The Dispute History in your WinRed Dashboard shows you your organization's Dispute Status for each of the 12 previous months. This document explains disputes, how to interpret the report, and negative consequences of high dispute rates.
Table of Contents:
What is a Dispute?
A dispute occurs when a consumer involves their bank or credit card network to protest a charge on their statement. Some common reasons why a consumer would kick off this process is that they don't recognize a charge or that the charge is incorrect, or a different amount than they expected. When consumers initiate the dispute process, the funds are refunded to the donor by the bank and automatically withdrawn from the merchant. The interceding bank or network attempts to collect evidence from both the consumer and the merchant to mediate and decide whether the charge should be reverse or stand.
WinRed donations are subject to the same process as any other online merchant.
Unfortunately, many consumers choose not to contact the merchant for a refund or resolution before kicking off the dispute process or refuse to wait the normal time for a refund to process.
WinRed actively works to keep the number of disputes as low as possible. WinRed often provides evidence to challenge disputes that are likely to be resolved favorably. Winning a dispute unfortunately does not impact an organization’s dispute rate.
If the dispute is "Lost" meaning the bank sided with the donor, you will see the charge appear as disputed in your account and you will be assessed a $15 fee. This fee is levied by the financial system and passed along to the organization.
If there are too many disputes, there is a risk of fines and other actions from card networks. That's why we have a report for each account in the dashboard that shows how many disputes each individual organization is receiving.
Elevated dispute rates can result in punitive action from the card networks and supporting banks. On the extreme end of the spectrum, disputes can be subject to massive fines and penalties. These fines are rare but will be passed along to the organization.
Reading the Report
The dispute history report shows you a month-by-month indication of how many chargebacks you received from Visa vs the number of donations you received. While we monitor disputes on all networks, Visa is the largest network which is why this report is based on their activity
There are two parts to the report:
The Dashboard Widget — This shows you the past three months.
The Full Report — This shows you the last 12 months and can be accessed by clicking 'view all' on the widget. This report provides more detail than the shortened widget on the dashboard.
In the report there are a couple of key terms:
Dispute Rate: This shows you the number of Visa disputes you received divided by the number of donations you processed within a single month.
Total disputes in a month is based on when the dispute is received, not when the charge was made.
Disputes can lag into the following month and therefore may be counted in the preceding month's rate.
Disputes that have been "Won" still count toward the rate.
Dispute Status: Based on the dispute rate, you are assigned a status for the month.
Amount of Visa Disputes
Low Dispute Volume
Fewer than 50
50 or More
50 or More
Between 0.65% & 0.89%
50 or More
Between 0.9% & 1.79%
50 or More
Dispute Monitoring Program and Possible Fines
Your dispute status can make you eligible for fines. When you reach a certain threshold for disputes you enter into the excessive dispute program which means you are eligible to be fined.
There are two situations that make you eligible for fines:
Dispute Status of High or Excessive in 4 of the previous 6 months
Dispute Status of Excessive in the last 4 months
Here are some examples:
In the above example chart:
Organization D is eligible for fines because they had a status of High or Excessive in 4 of the last 6 months.
Organization E is eligible for fines because they had a status of Excessive at least once in the last 4 months.
Organizations A, B, and C are not eligible for fines because they did not have a status of Excessive at least once in the last 4 months, and they did not have a status of High or Excessive 4 times or more in the last 6 months.
Once an organization is eligible for fines, they can be fined each additional month they have a Dispute Status of High or Excessive.
These fines are in addition to the normal $15 Dispute Fee and they will apply to both "Won" and "Lost" disputes.
How to Maintain a Low Dispute Rate
WinRed already employs a variety of best practices including receipts, multiple upcoming charge notifications, always-on donor support phone number, and live chat/ email support.
Below are some tips to try and keep your dispute rate as low as possible. There are of course factors outside your control like economic shifts or loss of an election but the following can help you maintain a healthy rate.
Make sure the “donor journey” is consistent. For example, if you are setting up a page for a recurring membership, make sure your marketing emails or text messages match and the donor knows how they are being charged.
Make sure your organization is prominently featured. For example, if you are highlighting a popular political figure in your sales pitch, make sure the donor can still discern that the money is benefitting your organization.
Make sure your donors are appreciated and know how their donation benefited your organization. If you lose your race, donors should know that they still made an impact.
Our team is happy to assist! Feel free to reach out by clicking the red chat box at the bottom right hand corner of your screen.