Over the past 25 years, Brytan & Associates have had the pleasure and honor of engaging dentists across our great county. During this time, we have encountered all types of refund schemes.
It has been widely written that cash will continue to be with us but marginalized to the less important share of 20% of the economy. Credit cards and other payment vehicles will continue to become the dominate monetary financial engines of our economy.
That stated, business owners must become increasingly alert to guard against credit card refund schemes. They have been growing at an alarming rate in all sectors of our economy.
I offer the following 8 tips to protect your practice from credit card refund schemes.
- Do NOT under any terms and conditions refund credit balance(s) to a credit card, cash, and/or gift card – NO debate! PERMITTING this – opens the door wide for embezzlement and abuse by someone wanting to do your hard-earned practice significant harm in the short and long-term.
- Instead, issue a practice check regardless of the refund amount in the name of the responsible party.
- If a refund is requested immediately with the responsible party/patient present – discuss the request with the owner/doctor and try to accommodate a refund that business day or at least by the next morning. Most patients will understand.
- The owner/doctor should personally review the practice ledger to ensure the refund check is due and correct, e.g., proper details regarding responsible party/patient are noted in the ledger including date, amount, check number, initials of preparer, etc.
- I encourage sending the check by a service providing a tracking number and record the number in the corresponding responsible party/patient ledger note.
- Ensure the refund envelope address is the same as the responsible party.
- Be careful sending checks to a PO Box or apartment. Particularly if the check is over $500.00.
- Do NOT permit rubber stamp signature on any document requiring the owner/doctor signature!
Consistent due diligence of ensuring the above protocols are present and monitored will reward you monetarily and in decreased stress.