When we receive notification of a credit card dispute (aka chargeback), that means that someone who purchased something on imATHLETE.com has contacted their credit card company to claim the charge was unauthorized.
When will someone see a charge from imATHLETE?
The only time someone will see a charge on their card from imATHLETE is if they:
Register for an event on imATHLETE
Make a donation made to a fundraising campaign on imATHLETE
Purchase merchandise sold via imATHLETE
That’s it! We don't go around charging cards willy-nilly.
How does imATHLETE handle disputed charges?
We're all about the communication. Here's what we do for each type of disputed charge:
We cancel any registration associated with that charge
We follow up with the athlete to let them know:
Their registration has been cancelled
Why their registration has been cancelled
If they decide to rescind the dispute with their credit card company, we can reinstate their registration
If the athlete's registration was for a drawing or registration for your event is closed, we will contact you (the event organizer) before reinstating the registration.
We reach out to the donor to remind them of why they're seeing the charge (e.g., on January 20th, you made a $25 donation to Awesome Charity.)
We reach out to the fundraising administrator to let them know the charge has been disputed
We reach out to the purchaser to remind them of why they're seeing the charge (e.g., on January 21st, you purchased VIP Access to Awesome Event for $100.)
We reach out to the company administrator to let them know the charge has been disputed
What happens on the money side of things?
First, imATHLETE will respond to the credit card company. We'll send over the appropriate documentation and otherwise do everything we can to show the charge was indeed authorized.
No matter our response, the credit card company ultimately decides whether or not to return the original funds to the cardholder. Meaning, they take those registration/merchandise/donation dollars they had originally paid to imATHLETE, tack on an additional fee, charge it back to imATHLETE and return the original purchase amount to the cardholder. The card company keeps the fee, of course.
Translation: it's all very expensive and time consuming.
Of course at this point, imATHLETE has already paid you (the event organizer) those original funds we had collected. So we, in turn, pass the cost of the disputed charge (the original purchase amount plus any fees charged to us by the credit card company) on to you. We do not enjoy doing this.
How can you help prevent disputes?
For the most part, folks who dispute a charge on their card do so because they are scared thata) their credit card number was stolen, or b) they've been taken advantage of by a disreputable organization. Here's how you can help prevent that:
Make sure your event's refund policy is clearly listed on your registration page and on your event website. Lots of folks expect a refund if they can't attend and aren't familiar with industry standards on refunds. Give them a heads up so that they aren't surprised by a no/partial refund policy
Answer athlete support questions that you receive promptly. Especially questions around refunds, transfers, cancellations, and deferrals. If someone missed your event's refund policy, isn't familiar with industry standard, and sends you an email to request a refund and doesn't hear back from you, the odds of that person feeling taken advantage of (and disputing the charge) are high
Know that your athletes' credit card statements will show a charge from I Am Athlete, LLC so that if someone asks, you can confirm that is correct.
If someone contacts you to confirm a charge and you don't see a registration for them, feel free to direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can research the charge with our payment processors.
Dedicated phone option for billing anytime someone calls our support line
One-on-one support from a member of our team to help research an unrecognized charge (hint: it's almost always a family member)
Despite our best efforts…
Here are some common reasons folks fail to recognize a charge from imATHLETE on their credit card.
The credit card is shared by more than one person, and the person who reads the bill is not the person who authorized the charge. e.g., Daughter is off to college, doesn't tell her parents she’s suddenly fallen in love with running and signs up for her first run using her parents' credit card. Parents don’t recognize the charge, and they don’t know anyone who would sign up for an endurance event, so they dispute the charge
The purchaser just didn’t notice they were paying via imATHLETE.com for their event registration/donation/merchandise and didn't see (or remember seeing) any of the "IMPORTANT!" messages we sent them
The athlete’s credit card was stolen around the time they authorized a legitimate charge from imATHLETE and that authorized charge was mistakenly disputed along with the fraudulent charges
Real credit card fraud with endurance event registrations is amazingly, incredibly, unbelievably low. Think about it…why would you use a stolen credit card number to pay for something that requires you to show up in person with a valid photo ID?