Have You Requested a Refund? Why?

45 replies
I was going to post this in Brad Gosse's thread (Woman requests refund for a free product), but was afraid it was a bit off topic.

So far I haven't requested a refund from anyone, although there was one ebook I bought last year that I got absolutely nothing out of. In fact, the information in it was so general that I have a hard time believing anyone benefited from buying that particular product.

Of course, if what I had purchased was a software program that didn't work I would have insisted on getting my money back.

I'm curious: what would cause you to ask for a refund?

Will
#refund #requested
  • Profile picture of the author Louise Green
    I've never asked for a refund, the only reason that would cause me to is if the seller didn't provide the product or service.

    Thankfully I buy the majority of my stuff from the WSO board and the Warriors for Hire, so everything is top quality.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    Anything explicitly promised/guaranteed in the sales page that isn't provided will get a refund request on principle alone. That kind of tactic hurts us all.

    The other thing that will virtually assure a refund is forced opt-in practices. You know, where the seller takes your money for something, but then will not give you access to it without first signing up to their email list. If you tell me in the sales page that's a condition of the sale, I'm 100% ok with it. But if you spring it on me after I've paid and you didn't give me any notice on the sales page, then you've changed the condition of the sale and you'll get a prompt refund demand from me.

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author Louise Green
      Originally Posted by Zeus66 View Post

      Anything explicitly promised/guaranteed in the sales page that isn't provided will get a refund request on principle alone. That kind of tactic hurts us all.
      Yup, and there's also people who buy something, never try it for themselves (and thus not benefiting from it) and still request a refund because it requires them to do some work.
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      • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
        Let me ask you a question.

        You say the info in this product was very general.

        Was it accurate?

        For somebody just starting out who had no clue about anything at all, would
        it have given that person information that they could have used to improve
        their situation?

        A common problem among grizzled vets is that they fail to understand that
        just because info is basic doesn't mean it's worthless....even if that info
        could be found by doing searches on Google.

        The time spent doing those searches may make buying the product worth
        while.

        So while the product may have been worthless to you, please don't
        assume that it means it will be worthless to everybody.
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        • Profile picture of the author 1960Texan
          Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

          Let me ask you a question.

          You say the info in this product was very general.

          Was it accurate?

          For somebody just starting out who had no clue about anything at all, would
          it have given that person information that they could have used to improve
          their situation?

          A common problem among grizzled vets is that they fail to understand that
          just because info is basic doesn't mean it's worthless....even if that info
          could be found by doing searches on Google.

          The time spent doing those searches may make buying the product worth
          while.

          So while the product may have been worthless to you, please don't
          assume that it means it will be worthless to everybody.

          Steven,

          Without getting into any specifics, the product I was referring to was basically a re-hash of the Terms of Service of a popular content-mill type site, and offered absolutely nothing that wasn't already covered in the TOS. It was billed, however, as "Unknown Secrets to Making Great Money on...", hence my statement that it probably was worthless to most everyone, and certainly misleading. If it's in the TOS, it's not a secret.

          I do see your point regarding newbie vs grizzled veteran, and think that issue is easily resolved with better sales copy. I'd rather sell a hundred ebooks with a high satisfaction rate than a thousand ebooks that would ultimately make me look like a scammer. A good reputation is easier to lose than it is to gain.

          Will
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          • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
            Originally Posted by 1960Texan View Post

            Steven,

            Without getting into any specifics, the product I was referring to was basically a re-hash of the Terms of Service of a popular content-mill type site, and offered absolutely nothing that wasn't already covered in the TOS. It was billed, however, as "Unknown Secrets to Making Great Money on...", hence my statement that it probably was worthless to most everyone, and certainly misleading. If it's in the TOS, it's not a secret.

            I do see your point regarding newbie vs grizzled veteran, and think that issue is easily resolved with better sales copy. I'd rather sell a hundred ebooks with a high satisfaction rate than a thousand ebooks that would ultimately make me look like a scammer. A good reputation is easier to lose than it is to gain.

            Will

            So in other words, the sales page lied.

            Well, that's a whole different can of worms altogether.

            But given a truthful sales page (albeit that's open to a lot of debate)
            a lot of basic stuff still can help a lot of people out.

            But yeah, if you go over the top and promise things that are beyond
            any reasonable expectation (also open to debate) then you're looking
            for trouble with refunds and a bad rep.

            But all of this is still subjective to the buyer.

            One man's can of worms is another man's meal for the day.
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            • Profile picture of the author John Lenaghan
              Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

              But given a truthful sales page (albeit that's open to a lot of debate)
              a lot of basic stuff still can help a lot of people out.

              But yeah, if you go over the top and promise things that are beyond
              any reasonable expectation (also open to debate) then you're looking
              for trouble with refunds and a bad rep.

              But all of this is still subjective to the buyer.

              One man's can of worms is another man's meal for the day.
              This is how I look at things when I buy something. Even though it might be stuff I already know it can still be valuable information, maybe just not to me.

              I've probably refunded 3 or 4 things over the years, but I can't think of a single example off the top of my head. Most, if not all of them, were recurring memberships where the person running it just quit updating stuff, but kept charging for it.

              Unless something is blatantly not delivering what it says it will, I generally look for what I can get out of it rather than what it doesn't do for me. Even if it's basic info, I find I can usually find a tip or two - or maybe just a reminder of something I've let slide - that makes the cost worthwhile.

              John
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              • Profile picture of the author waywyrd
                Hi,

                I recently asked for a refund because the course I ordered didn't deliver on the promises in the sales pitch. It was way over priced for what it contained and I had already purchased a manual from the same guy (which he'd published a year or so before) for a tenth of the price of this new course. Most of what was different in the new course from the previous manual I could just have Googled anyway.

                Regards,

                Waywyrd.
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    • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Zeus66 View Post


      The other thing that will virtually assure a refund is forced opt-in practices. You know, where the seller takes your money for something, but then will not give you access to it without first signing up to their email list. If you tell me in the sales page that's a condition of the sale, I'm 100% ok with it. But if you spring it on me after I've paid and you didn't give me any notice on the sales page, then you've changed the condition of the sale and you'll get a prompt refund demand from me.

      John
      This nonsense again?

      *Yawn*
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      • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
        Originally Posted by Black Hat Cat View Post

        This nonsense again?

        *Yawn*
        LOL I'm actually glad you don't like that we don't like that. It's one of my rules on WF: If Black Hat Cat likes it, it's probably a really bad idea. If Black Hat Cat hates it, it's probably a ringing endorsement for people who run legitimate businesses they can be proud of.

        So thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author Paleochora
    I wouldnt ask for a refund unless it was a product that didnt work (as metioned in the OP).

    This reminds me of a sales page I saw (may have been on here in WSO) and contained the best 'Our Money Back Guarantee' box I have ever seen. (Guys help jog my memory here). It was for an information product, a relatively inexpensive one maybe $10 or something.

    The guy basically said (and I paraphrase) 'Here's my guarantee. I guarantee you will get something useful from this book. Will I give you a refund if you read it and come back and ask for your money back? Hell no! You dont go to a restaurant and have a meal and take a bag of poop round the next day and expect a refund. You don't buy a gallon of gas, drive around and then go back and expect a refund, so dont expect one here. If you can't live with that, don't buy it'

    Classic!
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  • Profile picture of the author VeitSchenk
    if it's rubbish, I'll ask for a refund, and for a very specific reason:

    this way I'm giving the seller feedback that they're not delivering value (note: when I ask for a refund, I will always give them very specific and detailed feedback how and why it didn't work for me).

    now, the key is of course "what is rubbish"?

    if it's a piece of software that completely destroys my entire twitter following in one fell swoop (like just happened this morning after buying a twitter automation tool here on the forum, that I'm not a happy bunny would be a bit of an understatement), then that's rubbish.

    If they make claims in the sales-letter and don't deliver (and that particular thing they claimed it would do for me is THE ONE I was looking for), then that's rubbish. Refund.

    an example would be a "monster package"-course I bought a few months ago. In the sales letter/video it came across as this super-fine-tuned course that would take you *step-by-step* from A-Z.

    turns out it was *everything* they guy had ever done coarsely divided up into 5 or so categories and you had to wade your way through endless hours of video without any guidance where to start, where to find what. That's rubbish. Refund.

    Btw, when I ask for a refund, I ask on the day I buy and look at the product, none of this hang around, wait for 30days and see if by magic it'll turn into gold.

    Rubbish doesn't turn into Gold by you waiting for it. And together with the detailed feedback I give, I hope the few people where I had to ask for a refund will a) understand that the product wasn't right for me and b) maybe take some of the feedback on board and make the product better.

    with my own products and courses, my philosophy is this: a small percentage of people will be serial refunders, and there's nothing I can do about it (but I still ask them what I could've done better).
    But then there are those who ask for a refund for a very good reason: they had expectations, and I didn't meet them. And that's where the real gold is: figure out what I could have done better, where I could have added more value and do it even better next time. (and btw, I'll always try to give the refunders something as a consolation prize -- nothing creates more goodwill and gets that feng-shui flowing than happy (ex/almost)customers.

    Veit
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      There have been a handful of times I've asked for refunds...

      > I already owned the product. In fact, I was on multiple lists for this marketer, and he did such a great job positioning the product for each list I bought it twice. Got a quick, courteous refund, and have purchased many other reports - but not before checking to see if I already had them.

      > Bought a script where the sales letter didn't mention that the license was for single-site use, and I wanted to use it on multiple sites. Not a big deal, got a quick, courteous refund and I use several other scripts by that company.

      > Bought a report that didn't live up to what was billed. Asked for a refund, and got a nasty email accusing me of trying to steal his product instead. Got my refund straight from Clickbank, and never bought another thing from this clown.

      Notice a common theme?
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  • Profile picture of the author neodarth
    I've only ask for refunds twice.
    Once on the early stages of my IM Journey where I bought a product that in a very subtle way came with a monthly fee. The kind of free membership bonus where you need to cancel between the next 60 days otherwyse they start charge you like $99 a month. (When you are newbie you usually don't read the small print). They politly and quickly refund me, not questions asked.

    The second time I'll asked for a refund, was for a software who automated the traffic. Turns out that didn't work with Windows Vista (for what they told me). That was about six months ago, I'm still asking for my $97 back.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    I bought a piece of crap software that absolutely didn't even work at all. Paid $100 for it. Requested refund and did a Paypal dispute. Didn't win the dispute because it was a digital product and never heard from the scammer who sold it.

    I've bought stuff from people that I got very little to nothing out of. I don't ask for a refund, but I never forget their names. Suffice it to say, that I will never purchase from them again.
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  • Profile picture of the author Edk
    If the product is just unviable. They're promising something that just has not been delivered. If it's an honest product but I can't use it it turns out, I keep it (For example I just bought a hundred dollar ebay product that is excellent but I can't use it due to change of interest). I keep it
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  • Profile picture of the author Shannon Herod
    I don't think I have ever requested a refund for an information product. I just like to learn. And usually I can find something inside the product that is worth what I paid for.

    Now, on the other hand I have requested refunds for services and software type products.

    For instance, this week I bought two products that I requested refunds for.

    The first one was tremendously buggy and should not have been brought to market yet. The second one was a program that did not work with my autoresponder. I just assumed that it would, and it specifically did not state that it did not work with my autoresponder which is a very well-known autoresponder. So, I requested a refund because I could not use it.

    Anyway, refunds are part of business and I have no problem requesting a refund. And I also have no problem giving a refund when people asked for it.

    Talk soon,

    Shannon Herod
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  • Profile picture of the author Brad Gosse
    I have rarely refunded. In some cases promises are not delivered or software doesn't even run I ask for refunds.

    One guy refused to send zips only self extracting exe files. I am on a Mac and he said he couldn't zip them for security reasons. So I refunded.
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  • Profile picture of the author SuiteJ
    I've never requested a refund for a product, but if a product is pure trash, then I'll be sure to not buy again from that person and spread the word.

    I honestly don't get that upset if I buy something that contains information that "I already know" (a refund excuse many seem to like to use). But, if it isn't at all what it's claimed to be, then I get a tad upset. It also depends on the dollar amount. I'm not really shocked if a $7 report doesn't blow me away. lol. I don't buy too many "how-to info products" anyway though.

    I have requested a refund on a service a couple times. Sometimes because they are just way too late and other time because the work was just so bad.

    I ordered an ebook from a writing service (who somehow has a very good reputation and great testimonials). The ebook was really late, but I wasn't upset about that because I had received very courteous emails explaining that the ebook was not up to their high standards and it had been sent to their "chief editor" before being sent to me.

    That made me feel a bit better about waiting an extra 10 days or so (lol)...but then...
    I received the ebook and it was so bad that I thought they sent me the wrong file by mistake or that it was some kind of prank.

    The author obviously did not know English very well, the topic/title was completely wrong, and nothing in the entire ebook made any sense. It was basically outdated reference,s that were sometimes on topic, peppered throughout 40 pages of incoherent sentences. It was really unbelievable.

    I was forced to ask for a refund since it wasn't cheap and I now had to find someone to do it fast as I was in a rush. They gave me a refund but made it sound like they were bending the terms and going out of their way to make me "happy". lol
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    • Profile picture of the author Martin Percival
      I've only gone there once myself. I've always felt that having read the content in question it was a bit cheeky to go back and effectively get it for free....and so far my learning curve means I have always got something out of my purchases.

      The only time I went through the process was for a product which was delivered over many weeks with a continuity charge running all the time. After about week 3 when there was a load of repeated content and even some contradicting week 1, it was obvious it was being created on the fly and I bailed out.
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      • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
        I've never asked for a refund, I find it to be a pain in the bottom and just figure, I can make it useful atleast by using it as a tax deduction.

        Oh, oh, forgive me, I just lied...

        I did ask for a refund once, it was on a monthly service. I emailed them asking them to cancel my subscription. They emailed me back stating they could not find me in their database and asked for my log in, which I happily emailed them.

        Because I never got another email, I thought it was settled and done, however, the following month, I was charged for the service again. I asked for a refund mainly for them to cancel my subscription. I received both the refund and cancellation promptly.

        MissTerraK
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Brock
    I have only requested a refund on two occasions.

    Both were because I already knew everything taught.
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    • Profile picture of the author RanD
      I have requested refunds twice.

      Once was during a phase where a lot of the WSO's were just a few pages about one specific trick. I bought two items from one person and the one was something I already knew. He had already said that if it was something that we already knew we should ask for a refund, so I did. His other product I kept.

      The other was a WSO that promised to teach the secret of how to get an article distributed to, if I remember correctly, 650+ pages in just a few hours without using article directories. It sounded great to me. Unfortunately, the first 95% of the book was basic stuff that already new and then the big secret I was waiting for was to send the article out to all my affiliates and have them post the article on their sites. All well and good...if I had affiliates. I don't sell my own products. I don't have 1 affiliate, let alone 650+, and I don't intend to. The sales copy mentioned nothing about needing affiliates for the plan to work. It was presented as an article marketing strategy. And, I'm sure that it is a valid strategy for those that have affiliates, but it should have mentioned it in the sales copy. 95% of the book I already knew and the last 5% I couldn't use.
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  • Profile picture of the author 1960Texan
    Thanks to everyone for your responses. I've been an entrepreneur for most of my adult life (and a good part of my childhood, now that I think of it) and from what I've observed there are so many businesses where the competition sets the bar so low, they're no competition at all. Ebooks and other IM related products are no exception, and for those of us trying to create useful products that is very fortunate indeed.

    Although I'm relatively new to this forum I saw the value of being a member the first day. This is a great place to not only learn Internet marketing in general, but with the generous help, advice and support of other members there's no reason why someone willing to put in the hard work can't go out there and just kill it in their niche.

    Will
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    • Profile picture of the author ic7
      Originally Posted by 1960Texan View Post

      ...and from what I've observed there are so many businesses where the competition sets the bar so low, they're no competition at all. Ebooks and other IM related products are no exception, and for those of us trying to create useful products that is very fortunate indeed.
      You are right on target. Very, very true.

      And on refunds: Never! Don't want Refund Karma haunting my own products.

      Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author frankstar
    I haven't asked for a refund yet.

    There is one product that I bought in the last month where I might. The reason being that the sales letter was just ridiculously over hyped. It promised a ferrari and delivered a push bike.

    I like to go over all the bullet points in a sales letter and look to see how they are answered in the product. If they are answered well enough then OK, if not and I feel disatisfied then I'll ask for one. I'm still going over the bullet points with the last product.
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  • Profile picture of the author trevor75
    I've never requested a refund. Partially due to the fact that Im too lazy to fool with it. Common among most Americans I'm sure, but really do to the fact that the whole course, or ebook, whatever it is may not have the total knowledge I was expecting, but there is always some juicy little nugget I didn't know about marketing. In this business we are all constantly learning all the the time. So I take that nugget and make the most I can out of it.
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  • Profile picture of the author valerieSONORA
    I have never requested a refund...although there have been times I felt it warranted. Maybe I'm just too nice
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  • Profile picture of the author ToniMaltano
    I only asked once for a refund. The product was priced 47 dollars and it contained 8 videos, yes 8 videos
    which showed you how to post to forums and create a sig.

    Guess what, I have never recieved any refund and that's the day when I
    stopped buying and starting implementing
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    • Profile picture of the author pappyy3
      I could never be bothered with refund requests in the past, but have asked for a total of 4 refunds over the last two years.

      Both from WSO's on this site and Clickbank, simply for the reasons mentioned by others:

      Product was crap
      Rehashed PLR
      Too General - Info could be found on Google (In fact one product looked to be a duplicate of info from a free site!!)


      Don't enjoy requesting refunds. Would MUCH prefer to buy and keep a product that delivers what it promises

      Am I being too harsh??
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  • Profile picture of the author Benjamin959
    I have received request for refund. I will give them right away.. that's a trust between parties. Next time they could buy from me again in the near future. There is a way to reduce refund request if you extend from 30 days to 1 year money back. Most likely they will forget what happened after 6 months or don't really bother to request one.
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  • Profile picture of the author kemdev
    I don't buy a lot of IM products.

    But on the off-chance that I do... if I put into practice
    EVERYTHING I'm taught and don't see a reasonable
    return on investment, I'll usually ask for a refund.

    ...And I don't mean 'try' the technique or strategy. I
    mean completely, whole-heartedly, all-engines-go
    focused ACTION.
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    • Profile picture of the author Pierre!
      I have requested refunds.

      On that I have done a refund request for was the 12,000 Satellite channels!

      Don't put your money down for this POS... 3 different interfaces, and most of the time the channels are not available... It actually installed Windows Media Player v9 on my Windows 7 installation!!! I KNEW something was up then.

      I was prepared to drop a punishing review on my blog, but the fellow gave a prompt 100% refund.

      I still think I should perform the product review, but point out that he did do the right thing with the "30 day 100% money back guarantee" ... But I am still torn on that. Why DIS a man who followed through on the deal.

      As far as the IM world... I haven't requested a refund but once, and it's because the info really wasn't what was expected. When I am told it is secrets of Online Marketing and it turns out to be primarily about mail order marketing... Yah, I get the 'roots of the business' but it wasn't what I THOUGHT was gonna be presented... and they promptly refunded me that time too.

      So yah, I will send it back if it was misrepresented up front... tell me I can replace my cable TV and then give me a system my wife won't touch... or give me some info that didn't seem to represent on line marketing... and it's gonna come back to you quickly from me

      HTH

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  • Profile picture of the author tjmiller
    I have asked for refunds four times.

    Once when I bought a piece of software that did bad things to my computer.

    Once when I never received the product I paid for.

    Once when I was billed twice for a trial membership.

    And the final time, was for a product that was not what it was marketed to be. This was maybe my only questionable refund, but the sales page said that it involved marketing (it did not) and that it did not involve selling (it did.)

    If the sales page had been accurate, I would have been able to figure out what the method was that the guy was selling, and I would not have bought it. The reason I wouldn't have bought it was that I could have taught it myself, I had done it so many times. The information was valid, just not what he presented it to be.

    To be fair though, the guy was offering double-your-money-back refunds, which I didn't take, and I still left a fair review of his product.

    There have been a lot of other things that I have bought that I wished that I hadn't, but that is a different story.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dhira
    Because the product was crap? Not as advertised.....
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  • Profile picture of the author drmani
    Originally Posted by 1960Texan View Post

    I'm curious: what would cause you to ask for a refund?

    Will
    If the product or service did not live up to my reasonable expectations
    of it, it would cause me to consider asking for a refund.

    There are MANY reasons I may choose not to proceed with doing it,
    though. (And that's a far more interesting discussion topic! )

    All success
    Dr.Mani
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  • Profile picture of the author yasser
    If i don't get what the book promises, i ask for refund. rarely i do this
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  • Profile picture of the author activetrader
    The only thing that would make me request a refund is not getting the product I paid for or paying twice for the same product.

    I used to have subscription to a membership. I cancelled subscription and a year later decided to subscribe again thinking it would be different content but the content was what i had paid for a year before already and that was sitting on my hard drive, so i requested a refund.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kierkegaard
    I've only bought a few WSOs and of them, only one was totally disappointing. I didn't bother asking for refund and just put it down to experiences.

    Basically, this particular WSO was advertized as revealing knowledge the average person wouldn't know. In fact it was nothing new or original. It is actually hard to believe that anyone purchasing it through this forum wouldn't already know all of these 'insider' facts.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marc Meole
    I don't think i have ever requested a refund...I am pretty careful with what I buy...but I have purchased a few things I wasn't happy with...stuff i already knew or wasn't much use for what I was doing...but if it lives up to the sales copy (if I like it or not) it was my choice to click the pay now button...

    as was said before if the product is not what the sales copy said it would be that is a different story
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  • Profile picture of the author BobRenwick
    Unless I really misread a product I'm usually fairly confident when I make a purchase that the product will provide value. Even if it doesn't live up to my expectations the only reason I would ever request a refund is if it was very pricey and it turned out to be absolute garbage. I've bought many products through the years and it hasn't happened yet. If it's a low priced product I'd probably just chalk it up to experience. There's a point to be made that our time is too valuable to be spent pursuing a refund on a disappointing product.
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  • Profile picture of the author jacktackett
    I use to just grin and bear it - but recently there's been a spat of WSOs and other marketers ads which basically lie in the sales page.

    If you tell me something is 100% white hat and you cover ewhoring in your ebook, well, ewhoring is not white hat folks. and yes - the rest of the manual was full of at best gray hat techniques and out right black hat techniques.

    To me, cheating people is just plain wrong.

    If you tell me black hat - then shame on me, but at least you warned me in the sales page. Guess the crack down on blue farts has caused many to relabel their stuff 'gray hat' ie is the new black hat called gray hat, or just white hat now?

    if you don't want refunds - give your customers the facts and material they can actually use. Now if they don't get off their bottoms and do it that's another story.

    But lying to your customers is not a good idea.

    respectfully,
    --Jack
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    Let's get Tim the kidney he needs!HELP Tim
    Mega Monster WSO for KimW http://ow.ly/4JdHm


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  • Profile picture of the author dfloyd
    I've been a purchaser of many programs, ebooks, courses, etc. over the years and most of the time, a refund is never part of the equation. However, if a specific claim is made about a program or product, and a guarantee is made or implied, and the product falls short on the claim then a refund is in order. I for one, would not hesitate to ask for a refund. Having said that, I have been involved in ecommerce on and off since 1995 and refunds are part of any business. I have personally had to issue a refund on a few occasions and as much as you hate to lose a sale, the most important thing is satisfying your customer.
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    The road to ruin is always in good repair...the traveler's pay the expense. ~ Josh Billings
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  • Profile picture of the author MassiveMarketer
    It's like buying a book and just getting a gist of it. You'll really never know what is inside until you read it.

    I guess it will be just one of those books that you'll keep on your shelf and might never take a look at it again until after 10 years.
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