I just had my first refund request... How did you handle it

47 replies
Hi All

I am tiny bit emotional I just gave my first refund, Do you think it is a good thing to take it personally as it might help motivate one to do better.

Or should I Just look at it as even the best have refund requests and just get on with my work?

I guess i did the girlie thing and took it way to personally even wanted to cry.... but, then i just was as polite as possible and thanked the person for their interest and sent the refund.

Do you think it is worth trying to reason with someone when they ask for a refund? i dont think so as they have basically made up their mind.

Plus there is the fact that the person now has the "e product" for free and someone who never refunded gave you and gave you a great review and furthered your business had to pay for it.

Oh well i guess refunds come with the territory ... Thanks for reading this , I must admit writing this made me feel much better : so here is to the next refund because statistically for me anyway that means there were alot of sales without refunds.

Thank you

Cathy
#handle #refund #request
  • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
    Refunds are a part of this business...period.

    Even Wallmarts gets 'em.

    Just issue, forget about it after, and then move on.

    Trust me...you'll survive this business a lot longer if you do.
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    • Profile picture of the author Hanz
      nashelver, I think everybody on this forum has had to refund at one time or another. As Steven said, it's part of the business. Don't sweat it. Just keep doing your thing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alfred Shelver
      Steven

      Thank you so much thats what i am trying to do I ( I want to survive ).

      When i wrote this thread i actually thought to myself It would be great if Steven Wagenheim replied ... So thank you



      Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

      Refunds are a part of this business...period.

      Even Wallmarts gets 'em.

      Just issue, forget about it after, and then move on.

      Trust me...you'll survive this business a lot longer if you do.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2265061].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
        Originally Posted by nashelver View Post

        Steven

        Thank you so much thats what i am trying to do I ( I want to survive ).

        When i wrote this thread i actually thought to myself It would be great if Steven Wagenheim replied ... So thank you
        I'm flattered, but I'm just a regular Joe.

        When I first started in this business over 7 years ago, I made $28 in my
        first 5 months. I wear that as my Red Badge Of Courage to prove that
        anything is possible...even for a miserable failure like I was.

        You will NEVER please 100% of the people you sell to.

        I've had one person write, "Great product! Wow!" and another person
        write, for the same product, "What a load of sh*t". Please refund!"

        The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, though I always try my
        best to put out the best product possible.

        But let's face it. I'm only human and I'm not perfect. So maybe sometimes
        I miss the bullseye. I'm not so full of myself to think that everything I do
        is gold and perfect. There is always room for improvement.

        Hopefully, you will get refunds where the person will tell you what they
        didn't like and you can use that feedback to maybe improve on something.

        I know I have.

        Anyway, hope I've helped at least a little.
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    • Profile picture of the author theemperor
      Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

      Refunds are a part of this business...period.

      Even Wallmarts gets 'em.

      Just issue, forget about it after, and then move on.

      Trust me...you'll survive this business a lot longer if you do.
      This is true - and this is why I love Clickbank - they deal with it for you, if the client requests a refund just acknowledge it and forget. Affiliate and refund issues are deal with for you.

      I actually mentally deduct 5% from raw weekly sales as an expected refund rate. So if I see $500 in sales I will think of it as $475.

      Paypal makes it easy to refund also but you have to issue it yourself, otherwise the customer has to go into dispute and that isn't such a nice experience for them. Give them a quick refund and they may say good things about you.
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  • Profile picture of the author petr_ind
    If you have to, do it. Don't make bad reputation because of one problem.
    Look forward, if you have bad rep, maybe someday you won't be success.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
    Originally Posted by nashelver View Post

    Do you think it is worth trying to reason with someone when they ask for a refund? i dont think so as they have basically made up their mind.
    Depends on the situation. If, for example, they are asking for a refund because they had problems downloading your product, you could offer to help them out, find alternative ways to get your product to them, etc.

    In other cases, just issue the refund and move on. If, for example, I've purchased your product and asked for a refund because it's not something that's going to work for me or didn't have the information I expected, etc., you are very likely not going to be able to convince me otherwise. So, send the refund and move on.

    Plus there is the fact that the person now has the "e product" for free and someone who never refunded gave you and gave you a great review and furthered your business had to pay for it.
    If they're not happy with the product, they're not going to use it anyway. They may even delete it after getting their refund.

    If they're a serial refunder, odds are that they won't put the info to use anyway. They'll just move on to the next vendor and grab their next "freebie."
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    • Profile picture of the author Alan Petersen
      Normal part of business. Wait until you get your first PayPal dispute and your first charge-back.

      Funny thing is had they asked I would have refunded them but he did a chargeback to his credit card which PayPal fought and I won.

      I've only had 1 charge back but I do get refunds here and there. The more you sell,the more you'll get.

      Unless you're getting a bunch of refunds, don't worry about it. It happens. Don't fret about it.

      And welcome to the club.
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      • Profile picture of the author Aussie_Al
        Its definitely a sign that you are moving in the right direction, give them their refund and keep moving forward

        well done!
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  • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
    You should handle refunds exactly the way you would want to have your refund request handled. Quickly, with no hassle and no questions asked. Just do it, keep improving, and focus on learning to make your existing customers happier, and taking what you learn there and applying it bringing new customers in.

    A business is about focusing on the money coming in, and the money going out as cost. Refunds are neither - it's money you technically didn't have. Just forget it and move on. Don't take it personally. You are a factory that produces information, not an artist.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alfred Shelver
    Thanks guys I really feel much better .... I think i will always take things a little personally but maybe i can use that as a strength to constantly improve and give great service.
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  • Profile picture of the author Roy Manley
    You are being asked for refunds which means you are selling something. Concentrate on the positives. You are a winner. Some people get no sales at all. Look at ways of getting more sales. Make note of who the refundee was and then refuse to sell them any more products unless they write to tell you why they asked for a refund.
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  • Profile picture of the author enochfung
    Originally Posted by nashelver View Post

    Hi All

    I am tiny bit emotional I just gave my first refund, Do you think it is a good thing to take it personally as it might help motivate one to do better.

    Or should I Just look at it as even the best have refund requests and just get on with my work?

    I guess i did the girlie thing and took it way to personally even wanted to cry.... but, then i just was as polite as possible and thanked the person for their interest and sent the refund.

    Do you think it is worth trying to reason with someone when they ask for a refund? i dont think so as they have basically made up their mind.

    Plus there is the fact that the person now has the "e product" for free and someone who never refunded gave you and gave you a great review and furthered your business had to pay for it.

    Oh well i guess refunds come with the territory ... Thanks for reading this , I must admit writing this made me feel much better : so here is to the next refund because statistically for me anyway that means there were alot of sales without refunds.

    Thank you

    Cathy
    No, don't take it personally. There are some people who a) really don't like the product or b) want to get it for free. Your goal is to have a product that receives few refunds overall. That way, you'll profit and when your product becomes saturated, move onto the next one. It is purely business, nothing more.
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    • Profile picture of the author Hanz
      It's better to have somebody ask for a refund than try to steal your product.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce NewMedia
    Cathy, I think its also worth noting that there are some customers who buy and already plan on refunding the moment they click"Purchase". I believe it was the late Gary Halbert, marketer extraordinaire, who said something similar.

    Also, John Carlton, copywriter, makes the rather convincing case that if you're NOT getting refunds, you are simply not selling hard enough. Either way, refunds are part of marketing.
    _____
    Bruce
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  • Profile picture of the author revenue27
    Well like the wise man says, customer is king, so treat them well and they do the same with you. Nobody is perfect, just move forward
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  • Profile picture of the author ASUService
    Already said but I wanted to put in my vote for refund them but do inquire as to what the problem was so you can see if there is something that needs attention.
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  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    I think it's kind of good that you take it personally, it shows that you are conscientious and want to put out a good product, not just someone who wants to make a few quick bucks on some piece of crap.

    Having said that, you can't take it too personally because it does come with the territory. Could just have been someone who wanted a free product (I got a couple of those myself this week) and there is nothing wrong with your product at all!

    Lee
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  • Profile picture of the author Kpick
    Don't fret over the small stuff. It's business and many people are more likely to ask for a refund via a website than in person. I make the refund quick and get it over with.
    The last thing you need is a complaint to your billing company (i.e. paypal, etc).
    There are more buyers out there...don't worry about a few refunds.
    K
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  • Profile picture of the author tomcam
    Think of it as an opportunity to learn about your business. I have a website that does hundreds of sales a day on PayPal. I average 2 chargebacks per month. I prefer to issue the refund first, then ask if there's anything we could have done to preserve them as a customer. That way they know we're not trying to hold up the payment.
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  • Profile picture of the author Money on the Side
    You should also understand that a great deal of people who ask for a refund, have decided they want a refund before they even buy and even look at your product.

    Clickbank has an army of people that do this--they surf for IM info and request the refund instantly because CB has a policy that you must provide a refund (without exception) anytime someone asks for one within 60 days.

    Everyone gets refunds...don't sweat it. If your rate is higher than normal, however, then your product is crap and people are pissed because they feel they have been taken. Doesn't sound like the case with yours...
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Shelton
    All I could add is you may want to control when you are checking your email – if you do your best work in the morning, for example, then don’t check email until noon – 1 refund request could ruin your productivity for half the day or more.
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    • Profile picture of the author bretski
      What is your product and are you looking for affiliates? =) If you've been doing this for any length of time and this is your first refund it must be something of value
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  • Profile picture of the author xbokcom
    It is impossible to please everybody. Just do your best and God will do the rest.

    At least you give refund. I see people that run with no refund they give. So that is all ready awesome what you did.

    All the best in your business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bayo
    Even though I knew it was a scam, I just let it roll.

    The fact that someone or some people actually invested in the first place is a positive.

    You did the right thing.

    Bayo
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  • Profile picture of the author Alfred Shelver
    Wow guys thank you so much .... I am glad i got this dissapointment over with , i will move on now and enjoy the experience
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  • Profile picture of the author EthanDenney
    Don't take them personally, just find out why they're requesting the refund and then use what they said to make your product better.
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  • Profile picture of the author alniches
    I think I handled my first refund quite the same some years ago. I can't really recall if I did cry...but that's beside the point...

    Like the rest of them who posted in this thread, it's inevitable, just don't let it effect you negatively because there's more to come your way.

    Sometimes you receive refund request not because your product or service is bad but mostly because it does not really suit the buyers needs. I had one because a product I was marketing was in English...can you believe that?

    Just don't do a 'come back' on them. Just let it go and issue it as soon as possible.

    Unless it's a real problem on our end, then try to resolve it the soonest as that may cause for more support issues and more refunds...

    But still, if you feel that handling negative feedbacks do effect you emotionally then maybe perhaps you might want to look into employing a VA to handle the request via your help desk. Then they just revert to you, as who wanted the request and a little on the 'whys'. Psychologically it might help you not to take it personally as someone is helping you to cushion the impact...

    Just my 2c.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    Just remember, you can't please everyone - if you try to you will end up pleasing no one. Take it on the chin and instead focus on the sales you DID make and the people who DIDN'T ask for a refund. You're obviously doing something right. If you get too involved with refunds it will end up chewing up a lot of your time that could be better spent on attracting more new customers.

    I think everyone goes through the same when they get their first refund. But after a while you learn it is just another part of doing business and life goes on.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cezar R Abadiano
    Indeed, refunds are part of the business. Don't take it as a personal affront that people are asking for refunds.

    Some may have a legitimate reason while others do it so they get a copy of your product free. You just take the good with the bad.

    In the end it's business and it is quite impossible to please every customer.

    And since we let Clickbank handle everything including refunds we don't get too attached to refunds anymore.
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  • Profile picture of the author underthegun
    Since I've been getting more and more into product creation and sales I've been considering doing a 50% refund to those unhappy with my product(s).

    Because, as what you mentioned above, they now have your eBook and 100% of their payment? That seems unfair to me.

    I'm sure it would cause some people to think twice before buying from you but those that really want your product will go for it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
      Originally Posted by underthegun View Post

      Since I've been getting more and more into product creation and sales I've been considering doing a 50% refund to those unhappy with my product(s).

      Because, as what you mentioned above, they now have your eBook and 100% of their payment? That seems unfair to me.

      I'm sure it would cause some people to think twice before buying from you but those that really want your product will go for it.
      If I think your information is bad and I'm never going to use it, why should you get to keep half my money? Not everyone who refunds is doing it to scam product off you.

      Either offer a "no refund" policy up front and make it a selling point (due to the sensitive nature of this information, there are no refunds - committed purchasers only please!)

      That or offer a no-risk 100%. A 50% refund is going to be really really hard to make appealing to the consumer. "If you don't like it, you'll get half your money back, no questions asked!"
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        • Profile picture of the author marlon
          Hi,

          1. Always, always, always offer refunds

          The #1 reason people get in trouble with consumer and gov't agencies is
          OR go to jail is failing to give refunds.

          The stupidest thing anyone EVER does in this business is NOT giving
          refunds or making it hard for people to get a refund. Stupid. Stupid.
          Stupid.

          Yes, you can get away with it if you sell a low volume. But one of the
          things the FTC is reported to do is check BBB complaints. People get
          REALLY really nasty really fast if they can't get a refund and they'll say
          or do almost SHOCKING things to get one. Lie...whatever.

          2. Always HONOR your refund policy.

          3. As soon as you can avoid help, don't give refunds yourself.

          They are a drag on your psychic energy. Have staff issue them.

          4. They are no big deal

          Over the course of a career, you'll issue thousands of refunds.
          This is why you don't want to do them yourself after you can afford
          someone else to do them for you.

          5. If your refunds on products go over 10% this is a major problem.

          The credit card companies want to see refunds under 10%. From what
          I know about it, this is an informal policy, not a formal one.

          It's not always easy to keep refunds under 10% on digital products since
          some people refund before even opening or reading the product.

          I know this is a fact since our exe's track opens, and I can see if the
          product was even opened.

          6. Refunds aren't personal

          There are professional refunders who routinely refund everything.
          I guess they never heard about that bitch named Karma.

          But really, no matter how awesome your product is, you WILL get refunds.
          If you aren't getting refunds, you aren't selling enough products.

          7. The feedback on WHY people refunded is often of limited value.

          Theoretically, you can survey refunders and get valuable info. I've
          personally never been able to. If I want advice on improving a product,
          I go to the people who didn't refund.

          Best wishes,

          Marlon Sanders
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        • Profile picture of the author Jenna Paulson
          Originally Posted by x3xsolxdierx3x View Post

          Has anyone tried implementing a 'no-refund' policy? Has it worked for you?
          I split tested a product on clickbank. I put 60day refund as per CB policies. On the other (powered by e-junkie) I didnt mention a refund at all.
          I got 3 refund requests on CB. None on the other.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        My first refund was easy. The sale came in. Less than a minute later, the refund request came in.

        The reason given for refunding? "Already have the product." Which was impossible, as I'd written the product myself and this particular buyer was the first. Obviously scamming me...

        I immediately issued the refund, spent about 30 seconds cursing the buyer and their future descendants, and forgot about it...

        Unless there is some indication that you can learn something valuable, that course of action has served me well. Refund. Vent. Move on.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
    Originally Posted by nashelver View Post

    Hi All

    I am tiny bit emotional I just gave my first refund, Do you think it is a good thing to take it personally as it might help motivate one to do better.

    Or should I Just look at it as even the best have refund requests and just get on with my work?
    Definitely the latter. There's no sense in taking refunds personally since they are very seldom a personal issue. But there are a myriad of reasons why people refund. I've actually consulted with a few companies last year helping them reduce their refunds.

    To me there are two types of refunds:

    1. Quick and easy.

    2. Ones you can learn from.

    With one firm we send random surveys to people by e-mail, mail, and via the phone to find out why they asked for a refund. The feedback and data we got back from those allowed us to implement a strategy to not only decrease their refunds, but to improve their sales process to actually increase conversions.

    You can learn a lot from refunds. Sometimes people realize they went over budget and they ask for the refund. Sure, some refunders do so because that was their intent all along, but there are plenty of other reasons why people ask for refunds.

    I guess i did the girlie thing and took it way too personally even wanted to cry.... but, then i just was as polite as possible and thanked the person for their interest and sent the refund.
    I don't see it as "girlie" at all. I know I took my very first online refund pretty hard. Hey, just being honest. Same with the next 25 or so.....

    But over time, education, and refining my sales process I learned not to take it personally because I realized it wasn't a personal thing.

    Do you think it is worth trying to reason with someone when they ask for a refund? i dont think so as they have basically made up their mind.
    No, but you can use it as an opportunity to gain some valuable feedback. I randomly ask people why they asked for a refund and if there is any feedback they could give me to make my product / website / whatever/ better. Right now we do this once for every 50 to 100 customers we have. Though when I had smaller volumes I did it for every 1 in 5 or 10. We've gotten some great data over the years doing this.

    Plus there is the fact that the person now has the "e product" for free and someone who never refunded gave you and gave you a great review and furthered your business had to pay for it.

    Oh well i guess refunds come with the territory ... Thanks for reading this , I must admit writing this made me feel much better : so here is to the next refund because statistically for me anyway that means there were alot of sales without refunds.

    Thank you

    Cathy
    Yes if you have a digital product they now have it and there's no waiting for them to ship it back before you can issue the refund. Unfortunately that's the nature of the beast. Don't lose any sleep over it. Focus on making the user and customer experience better, increasing your conversions, and you'll eventually get to the point where handling refunds is just part of the business. Just remember, it doesn't always have to be a negative part of the business, because refunds can lead to great customer feedback.

    RoD
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  • Profile picture of the author craigc1980
    Originally Posted by nashelver View Post

    Hi All

    I am tiny bit emotional I just gave my first refund, Do you think it is a good thing to take it personally as it might help motivate one to do better.

    Or should I Just look at it as even the best have refund requests and just get on with my work?

    I guess i did the girlie thing and took it way to personally even wanted to cry.... but, then i just was as polite as possible and thanked the person for their interest and sent the refund.

    Do you think it is worth trying to reason with someone when they ask for a refund? i dont think so as they have basically made up their mind.

    Plus there is the fact that the person now has the "e product" for free and someone who never refunded gave you and gave you a great review and furthered your business had to pay for it.

    Oh well i guess refunds come with the territory ... Thanks for reading this , I must admit writing this made me feel much better : so here is to the next refund because statistically for me anyway that means there were alot of sales without refunds.

    Thank you

    Cathy
    Hey Cathy. Don't sweat the small stuff.

    I remember the first time i had a refund. I went berserk.

    I thought it was the end for me but realized there is alot of people that will purchase stuff then return it just so they can get the free training.

    Yes it's true

    People do this.

    Anyway don't stress yourself over this.

    You cant please everyone.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
    Originally Posted by nashelver View Post

    Hi All

    I am tiny bit emotional I just gave my first refund, Do you think it is a good thing to take it personally as it might help motivate one to do better.

    Or should I Just look at it as even the best have refund requests and just get on with my work?

    I guess i did the girlie thing and took it way to personally even wanted to cry.... but, then i just was as polite as possible and thanked the person for their interest and sent the refund.

    Do you think it is worth trying to reason with someone when they ask for a refund? i dont think so as they have basically made up their mind.

    Plus there is the fact that the person now has the "e product" for free and someone who never refunded gave you and gave you a great review and furthered your business had to pay for it.

    Oh well i guess refunds come with the territory ... Thanks for reading this , I must admit writing this made me feel much better : so here is to the next refund because statistically for me anyway that means there were alot of sales without refunds.

    Thank you

    Cathy
    I love turning negatives into positives so here's
    a fun little exercise for you... if you choose to think
    about it in the right way.

    First, know that everyone gets refund requests. Also,
    know that the big shooters pretty much know in advance
    approximately how many they'll get because they've tracked
    their numbers over a period of time.

    So... here's the positive twist...

    The ONLY difference between you and the big players is the
    fact that they've issued more refunds than you have... which,
    of course, equates to having made more sales.

    So...

    Welcome each refund as a step toward the amount of wealth
    you aspire to achieve. Refund request arrives... you say "THANK
    YOU... I'M ONE STEP CLOSER!"

    Tsnyder
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    If you knew what I know you'd be doing what I do...
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  • Profile picture of the author David Louis Monk
    Hi Cathy
    I would just like to quote the late and much missed Jim Rohn.

    Jim said "Don't ask why; its just the way it is".

    You have to expect to give a refund at some time. There is bound to be a statistic which shows that not one person will ever achieve a lifetime of sales without giving a refund. So you have to accept it will happen and that there is at least one (whatever you want to call them) that will fit the statistic. That's the way it is.
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    David

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  • Profile picture of the author kiopa
    Banned
    Put together a small contact form / survey, and upon issuing the refund, politely ask them to fill it out. You'd be surprised how many people will take the time to do so!
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  • Profile picture of the author tamiro1992
    There will always be people not satisfied with your product, there's nothing you can do about it. Try to convince him otherwise but if he still insists give him the refund.
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