Credit card charge backs

So I get a charge back letter from my processor with 4 disputes from the same customer. Its from a twice a week customer so I call her to find out what the problem is. She tells me that she did not order she was on vacation. I explain to her that Greg called from this number and address. She says oh that’s my son and I didn’t give him permission to use my card and you should of never have taken the order. I said WHAT, you mean to tell me that you are not gonna pay me for food that your son ordered to your house that he lives in with you. She says I’m sorry but I didn’t order and I’m not paying but I still want to be a customer of yours I love your food. So I say goodbye and call the processor to explain what happened.
They tell me that if I don’t have a swipe of her card with her signature I can’t win the dispute. I say it was a delivery to her house,that her son ordered, how can that be possible. They tell me that credit cards are set up to protect the consumer and if I don’t have an imprint with her signature there is nothing they can do. I said so if my 9 year old daughter orders a 1,000 purse using my card I can dispute it and nothing will happen, he says yes, I don’t make the rules take it up with Visa. I say can you transfer me to Visa I’d like to talk to them, Yes no problem.
I talk to Visa and explain what happened, they say its not an issue we can help you with talk to your processor.
Is this nut or am I going nuts.
Sorry for the long rant I just cant believe this can actually happen.

Went through almost the exact same thing a couple of years ago. A lady had let her nephew that lived with her use her card to buy something online. He did not dispose of the card number but instead used it to order from our shop and others. We argued, we lost. end of story. other than the lady’s husband threatened me because I was calling to try and collect the over $100.00 I lost. The stupid thing is I could not even go after anybody. The woman could charge him with unathorized use of the card, but I could not.


It is for this exact reason that my credit card policy has always been if the card is not present there is no sale. I have terminals for my delivery drivers to swipe the card at the door. We ask every delivery order how they will be paying and remind them they must have the card at the door to be swiped. No Card No Food. In seven years I have had one charge back and that was because the staff member did not follow store policy. The staff member resigned shortly after the charge back letter arrived. Something Fishy? :?:

Not to pour grease on your fire, but even with these things you can’t win a dispute. The only party on the hook in any given transaction is the merchant.

I’ve not had a single dispute go in my favor, even when we’ve swiped the card. When I receive a notice these days, I just immediately write it off as a chargeback and throw the form in the file cabinet. Digging through the old paperwork bundles for the credit-card slip is a comical waste of time and I don’t bother to do it anymore.

You could file a theft by deception charge through your local JP. I am also sure that there’s some liability in the parent NOT securing the card AND they are liable for the actions of children under the age of 18. The premise is that you set a stage and if you let it happen it’s your fault if you don’t follow through. SURE filing the charges can cost a few bucks but when your win you get that back as part of the restitution.


Go talk to your local Justice of the Peace…or Police. See I am a former police officer and it’s good to have those community relationships.

I would thank her for being a valued customer and let her know that all future sales are to be pre-paid cash only! :x

alotadough - Did your driver check to see that the signature on the back of the card matched the signature on the slip?

(I know the answer to that, I’m sure - I’m just saying that even if you had all the things that your merchant agreement require in order to dispute a chargeback, you would lose anyway.

Brad repeated the same thing I’ve been saying here for years. After a charge has gone through, it’s not worth spending 1 minute dealing with the “request for information” letters. The only thing I do with those is find the transaction in my POS and flag that customer as bad. Oh, and I take a look and see how many other chargeback notices I will probably get on that card. :slight_smile: )

Years ago, i was very unhappy with the with way my processor handled a chargeback issue.
Everyone knows what an old Thermal paper copy looks like. They claimed it was illegible.

The chargeback was like $20 along with their $30 Fee.
I kindly asked if they would waive the $30 fee to keep me as a customer. They said they couldn’t.

When i called to cancel, their tone changed. They offered to credit me, but i switched processors. They threatened to charge me their $300 termination charge, but i reminded them that i have the signed contract with a $0 cancel fee.

Flag their acct in your POS. Cash only. & move on.

my conversation would have gone simular to Mandy’s. Ma’am you didn’t authorize this? she says No, ok ma’am I will return your money ASAP, but please understand that I have to pursue criminal charges for theft and deceptions and I will be taking the forged credit card receipts, delivery receipts to our local police department to try to recover these with damages of course.

With Credit card policies like this, that processors and visa have, What do you think the time frame is before merchants just stop taking it in the shorts and say NO MORE? I think I am getting close myself! The few BAD CHECKS make taking checks cheaper to take than GOOD CREDIT CARDS.

Thin I think it is a lost cause now. Checks and cash are gone…plastic rules the world! Even the backwoods, mom & pops places that were only cash are now plastic friendly. The banks rule until the machines take over. I predict that is actually next Dec.! :shock:

“Unfortunately, we have already delivered goods and services to your child. This appears, based on your statements, to be an illegal use of a credit card. Unfortunately, it looks like we will have to file charges for credit card fraud. I hope you understand, this is a serious and expensive process for everyone involved. If we can find a amicable resolution to this serious problem, we would be happy to work with your child to keep this off of his record.”

It’s fraud. Don’t allow anyone (including your processor) to tell you differently. If they accepted the goods, they’re liable.

I know we have gone down this conversation months ago…but in this case and with how arrogant she came off by saying she didn’t authorize her son to make the charges… This one is total BS and you should go after them. This will take almost no time and at most cost a couple of dollars. Send her a certified letter asking for payment and costs within 5 business days or, on the advice of your counsel, will be filing a civil suit against her son, which with him being a minor, also has too include her. The lack of responsibility of parents these days is a joke. For her too acknowledge that her son did order the pizzas but didn’t have her permission, and with her being a regular customer, is a joke. Whatever happened to people doing what is right. Fine, beat the kid, but pay your damn bills! So, in the end, you spend 15 minutes and a few dollars on a letter…maybe she bites and pays. Either way…I would ask her to find a new pizza shop! :!:

I agree. She is responsible for the minor child and for controlling his access to her CC.

How about looking at this from a different angle. She did say she wanted to be your customer and likes your food. What is the value of the customer? Making some assumptions here. The orders were lets say $25 so the kid took you for $100. Assume the mom orders once a month $25x12=$300 a year. Over a 5 year period that is $1500. The lost $100 is less than 10%.

Now if you pursue legal action against the customer you may or may not recover the $100 but you most likely will lose this customers as well as some of her friends. Assume you lose 5 friends that only order every other month. $25/order x 6 orders/year x 5 friends x 5 years = $3900 added to the $1500 is $5400. This now brings your loss down to 2%.

Is it worth pursuing? I would say it is not. Is it right? I would say it is not.

Would you be hesitant to go after the money if these had been bounced checks? Every customer is precious and should be treated as such. If a customer is stealing from you, that is not a customer you need! Go get your money!!!

Daddio I understand the position you are looking from, but I stand firm that this has to be addressed, what if she tells 2 people this little trick that works on his pizzeria and they tell 2 friends. Besides in this day and age I am SO sick of parents who accept no responsibility for there kids action, OK fine she doesn’t have the money or doesn’t want to foot the bill well send his ass down here and I will knock off 8 dollars an hour and he can do dishes and stand out side in a pizza costume OTHER THAN THAT YES I AM CALLING THE PROSECUTOR nothing more than what any other business would do if I was to commit fraud against them. Why is it the family owned pizzeria is a doormat for these people?

Seriously, what steps can a merchant take in these situations? What if the son had walked into Best Buy and charged a $4,000 plasma-screen t.v. instead of a few pizzas?

Hey PMQ, there is an idea for an article here somewhere!

Everyone hates the risk of losing a customer but even though we talk about future dollars that might come in…even more important than his mother telling a few friends how this worked out…what about when the kid tells all his fiends about the “free” pizza he got away with. It is flat out appalling these days how parents take zero responsibility for what their children do or how they act. I grew up without a father around…and lived with my grandparents. When I did something that warranted it… boy did I get a belt from grandpa…or how about that damn willow tree on the side of the house. Lets just say grandma would be in jail these days if she got caught taking care of the “bad” kids like they used too. Those things stung! Today…it’s a timeout. I think we should go back to the belt…for the parents too! If she was such a good customer and loved your food she would not have screwed you out of the money her son spent. Rockstar is 100% right on this one, in my opinion, that the family owned establishment is always the one that is being degraded these days to the point that people just do not care. Oh, yes he charged and ate the great food you have, but I didn’t tell him he could. WTF! I would send the letter, make the phone call to her, then call the police…even if they do nothing more than stop by her house and question things, and if the fear of embarassment doesn’t get the money, then file the civil charge…costs almost nothing and makes a point at least. I know in our state that this would cost $25 and get put on this mothers/kids “Open Court Records” website for life. Even if you were not too win… it would show she/he was sued for this and why. Gotta love the law! 8)


You made the mistake of take a credit card from a kid. Did you think it was the kids credit card? Did the signature on the slip match the signature on the card? Does that kid have the same name as his mother?

I assume “no” to all of the above. Bottom line is it is your fault that you got scammed. You didn’t follow the rules for taking credit cards. You should have refused the transaction. Do you really think the mother should be responsible when you shouldn’t have taken the card in the first place?

We’ve done the same thing. It’s a chance you chose to take, and we do all the time. Sometimes we get bitten.