Chargeback – the return of funds to a consumer. It’s his protection guarantee and last line of defence. Chargebacks occur mostly due to fraudulent activity or consumer disputes.
A chargeback is usually requested by the cardholder and initiated by the card issuer. Most common reasons are that a consumer doesn’t recognize a specific transaction or isn’t satisfied with the purchased service/product and wants his money back.
Merchants usually prefer refunds, which are the same from the customer’s point of view (he gets his money back), but a lot better for the ebusiness owners. Merchants have to pay a relatively big fine for every chargeback; furthermore, lots of chargebacks make a merchant a risky one for acquirers, which can lead even to the end of their cooperation.
Of course if a chargeback request is unfounded, the merchant can prove this (he has a time limit to respond to a chargeback request) and convince the acquirer that there’s no reason to reverse the transaction.
Bottom line, being a cardholder you have the full right to request a chargeback whenever you think you deserve your money back. However, asking for a refund will make you more friendly towards the merchant and there’s a good chance you’ll get your money back (that is if you have a good reason).
And being a merchant… Simply be aware of this mechanism and provide good quality service or/and products.