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A chargeback is like a refund - it reverses a transaction made on a debit or credit card. Chargeback is a term used by credit and debit card providers.

A chargeback takes place between the cardholder’s and retailer’s banks. When a cardholder asks for a chargeback, the retailer’s bank may agree to pay back funds to the cardholder's bank.

Chargebacks are not like the dispute resolution services offered by organisations such as eBay or PayPal. For more information on those, view Resolve your problem or complaint.

When you can ask for a chargeback

Consumers request chargebacks for many reasons. The most common are when:

  • they pay for products or services with a debit or credit card, and:
  • the products or services received are not as described
  • they do not receive the products or services at all or within the agreed timeframe
  • there are duplicate or fraudulent transactions
  • charges are made without permission
  • unrecognised transactions appear
  • the business stops operating and does not supply the purchased product or service.

When you cannot ask for a chargeback

There are circumstances when a chargeback may not be available. For example, if you:

  • paid with cash, money transfer, cheque, direct debit or BPAY
  • are eligible to lodge an insurance claim
  • have already been compensated.

Time limits

There are time limits on making a chargeback claim that vary from 45 to 120 days from the transaction date. Check your card provider's time limit and submit a claim as soon as possible.

Keep all forms, emails, documents or web pages you have filled in, read or received. You may need them to support your claim.

The card operator may reject a chargeback request made outside their time limits.

Rejected chargeback requests

If you believe a bank or card provider has incorrectly rejected a chargeback request, you can dispute the decision. The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) can help resolve your dispute. The AFCA is an independent dispute resolution service for consumers and small businesses. For more information, visit Australian Financial Complaints Authority.