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Customers think rejected AVS authorizations are duplicate charges... driving me crazy

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  • Customers think rejected AVS authorizations are duplicate charges... driving me crazy

    If I had a dollar for every time I get a call or email from a customer claiming that we have double or triple charged them for their order, I could cover my monthly fees! Do other users of AVS (Authorize.net or others) have problems with customers being confused by this? When Authorize.net rejects the authorized transaction due to a billing address mismatch, the authorization hangs around out there on their account for several days. Then when they look at their statement, they think these are actual charges. Many times they call their banks, and the employees at the bank think the same thing! (You would think they would be familiar with this.)

    Am I missing something here? Is there some way to send a transaction to the banks to make those rejected authorizations drop immediately? Perhaps I need to add some additional wording to the screen where the billing address is entered to call attention to this. How are the rest of you handling this? Is it a problem for you?

    We spend enough time answering questions about equipment without wasting time on this!

  • #2
    We use Paypal and have never had any issues like that at all. Maybe they work differently than your gateway?
    Laura Z
    Brass & Silver Traditions
    www.brassandsilvertraditions.com

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    • #3
      Yes, we use PP as well, and it is totally different. When a customer chooses that payment, they are ported over to the PP system to complete the order.

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      • #4
        Yep, that happened to us all the time when we used Authorize/Premier Processing.

        We put a HUGE notice on our policies page, in red, about using debit cards. It still happened fairly often. What made it worse (for us at least) was that 3d didn't/doesn't pass error codes, so they just get a rejection instead of a note saying the address was bad or whatever.

        We switched to PayPal Pro for other reasons, but it also fixed this problem. They also get better error messages.

        DaveW

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        • #5
          DaveW, is there much of a difference in price between PayPal Pro and Authorize.net? Does PP Pro require the customer to have a PP account, or can they just pay with a credit or debit card the same as Authorize.net?

          How did it fix this problem - does it eliminate the duplicate authorizations, or is it just better communication by virtue of the error messages? And I agree completely that it would be a simple matter for 3dCart to either report the error code or put out a message that is appropriate to each code. They could just use the canned message displayed by Authorized.net on their system and it would be better than "your credit card cannot be charged at this time..."

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          • #6
            Yes this happens to us all the time. We use Authorize.net. Any time an action is taken on the customers credit card, it shows up on their on-line statement. declines, authorizations, charges all show up the same and the customer thinks we charged them four times.

            I don't think it has anything to do with Authorize.net, and it is the way credit card companies process things. Frustrating!

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            • #7
              You should only see a declined charge hanging around on debit cards. Credit cards should clear immediately. At least that's the way it's worked for us with auth.net and 4 different merchant accounts over the years.

              We do have the AVS system. Too many declined transactions that should be ok, like international orders. Also, gift cards cause problems.

              We're thinking about switching to Paypal Pro, which will get rid of some of these problems, but also save us a huge amount in fees. My concern is Paypal is so pro-consumer that we may end up eating more fraudulent claims. We've only lost one charge back in 5 years due to an international delivery without tracking. My assumption is that this will go up with all Paypal.

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              • #8
                PayPal Pro is more expensive on some transactions (we are 2.2% +.30), but in our case since we pay most vendors via credit card, we use the PP debit mastercard extensively. This earns 1% back and for us, makes the net charges for the month cheaper.

                We also gain instant use of the money via the card. The hardest part for us is remembering to transfer money to the real bank account for bills that require actual checks to be cut. :)

                Thanks,

                DaveW

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                • #9
                  Due to our volume our proposed Paypal Pro rate is significantly lower than any other merchant account we've negotiated with, and those were already very low. It's a huge yearly savings. So it's rather enticing. But the "they hold 30% for 90 days" reports really have me scared off. Of course, we've been using PayPal Express for years and have never had that happen, so maybe I'm over thinking it.

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                  • #10
                    I have had no mention of hold backs for us and we are fairly high volume (for a small biz - 50k/month)

                    Their basic fraud protection is not as robust as I was used to with Authorize.net as we seem to get more fraudulent orders to cancel than we did before.

                    It takes several days to transfer money to your bank, which is pretty long when some merchant accounts have it going in next day now.

                    We use the Debit Cards so much that we trigger their fraud alerts quite often and have to call them and verify the last 5 transactions.

                    Besides that, we have been very happy with them as a service.

                    DaveW

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                    • #11
                      Yeah, we're at next day deposits right now and that is going to be hard to give up. But the amount of savings would make it worth it, I guess.

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                      • #12
                        I use AuthNet and would honestly rather have the customer have a charge sitting for a couple of days than the bs known as eBay/PayPal or the fraud orders getting through and the headaches they provide.
                        David
                        David's Gifts and Things

                        Wholesale Gifts, Home Decorating, Jewelry and More

                        Quality, Selection, Value Always

                        The more you buy the more you save!

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                        • #13
                          PP holds

                          I have been using PP Express in addition to my normal cc gateway. Since changing to PPEX with an enticing rate, they now grab 70% of my payments.

                          They are now offering me an even better rate if they do the cc processing as well.

                          I had mentioned the "hold" problem that has been discussed here. I was told that it does happen but it depends on what merchants sell. Higher risk items will have the hold imposed. Luckily I am not in a business selling what they consider a high risk product. It made sense to me. They specifically mentioned electronics and jewelry being two of the biggest risk markets.

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                          • #14
                            We have had this problem for 12 years now, and we do not use Authorize.net or Paypal. We use Payflow Pro (a Paypal product) which does the AVS check--I will never use Paypal due to all of the possible pitfalls involved with them. We've had other processors in the past, all with the same issue. I can say that most of the problems that we have had have been with use of debit or check cards, not regular credit cards. We finally resorted to posting the following at the top of our checkout page:

                            "VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

                            In the bridal industry, we understand that it is quite common for customers to have changing credit card billing information, as many of you are in the process of relocating and changing names on your credit cards. However, VeilShop.com is strongly committed to the prevention of fraudulent credit card usage, for your benefit as well as ours. If the address you enter below for the "billing address" does not match what your bank reports as the official address for your account here is what happens:

                            1. The card will fail the address verification system (AVS) that most merchants use to detect and prevent fraud. The order doesn't progress past our payment gateway and does not turn into a sale.

                            2. Your bank places a hold (or authorization) for the amount of the attempted sale. We are listed as the source of the authorization. This typically happens when using a debit card or check card and fails the AVS.

                            3. You wonder why you were "charged" for an order on our site that didn't complete successfully, and contact us for an explanation, and are usually upset with us over an issue that we have no control over.

                            4. We are powerless to remove the hold and cannot void the authorization. Only the issuing bank can release the hold. You must contact the bank and request that the funds be released. Otherwise, the bank will release the funds once the authorization expires (usually 24-48 hours, but is entirely up to the issuing bank).

                            This is an issue that affects all online merchants who use the AVS security check system to help prevent the fraudulent use of your credit card, not just VeilShop.com. PLEASE double check the accuracy of your address, and if the transaction fails, DO NOT attempt again repeatedly. Each attempt will result in an additional hold."

                            It's wordy, but it has decreased those calls to only about 1/month now, from someone who (amazingly) missed all the words above.

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                            • #15
                              What I have realized over the years is that you can write all you want, NO ONE reads it except you.
                              It may come in handy after the fact for saying we have that posted. However for prevention purposes I have found that long wordy explanations just add clutter to the pages with no real results.

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