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My merchant bank informed me that with ecommerce transactions, even if I receive a faxed order form with signature, drivers license, and front and back of credit card, I can't use that as 'proof of purchase' in case a charge is contested. In other words, even if I have a signature on file, I will still lose the chargeback because it isn't a manually imprinted or signed sales slip.
Was my agent just an idiot or is this really how lopsided banking policies are?
The kind of documentation you describe should be very helpful when you are laying out your case for the bank, however. Merchants CAN win chargeback disputes if they have good documentation.
Just tell your bank that the card was present but as an Internet merchant you don't have a terminal or a way to imprint it for a "Card present" transaction so you photocopied it yourself while the customer was in your store. The bank will take the money from your account first, they always shoot first and ask questions later - but I've never had a case where I didn't get it back if I had a copy of the card and a signature.
It's not like the customer is going to say "They didn't photocopy it, I faxed it to them!" because that would certainly land you a "win" as they just admitted to a purchase :)
the killer is that you get dinged for a chargeback and whether you win the dispute or not, visa/mastercard just see the chargeback.