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Disputing Charges: KS's Gone Bad


Marvin
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After certain happenings in the last few hours I too will be pursuing the chargeback option which I have never done before. I am confident in my history with my bank so it's more about how I actually explain the circumstances over the phone and what websites or evidence are needed that I am uncertain on, but I expect it will be sorted eventually.

 

Given the stalker/scary behaviour that led to this I am really regretting answering the backer survey just a couple of days ago and confirming my address....I'm on the other side of the world at least.

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Was the data collected anything more than address, phone, email, what did you want with your pledge?

 

From Seeing suspect posts on craiglists, things that should not be asked for; credit card numbers, social security numbers, drivers license number, mothers maiden name, names of pets, past addresses, license plate numbers, favorite movies/artists/food, and etc.

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I've now spoken to my bank who have advised me that they will need to lodge the claim under 'items not received by the due date' or such, and they have started the process for the first KS that I was concerned about. They also requested me send the 'merchant' an email formally stating the amounts I paid and requesting refunds - this is evidence for later if needed that I have in fact requested this. Have sent that now - I shudder to make further personal contact but have no choice.

 

The bank's dispute team will compile some info, try to contact the 'merchant' and then come back to me within 7 working days with a letter (and possibly a request for more info; we'll see). But that first KS was the bigger pledge by far for me so I'll be happy to at least get that back.

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So what has Kickstarter's reaction to chargeback's generally been?   

 

Actually, on second thought, I guess it would be Amazon that get's the chargeback.  

 

I ask because I remember hearing that Valve doesn't take chargeback's filed against Steam purchases well and might lock a Steam account from buying new games if one occurs and would be slightly worried that Kickstarter might have a similar policy.  

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I am thankfully grateful that my two fail starts have been for $110 total.  I don't want to, but I can absorb the loss, and consider it money well spent on lessons about further researching.  I seriously doubt my bank will accept charge backs after 2+ years, and 18 months.

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Repeated chargebacks may well cause Amazon payments to take a close look at whether they want you to continue to use the service, but I don't think KS cares as they keep their cut whatever happens

 

This made me realize I'm not entirely sure how chargeback works. If I pledge $100 on a project, I've heard that Kickstarter and Amazon each take 5%, so the project creator now has $90, Kickstarter $5 and Amazon $5. If I process a chargeback and get reimbursed, where does the money come from? Amazon gives back their $5 and demands the project creator to pay $95 (meaning the creator has taken a net loss of $5), or what? Can someone walk me through it?

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In theory, the credit card would go after Amazon first, who would refund the money, since they brokered the transaction.  Then it is up to Amazon to go after the project creator.  Depending on how much money, and how many chargebacks, Amazon may likely write off the transaction as a loss and absorb it.  But the terms of the new KS agreement also allows Amazon to theoretically pursue legal channels to refund money from fraudulent backers. The problem becomes, how much is it worth to pay an attorney's quarter-hourly fees for the process versus how much money they would recoup.  For most Kickstarters, it would be a net loss to pursue legally, even with paid staff attorneys.

 

If a company had a mega KS, and defaulted, it would be more tenable.

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OK, I see. A while back I remember hearing about some small scale project creators who got really burned by fraudulent backers doing chargeback (after having received their stuff). Then it sounded like the creator having to pay Amazon back was pretty automatic, but perhaps that was because they were honest and just payed when asked.

 

 

 

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