information as possible in your first message. This will help our Card Disputes team flag it up, look into it and where appropriate process your chargeback.

If the chargeback claim is successful, it will appear in your bank feed in the Starling app at the date when you made the original transaction. For example, if the purchase was made two months ago, you’ll need to scroll back to that date to check that the chargeback has been processed. Along the way, we’ll keep you in the loop with customer service messages through the Starling app.

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