American Express Customer Service Chargebacks

American Express Customer Service Chargebacks

When a cardholder disputes a transaction, American Express first examines the available in-house documentation and the information provided by the cardholder. If the dispute is substantiated during this initial review process, an immediate chargeback is issued and no inquiry is sent to the merchant.

If an immediate chargeback is issued as part of the merchant’s enrollment in the American Express’ immediate chargeback program, Full Fraud recourse program, or for non-compliance reasons, the chargeback can only be appealed if the merchant can prove that the cardholder was issued credit. If American Express sends the merchant an inquiry form to help resolve the dispute, and a response is not received within the required 20-day time frame, or a response is received, but it does not support the merchant claim to the charge, a chargeback will be processed for no reply or insufficient reply, respectively.

American Express’ systems do not allow for re-presentment, however they will accept and review a request to reverse chargebacks if the merchant can demonstrate that it was issued in error. Requests for chargeback reversals must be made within 20 days from the date of the chargeback.

The following table lists some of the items that qualify as customer service chargebacks:

Chargeback Category Type – Customer Service Resolution


Immediate Chargeback A chargeback issued when American Express had sufficient information available in-house or from the cardholder to resolve the dispute without inquiring to the merchant.
Insufficient Reply Chargeback The documentation provided to American Express was insufficient, illegible, unrelated to the cardholder dispute, or not in compliance with the terms of the Card Acceptance Agreement, and failed to adequately support the merchant’s claim to the charge.
Authorized Chargeback The merchant authorized American Express to charge back the transaction identified in the inquiry.

(American Express prefers merchants to issue credits rather than to authorize chargebacks. Credits appear on the cardholder’s billing statement as submitted directly from the merchant.)

No Reply Chargeback American Express did not receive a merchant’s reply or support within the 20-day time frame allowed.

The reason why these are called “customer servicechargebacks is that, with the exception of immediate chargebacks, the timeliness and quality of a merchant’s response to an inquiry determines the dispute’s resolution. You should exercise your rights! Provided supporting documentation is available, there is absolutely no reason why “no reply” or “insufficient reply” chargebacks should be issued. 20 days is more than enough time to gather the requested documentation and send it to American Express. The best course of action is to reply to an inquiry within a day or two of receiving it.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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