Woman talking(l+r), Hand holding credit card(c)

Eyeware/Shutterstock https://www.tiktok.com/@that_disney_mom/video/7345540590139886878 (Licensed)

‘It’s called merchant abuse’: Worker confronts customer who asked for 26 chargebacks in 7 months

'The bank is literally done doing business with you.'


Rachel Kiley


Posted on Mar 14, 2024   Updated on Mar 14, 2024, 9:38 am CDT

The ability to dispute charges that hit your credit card is a valuable protection for consumers, but there are a number of reasons to try to settle any issues directly with a seller before things get to that point, as one TikToker’s conversation with a frequent dispute filer recently highlighted.

Over a million people have viewed @that_disney_mom’s side of a customer service phone call that she shared to TikTok this week, urging people not to be a “chargeback Karen.”

According to the call, the customer in question had just been informed that the bank had closed all of the cards connected to her account because she filed a whopping 26 chargebacks over the prior seven months.

“Ma’am, you’ve got nine just from Etsy alone in the last three months,” @that_disney_mom said. “It’s called merchant abuse.”

Disputing credit card charges can be done for several reasons. Consumers often file chargebacks when their card was hit with a charge they didn’t authorize, for items they ordered and never received, or for charges that were made incorrectly or for the wrong amount. 

These aren’t the only reasons a legitimate chargeback might be filed, but when a too-frequent pattern emerges, card issuers can become suspicious about what, exactly, is going on. Not only do they take time for the company to dispute, but they can cause problems for the merchant.

“As an Etsy seller I am so glad they are cutting down on people playing these games,” @hailey_1986 commented on the video. “It does cost a lot of time and money across multiple companies.”

“Someone filed a chargeback for our small RESCUE. It was devastating,” Jake from Second Chance Ranch Rescue wrote. “I checked in on them to see how the dog was doing after the chargeback and ‘she’s great! thanks for asking!’”

If there’s an actual problem with a purchase, such as not receiving the correct item, receiving a damaged item, or otherwise being dissatisfied, it can benefit both sides to try to resolve the issue directly rather than getting the credit card company involved.

While we don’t know the specifics of what happened with the customer this TikToker spoke to, some people do abuse the chargeback option on purpose, thinking of it as an easy way to get their money back. But as @that_disney_mom noted in her call, a false chargeback is “deemed as fraud,” and there can be consequences.

“I can’t reissue you the cards because the bank is literally done doing business with you. They have canceled every single thing,” she told the customer. “And it says that you currently owe $2,203 back on the credit card alone that you are required to pay back legally, otherwise it’s going to go to collections.”

@that_disney_mom Dont be a chargeback Karen!!! #workfromhome #customerserviceproblems #customersbelike #customerstates #wtf ♬ original sound – Disney Mom ✨

A number of viewers commented that they had never filed a chargeback themselves, and one retail worker noted she’s dealt with a lot of customers who have claimed they would “just dispute the charge” when their attempts at returning a product in store were denied.

“I had to dispute a charge on my credit card bc my info was stolen and I literally cried to the Citi customer serv rep because I was afraid they wouldn’t believe me,” another wrote. “Cannot imagine this.”

As for the specific customer, the TikToker let her know unequivocally that her hands were tied.

“I put a note on your account that you want it to be reopened, but as of right now, I cannot reopen or I can’t reissue anything, because all your accounts have been closed and your cards canceled,” she said. “That’s how that works.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to @that_disney_mom via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: Mar 14, 2024, 12:00 pm CDT