If you need help with an everyday task—from putting together Ikea furniture to weeding your garden—chances are you may have tapped into TaskRabbit’s online marketplace to get the job done. TaskRabbit operates in 70 major metropolitan areas across six countries, matching freelance labor known as “Taskers” to local demand to complete jobs in 45 categories, from moving and home repair to cleaning and basic errands. But, as the company geared up for growth, managing chargebacks proved to be not only costly but increasingly complex and resource draining, given the small average order value (AOV) of transactions and the many different types of services the company provides. To reduce the workload for the company’s small trust and safety team, keep IT time to a minimum and protect revenue earned by Taskers, TaskRabbit chose Chargehound to fully automate its chargeback process.
To keep the fast-growing company on its toes, especially as it expands into new markets, senior software engineer Christian Block is always on the lookout for software solutions with high impact and minimal demands on his team’s time. Software integrations with payment processing systems are a key concern, since Block doesn’t want to saddle his team with hours of maintenance and troubleshooting: “We don’t want to have to ‘mother hen’ our integrations,” Block says.
The driver for Block’s adoption of a chargeback solution was the desire to save time for the trust and safety team by automating dispute representment—and also, to help the business scale. “One of our core trust and safety people was using all of her time to deal with chargebacks —plus about half of another person’s time,” Block says. The person handling chargebacks full-time had a good deal of valuable institutional knowledge of fraud and disputes—knowledge that could be better applied to complex chargeback situations that needed careful analysis.
“It just didn't make sense to have her time spent only on chargebacks anymore,” Block says. “We’d hit a point where it was time to automate.”
TaskRabbit’s operations team tipped off Block to Chargehound. “I trust their opinion, since they’re the ones who’ll be working on the systems day-to-day,” Block says.
Right off the bat, Block saw that the integration of Chargehound with Braintree, TaskRabbit’s initial payment processor, would be straightforward given Chargehound’s clear documentation. “Everything was really digestible,” Block says. “The quick-start guide was great at contextualizing the information for us—we don’t need to add to our cognitive load to figure out what we need to do. That makes things much easier if we have to redo the integration, or if we bring new engineers on board and have to give them context.”
Sandboxing and support also helped Block and his team keep a lid on integration time. “Because the Chargehound sandbox is so easy to deal with, it’s easy for me to test the integration and make sure everything looks good,” Block says. With easy testing at hand, Block and his team spend far less time troubleshooting problems. “It’s very easy to switch into test mode,” he says. “It’s right there in the UI and I don’t have to jump through a bunch of hoops to get there.”
Sure enough, TaskRabbit underwent a second integration—this time, migrating from Braintree to Stripe. “It was pretty simple,” Block says. The integrations with Braintree, and again with Stripe, each took less than eight hours, and don’t require engineering hours for maintenance.
“The integrations just work,” he adds. “We haven’t had volatility, or big breaks, or changes in the API. At the end of the day, it just doesn’t require babysitting.”
That was especially true when it came to configuring Chargehound for TaskRabbit’s overseas markets. The development team originally planned to have different templates for each country, and for each type of chargeback. When TaskRabbit’s operations team asked if IT could reduce the number of templates for ease of use, Chargehound’s support team helped Block update the template fields.
“Chargehound saved me hours of work just by taking on that one request,” Block says.
The saved time translates into real dollars for TaskRabbit. “We’ve easily saved on headcount for two people, if not more,” Block says. “We’re still growing, so Chargehound has probably saved on four to five people.” That’s not counting the hundreds of thousands of dollars he estimates Chargehound has saved by fighting 100% of its chargebacks while the business grows. “We’re seeing very real financial gains—it’s impacted our financials very strongly,” Block says.
The automated dispute representment that positively impacts TaskRabbit’s bottom line also helps the company scale. “Using manual processes can work for a few years, but then you get to that inflection point in a business where you’d need to hire more people for those tasks, or you integrate with a vendor,” Block says. “In our case, it made perfect sense to rely on Chargehound.”
To learn more about how TaskRabbit was able to achieve significant financial gains with Chargehound—check out their full results here.