Picture this: A customer brings their car to your shop for routine maintenance. Your technicians recommend a tire rotation, brake pad replacement, and new air filters. The customer declines the air filters, but you proceed with the other work. A few days later, the customer claims they were charged for replacement air filters, and files a dispute with their bank.

Or how about this one: A customer comes in for a service and later wants to dispute the payment of the service because they find damage to the exterior of their car that they believe your shop caused.

Regardless of the scenario, what happens now? How can you make sure your shop has enough compelling evidence to fight the dispute?

One of the biggest forms of conflict auto repair shops struggle with is disputes and fraud cases. Responding to a dispute or fraud case can take time, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll win your case. But the entire process can be easier if you are set up for success with service history tracking. 

By keeping detailed service records for all your clients, you can quickly resolve client inquiries on charges and respond to disputes.

Common Reasons a Customer Might Dispute a Transaction

Disputes are a service that the cardholder’s bank offers, and there are several reasons a cardholder may file a dispute against a charge your shop initiated — usually tied to an issue they have with the transaction or an attempt to defraud your shop.

Disputes can arise when a customer claims things such as:

  • They didn’t receive the products or services that they purchased.

  • Products or services actually received were damaged or defected, or not aligned with descriptions.

  • They were charged more than once for a product or service.

  • They do not recognize the charge appearing on their credit card statement.

In dispute cases, it’s your responsibility as the business that charged the customer’s credit card to prove to the cardholder’s bank what actually occurred during the transaction.

Why Digital Service History is Important in Challenging a Dispute 

In the event of a dispute or fraud case, it’s important that you have the necessary information and documentation to help make your case to the cardholder’s bank — the more compelling evidence you have, the better chance you have at winning the dispute.

Compelling evidence often includes items that are easy to find when you are digitally tracking information related to your customers’ service history, such as: 

  • Photos or videos of vehicle condition / before and after

  • Timelines of events and interaction

  • Signed invoices or receipts

  • Records of communication with customers, including work authorizations

  • Shipment tracking numbers or delivery confirmations

Being able to prove what work was done on a customer’s vehicle, what work they authorized and what was declined, or what parts they ordered are all essential to help protect your shop from the financial risk associated with a potential dispute.

Shopmonkey's built-in tools can help. 

Several of Shopmonkey’s features that exist for efficiency and convenience in your shop also serve as key ways to protect shops in case a transaction is disputed:

  • Digital inspections are a great way to increase technician efficiency, while also providing before and after photos and videos of vehicles that come through your shop.

  • Being able to text and email directly with customers is convenient for both you and the customer. Shopmonkey’s Message Center has a record of all communication and authorizations with cardholders, including product tracking numbers for items that may have been shipped.

  • Auto shop e-signatures are an easy way for customers to digitally approve and pay for work, but they also add protection from fraud. An e-signature is a way to validate, authorize, and confirm that approved work or products were performed or received.

Plus, Shopmonkey’s Risk Management team is available to help our customers monitor real-time risk, and gather compelling evidence to present to the cardholder’s banks when disputes arise. 

Disputes and fraud cases can be messy and time-consuming — we get that. That’s why we want to make your life easier as a shop owner by helping you avoid disputes and be ready to prove your case when challenging a dispute. We know you already have a lot on your plate, and we’re here to help.

Real Shop. Real Results.

Titan Motoring has avoided 20+ quality-related disputes using Shopmonkey.

With Shopmonkey’s digital inspection tools, technicians at Titan Motoring in Nashville, Tennesee are able to upload full reports that capture the state of the vehicle before and after work has been done. Providing evidence that vehicles are properly handled and cared for under the Titan team means that the technicians now have zero liability while servicing vehicles. This digital documentation not only allows the technicians to do their work without the added stress of a potential dispute but also boosts their reputation with customers.

Read Titan Motoring’s full story.