Chargeback Reason Code

American Express Chargeback Reason Code R13: No Reply

General Information about Reason Codes

In 2016, Mastercard chargeback reason codes were condensed and consolidated, in a restructuring that resembled Visa Claims Resolution. Prior to this, Mastercard’s list of reason codes was long, convoluted, and confusing; now there are fewer than ten different reason codes relevant to most merchants. All the old reasons are still there, but they’ve been grouped under more comprehensive “umbrella” codes.

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American Express Chargeback Reason Code R13: No Reply

What is American Express Chargeback Reason Code R13?

The American Express chargeback reason code R13 indicates chargebacks where you did not reply to AmEx’s inquiry. It falls under the “inquiry/miscellaneous” category. Although the cause of chargebacks with this code lies between you and American Express, cardholder disputes are always at the tail end.

American Express serves as an issuer and a card network. Hence, it can send inquiries to you when a cardholder makes a complaint that warrants a chargeback. This often occurs if American Express does not have sufficient evidence from the cardholder’s complaint to escalate to a chargeback.

The inquiry allows you to provide counter-evidence that may influence American Express’s decision to disregard a chargeback. If you don’t respond, the card network will rule in favor of the cardholder and process a chargeback. The cause of the chargeback can be anything, and you won’t know until you look at the inquiry.

American Express can still process a chargeback if you reply, but your proof is insufficient. However, the chargeback will fall under a different reason code, depending on the cardholder’s complaint.

That places a burden on you to reply with adequate counter-evidence. Speedy and detailed replies are essential when dealing with inquiries.

Receiving chargebacks under reason code R13 is not the end of the rope. American Express still allows you to argue your case and influence a reversal. However, your options may be limited compared to chargebacks under other reason codes.

For this reason, we’ll be as detailed as possible. You’ll see why these chargebacks occur and how you can fight them. Then, we will leave some tips to prevent them, whether you run an online or offline merchant business.

Why Did It Happen?

The primary reason for chargebacks under reason code R13 is that you provided no reply to American Express's inquiry. Also, sending your reply late may do little to prevent chargebacks under the code. The root cause of the inquiry may remain unknown, as American Express will collapse the chargeback under reason code R13.

In a nutshell, these are the scenarios that will cause chargebacks under this reason code:

  • American Express received no reply: You did not send a reply to address the inquiry, or your reply did not get to them.
  • American Express received your reply outside the specified time: Sending your reply after the deadline will also lead to chargebacks under this code.

Once you receive an inquiry from the card network, you have a limited time to respond. Sending a reply on time will prevent a chargeback with this reason code.

However, chargebacks may still occur under other codes if your response was unconvincing to American Express. Your response will then be based on those codes.

Once a cardholder files a complaint and disputes a charge, the burden of proof falls on you. The liability for the chargeback will be on you unless you have sufficient evidence. American Express’s inquiry is the ideal opportunity to argue your case and resolve the dispute in your favor.

You may have been unable to respond on time or never saw the notification. Both excuses will do little to prevent the chargeback.

Your initial reply does not have to address the underlying dispute with the cardholder if some parts of the inquiry are unclear. You can reply for clarity or more information.

Inquiries allow you to do the following:

  • Make your case and submit counter-evidence
  • Learn more about why the dispute occurred with the cardholder
  • Learn what you can do to prevent further chargebacks


How to Fight American Express Chargeback Reason Code R13: No Reply

Thankfully, chargebacks under code R13 are not conclusive. American Express will still entertain your counterclaims if they are sufficient.

Note that you have limited time to respond to the chargeback. The standard time to submit evidence to counter the chargeback is 20 days.

These are our recommended approaches to fighting chargebacks under reason code R13:

  • If you sent your reply within the specified time: Send proof that you responded to the initial inquiry within the specified time. You may have to refer to the emails or written responses. The date and time the response was sent must be included in your evidence.
  • If you processed a credit to offset the cardholder’s disputed charge: Send proof that you have processed a refund for the disputed charge. The transaction date and amount must be included to show that the transaction is for the disputed charge. If there is a reason to have a lesser amount, include your terms and conditions that confirm the deduction.

The evidence should also show that the cardholder agreed to the deduction at the time of purchase.

  • If you reached an agreement with the cardholder: Provide evidence that you reached an agreement with the cardholder regarding the initial disputed charge in the inquiry. You must prove that both cases are the same. An email from the cardholder confirming the new agreement is sufficient.

If neither approach applies to you, the only thing left to do is to accept the chargeback. Learn what you can from the dispute and improve your business operations.

How to Prevent American Express Chargeback Reason Code R13: No Reply

Sloppy business operations and slow responses are the roots of chargebacks under reason code R13. A timely response will eliminate it.

Preventive measures you can take should revolve around improving your business operations and ensuring prompt replies. We suggest you do the following:

  • Employ staff and allocate adequate resources to chargeback management. This step will help you prevent and address chargebacks promptly.
  • Keep a detailed record of all your transactions.
  • Ensure details of your transactions are easily accessible. This will ensure you reply promptly to inquiries.
  • Use the required subject line when replying to American Express. This will ensure your email or message gets to the appropriate quarters. 
  • Ensure cardholders agree to your terms and conditions before authorizing a purchase. For online purchases, place a box before the final authorization. You can place the box on the same page as the final signature on the receipt for offline purchases.


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