Rooster Teeth Case Study
Monthly manual review eliminated
Annual increase in approved orders
A global fan-based entertainment company, Rooster Teeth is widely popular for its hit shows and innovative community-built media environment. With gaming, streaming, broadcast, live-action production capabilities and a world class animation studio, Rooster Teeth has come a long way from its humble spare bedroom beginnings. With series such as Red vs. Blue, RWBY, Rooster Teeth Podcast, The Roost, gaming partnerships, and a lifestyle brand, the company has amassed an impressive 45 million subscribers to its YouTube Network, 5 million unique weekly viewers across its RoosterTeeth.com hub and more than 4 million registered community members.
The Fraud Problem
Rooster Teeth’s popular shows, gaming, and streaming services attract many adolescent and young adult fans. Many in this age group are not yet financially stable and fraud among this demographic is common. Rooster Teeth found that a small slice of their target demographic would attempt to use stolen credentials to create subscriptions or buy fan gear. While global fraudsters employ more sophisticated methods such as using prepaid cards or untraceable burner phones to make unauthorized merchandise purchases, one common category of fraudsters they encountered simply used their parents’ and friends’ cards without authorization. Rooster Teeth also encountered classic fraud that sellers of streetwear, lifestyle and pop culture categories encounter, the use of stolen cards to acquire merchandise with a high resale value on campuses, overseas, or via third party websites.
The First Attempt
Murphy Geshwind, Customer Service Subject Matter Expert (CS SME) at Rooster Teeth, was tasked with rooting out the fraudsters from the legitimate customers. Murphy’s vast experience in customer service and technical support departments made them the best candidate for the job.
Using the available built-in Shopify fraud prevention tools, Murphy would do frequent daily sweeps of incoming orders, researching those marked as “Medium” or “High Risk.” They found that most orders that were flagged as “Medium Risk” were classified that way due to a harmless typo or customer oversight. The “High Risk” orders often proved to be actual fraud, although there were many instances where legitimate orders were classified as “High Risk,” requiring Murphy to review every transaction to prevent false declines.
Murphy would spend hours manually reviewing orders every week. They described the fraud problem as a daily chore and an ever growing challenge as the company scaled and criminals became more tenacious and creative. Weekends and late night hours were “a hope and a prayer” as fraudsters often took advantage of the lack of scrutiny during those time slots and the company’s reputation for expeditious processing and shipping schedules. Fraudulent orders sent to the warehouse were nearly impossible to retrieve and cancel, forcing the company to absorb the losses of fraudulent orders that failed to be caught in time.
The company’s entire fraud defenses rested solely in the hands of Geshwind, and on the rare occasion that they were unavailable, a manager would fill in. The fraud related tasks, which included hours of manual review, as well as responding to customer-initiated chargebacks was increasingly infringing on their primary responsibilities at Rooster Teeth.
Integrating With NoFraud
In Q1 2021, fraudulent attempts spiked as fraudsters became more familiar with the ideal time frames to place orders that would be shipped out before manual review was performed. It was not uncommon for Murphy to detect hundreds of orders being sent to mail forwarding warehouses in Florida. Stolen merchandise was popping up on third party marketplaces in Panama and Cuba at significantly higher prices, damaging the brand. As fraud losses reached over $2K+ a month, Murphy urged the eCommerce team to implement a fully automated fraud prevention solution.
The eCommerce team began their search for a fraud prevention vendor in the Shopify app store. They immediately discounted any solution that was rules-based. Their ideal fraud provider needed to be fully automated, requiring no effort from the Rooster Teeth team to maintain. Another major consideration was accuracy. They wanted a solution that effectively blocked fraud, but not at the expense of rejecting legitimate customers.
Combing through reviews on the Shopify app store, the Rooster Teeth team zeroed in on NoFraud as the provider that was most likely to suit their needs. While most providers offered a large degree of automation, what was especially appealing about NoFraud was the existence of a manual review team, which NoFraud customers loved and contributed to their high approval rate. The review team is available by phone or email so if there is a question on a decision, NoFraud customers are provided with live support.
The NoFraud Difference
After a 30 minute integration and NoFraud setup, NoFraud’s impact on Rooster Teeth was immediate. The solution instantly screened Rooster Teeth orders and only legitimate orders were pushed to fulfillment. The company was also able to remove a fraud filter blocking orders with mismatched billing addresses, enabling Rooster Teeth to ship out an additional $40,000 worth of product annually. Murphy has been entirely alleviated of the entire responsibility of reviewing suspicious orders and managing chargeback disputes. With the robust NoFraud system in place, chargeback rates have plunged, and when the occasional fraud chargeback does occur, NoFraud will automatically dispute the chargeback and reimburse Rooster Teeth for the full chargeback value.
“The peace of mind that NoFraud has afforded us is invaluable. I no longer need to stay up until 2AM anticipating fraud in every new order. Everything is completely automated and so effective at identifying the intention in every scenario. We have had zero issues with this system. The NoFraud team is a pleasure to work with, they have been amazing at explaining the solution and process, and have proved to be fully vested in our success.”Murphy Geshwind
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