Refund Request - How Would You Handle This?

39 replies
Hey Guys,

Just thought I would bring this up as I found it genuinely interesting.

I received a refund request the other day that went like this:

"Hi Chris

Can you please arrange a refund

Transaction ID: XXXXXXXXXX

Thanks

XXXXX"


Since I have a refund policy on this product my response was:

"Hi XXXXXX,

I sure can!

Was there any reason?

Chris"


I then got the reply:

"Hi Chris

Of course... I was looking at doing something with Amazon but my direction has
now changed to other projects.

XXXXX"


This confused me a little as he was not saying anything was WRONG with the product just that he did not want to take action!

If I had a refund every time someone did not take action that would be a lot of refunds!

So I sent back:

"Hi XXXXX,

Just so I am clear, you want a refund because you are now moving on to something new?

Just will make an interesting thread in the forum is all.

Please let me know your email address you used to purchase and i will refund you.

All the best,

Chris"


He then replied:

"Here's the payment details

[email address]

Thanks

xxxxx"

So he did not even address the question!

That is cool I just refunded him and if he is reading I wish him the very best of luck with his business!

Just wondered what other people's thoughts were on this?

What would you have done honestly?

Think I was too soft?

Does this sort of thing annoy you?

All the best,

Chris Jones
#handle #refund #request
  • Profile picture of the author marcusjefferson
    Quite a few people do this, and in fact seem to go 'blank' after receiving any questions in regards to their refund. You got an easy case, sometimes I get clients literally using CAPS and poor English demanding a refund, for no apparent reason. When I ask them why they either give me a one word answer or file a dispute.

    Ha. Refunders are the worst.
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    • Profile picture of the author Martin Avis
      If you offered an unconditional guarantee, it is not your place to question a refunders motives. He is only following your own rules.

      Refunds are a part of doing business. Give them their money back as fast as you can and move on.

      Martin
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  • Profile picture of the author Leslie B
    It depends on what kind of refund guarantee I have in place. For my plugins for example I only send out a refund if the plugin doesn't work on their server, which means me or my coders can't get it to work either. In case of such a plugin I wouldn't refund for that request. If I had a no questions asked guarantee, well, I said, no questions, right? So whatever the reason I'll refund, even if it's a lame one.

    Leslie
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    Taking it one day at a time!
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  • Profile picture of the author BlackRob
    Fine line though isn't it?

    If you honour your refund policy they may be back for more in the future or tell others you are a good guy etc...

    You did the right thing.

    Regards

    Rob
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  • Profile picture of the author sal64
    So what's the big deal? It's a refund.

    If your guarantee states that they can try it risk free, then you have no option.

    Easier to just refund and move on. No big deal.
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    • Profile picture of the author Chri5123
      Originally Posted by Martin.Avis View Post

      If you offered an unconditional guarantee, it is not your place to question a refunders motives. He is only following your own rules.

      Refunds are a part of doing business. Give them their money back as fast as you can and move on.

      Martin
      Yes, I refunded straight away.

      However I will ALWAYS question a refund as if there is someway to improve the product I am selling that I am missing I would like to know...helps me to grow...

      Chris

      Originally Posted by sal64 View Post

      So what's the big deal? It's a refund.

      If your guarantee states that they can try it risk free, then you have no option.

      Easier to just refund and move on. No big deal.
      No big deal, not upset I agree - I know the product works and refunded straight away.

      I was just interested to know other people's views as this is a marketing forum and I bet this comes up a lot.

      Now where did I put those tissues?

      Chris Jones
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      • Profile picture of the author Brandon Huang
        I think you shouldn't have made refund policies if you didn't want this to happen. Your sales page should also be solid enough to encourage this no refund policy so that the potential buyers know what they will really receive in exchange for their money. For example, if it's a book, I think you can try promoting it like this e.g "get this 111 page no non-sense and detailed guide about (your niche)" and list out the table of contents and page references in the book at your squeeze page then I guess everything will be much better.
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    • Profile picture of the author snapper
      If you offer a refund then I don't think you can complain when someone requests a refund. If this annoys you then perhaps you should specify that you refund to those who take action and it doesn't work or whatever the criteria might be.

      My view is that refunders can quickly become toxic customers and so you should get them out of the system as fast as possible - firstly because if you refund as fast as possible, you eliminate as much as possible them complaining about your service (some will still complain) and secondly they probably won't add any value to your business in the long term.
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      • Profile picture of the author Chri5123
        Originally Posted by snapper View Post

        If you offer a refund then I don't think you can complain when someone requests a refund. If this annoys you then perhaps you should specify that you refund to those who take action and it doesn't work or whatever the criteria might be.

        My view is that refunders can quickly become toxic customers and so you should get them out of the system as fast as possible - firstly because if you refund as fast as possible, you eliminate as much as possible them complaining about your service (some will still complain) and secondly they probably won't add any value to your business in the long term.
        I agree - think there is some confusion here...

        Where do I say that I am annoyed?

        I have many products and refunds are part of business - I don't need any help coming to terms with that I have been doing this for 7 years and know that it is just "part and parcel" of marketing.

        I made this thread to see other people's views and that is all.

        I have dealt with the customer by refunding and moving on...

        Does it require a discussion and debate?

        No, probably not but if we took this view there would not be one thread on the forum.

        I agree with you though - just refund and move on...

        Chris Jones
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        • Profile picture of the author sal64
          lol...

          well you certainly got our views.

          And the consensus is pretty obvious.



          Originally Posted by Chri5123 View Post

          I agree - think there is some confusion here...

          Where do I say that I am annoyed?

          I have many products and refunds are part of business - I don't need any help coming to terms with that I have been doing this for 7 years and know that it is just "part and parcel" of marketing.

          I made this thread to see other people's views and that is all.

          I have dealt with the customer by refunding and moving on...

          Does it require a discussion and debate?

          No, probably not but if we took this view there would not be one thread on the forum.

          I agree with you though - just refund and move on...

          Chris Jones
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          You Won't See The Light Until You Open Your Eyes.
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          • Profile picture of the author Martin Avis
            I didn't say you shouldn't question his reasons. It is always good to know why people don't want/like your product.

            But in your case the guy has given you his reason in the original email - your product no longer fits with the direction he wants to move in. That might be a bit lame, but if your guarantee is unconditional he really didn't even owe you that much of an explanation.

            The fact that you didn't like that reason and wanted more is neither here nor there.

            What you are now doing is questioning his motives after the fact - and that is a waste of your time.

            Martin
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            • Profile picture of the author Chri5123
              Originally Posted by Martin.Avis View Post

              I didn't say you shouldn't question his reasons. It is always good to know why people don't want/like your product.

              But in your case the guy has given you his reason in the original email - your product no longer fits with the direction he wants to move in. That might be a bit lame, but if your guarantee is unconditional he really didn't even owe you that much of an explanation.

              The fact that you didn't like that reason and wanted more is neither here nor there.

              What you are now doing is questioning his motives after the fact - and that is a waste of your time.

              Martin
              I never said I didn't like the reason.

              I simply was starting a thread to see people's views and I welcome your view but where did I say I didn't like it?

              Yes my guarantee is unconditional and he got a refund - yes he did not have to give me an explanation and really he didn't.

              If you look above he just mentions that he is moving on to different things but didn't give me any feedback on the product which is fine.

              Originally Posted by Martin.Avis View Post

              What you are now doing is questioning his motives after the fact - and that is a waste of your time.
              I think I will be the judge of that with all respect ^

              If questioning people's motives, what makes them do what and why is wasting my time then I waste A LOT of time on the Warrior forum but I feel the MORE I know about people the better my marketing will be.

              Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author Affiguy
    I do the same, some customers tell me that they don't need my app any more and simce they have my 10 day money back guarantee they are refunded.

    I can understand your point there, Chris. It is really annoying, when everything works fine, they used the app and got necessary information and then all of a sudden requested a refund.
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  • Profile picture of the author gotti3636
    Refund, blacklist and move on.

    I think it is better to maybe lose a couple of future sales rather than deal with people who want $7 refunds

    Someone who gets a refund from you once is extremely likely to do it again!
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    • Profile picture of the author eskimoto
      Originally Posted by gotti3636 View Post

      Refund, blacklist and move on.

      I think it is better to maybe lose a couple of future sales rather than deal with people who want $7 refunds

      Someone who gets a refund from you once is extremely likely to do it again!

      why would you blacklist someone just because he/she asked fo a refund.
      all offline businesses i have ever bought something from clearly state that a refund does not affect your statutory rights (i am talking UK)

      fair enough if someone is a repeat refunder, it can drive your mad, but penalising someone just for one refund??

      i cant imagine a situation that i go to the shop to return a shirt i bought from them and the lady behind the counter asks me why? just becasue!
      i dont know about the states but in European Union you automatically get 28 refund policy on all physical goods bought online and if i am not mistaken additional 7 days for enything you bought online (few exeptions exist like CDs that you have used and few other). so its guaranteed by a law, the seeler is no doing me any favour by having his/her own refund policy in place. even if the seller says 3 days refund policy it doeant matter because i am still entitled to 28 days.


      If we want online businesses to be treated equaly to offline then adapting their attitude and approach is a must
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  • Profile picture of the author xxxJamesxxx
    I don't know personally your guarantee, but the amount of guarantees I've read saying:

    "If for whatever reason you want a refund or you just get out of the wrong side of bed blah blah blah..."

    ...Then what do you expect?

    I know tons of vendors who have guarantees like that to lower the risk of buying but kick off when one of their customers take them up on their guaranteed refund offer.

    If you fit in that bracket then change your guarantee.

    James Scholes
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  • Profile picture of the author Chri5123
    Again I have NO problem issuing a refund and have done so...

    Also see no reason to change my guarantee - I simply made this thread to see how others would of dealt with the specific request in the opening thread.

    I hope this is not coming across as moaning as that was not my intention.

    Chris
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    • Profile picture of the author Brandon Huang
      Well the advice I gave you was how I would have dealt it. I will give them a very detailed sales page about my product and only if they were completely sure that they are interested, they will buy it.
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      • Profile picture of the author Chri5123
        Originally Posted by Brandon Huang View Post

        Well the advice I gave you was how I would have dealt it. I will give them a very detailed sales page about my product and only if they were completely sure that they are interested, they will buy it.
        Well as you can see from the original thread it would not matter HOW good the sales page was as the guy admits to not using the product, not because he was misinformed but because he decided to "change direction".

        There is no sales page that can stop people "changing direction" and force them to take action.

        If you have one I would love to see it.

        Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    Chris,

    I've had customers who have come back saying the same thing 3 months after they purchased when the guarantee was only for 30 days. I reminded them of the 30 day guarantee and then gave them a choice. I told them I will still honor the refund for them (cos I'm such a nice guy - obviously ) however I will need to blacklist them in the Warrior Plus system. As soon as they hear that word they never choose to take the refund. I am more than happy to honor my refund policy but some people just have no clue.
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  • Profile picture of the author funkynassau
    I'd have asked why he wanted a refund before saying sure, I'll refund your money. Then you would know if there was something wrong with your product or not.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brandon Huang
    If you want my full view if I am in your shoes, here it is:

    I still wouldn't refund him, that's like allowing a student into college for one semester and when the student was half way through his semester, he quits because he feels like taking a different degree. Well, who will pay for the labour supplied for teaching you? Will you allow him to take your time and effort you put in, just for free like that? He has your material even if he refunds so that's odd to give him a refund.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eduard Stinga
    I find it inspiring to read this kind of threads. I was thinking of using the "no questions asked" type of guarantee with my future products, because obviously it reduces the risk for the buyers drastically. But on the other hand, I guess I'll use a sort of "simply tell us why you don't like it (in order to improve it) and we'll send you the $ back" type of guarantee.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Filsaime
    This should be a poll.
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  • Profile picture of the author MattVit
    I think you're a good person for refunding. That was totally unfair. What crap! "Oh, I'm going in a different direction". Come on.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nathan2525
    Originally Posted by Chri5123 View Post

    Hey Guys,

    Just thought I would bring this up as I found it genuinely interesting.

    I received a refund request the other day that went like this:

    "Hi Chris

    Can you please arrange a refund

    Transaction ID: XXXXXXXXXX

    Thanks

    XXXXX"


    Since I have a refund policy on this product my response was:

    "Hi XXXXXX,

    I sure can!

    Was there any reason?

    Chris"


    I then got the reply:

    "Hi Chris

    Of course... I was looking at doing something with Amazon but my direction has
    now changed to other projects.

    XXXXX"


    This confused me a little as he was not saying anything was WRONG with the product just that he did not want to take action!

    If I had a refund every time someone did not take action that would be a lot of refunds!

    So I sent back:

    "Hi XXXXX,

    Just so I am clear, you want a refund because you are now moving on to something new?

    Just will make an interesting thread in the forum is all.

    Please let me know your email address you used to purchase and i will refund you.

    All the best,

    Chris"


    He then replied:

    "Here's the payment details

    [email address]

    Thanks

    xxxxx"

    So he did not even address the question!

    That is cool I just refunded him and if he is reading I wish him the very best of luck with his business!

    Just wondered what other people's thoughts were on this?

    What would you have done honestly?

    Think I was too soft?

    Does this sort of thing annoy you?

    All the best,

    Chris Jones
    You will always have a percentage of tire kickers.

    Don't worry about it. Move on. People like that will never be
    successful online.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ryan David
      Originally Posted by Nathan2525 View Post

      You will always have a percentage of tire kickers.

      Don't worry about it. Move on. People like that will never be
      successful online.
      I don't know if I agree they'll never be successful online. Back when I was starting, I made purchases that I immediately refunded for various reasons not related to the product. I bought because they had a guarantee, and I exercised it because time didn't permit.

      I've bought plenty of things (non-IM) related that I ended up just returning. That's life.
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      • Profile picture of the author DeadGuy
        You might be making this harder that it's supposed to be. There really isn't much of a point to quizzing someone requesting a refund. Debating the issue with your customer, or even questioning him for that matter, will more than likely turn his request into an angry tirade. Give him the refund and move on.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chri5123
    I think this thread has been interesting for a number of reasons:

    Some people think that I shouldn't of messaged the guy back and you are probably right. The refund is unconditional - so maybe not but having sound thousands of products online I can tell you that a HUGE percentage of refunds have been saved simply because they did not know "how to view a pdf" or "unpack a zip file".

    So I think it is WORTH emailing to ask the reason - if I get back:

    "Just give me a refund!"

    Then all good...

    Also it looks as though some people think I was annoyed about the guy.

    Not at all...

    I found his response interesting was all and wondered what other people would do in the same situation.

    Looking at the majority of views - it looks like ALOT of people would of just refunded without question - well I suppose that is the beauty of running your own business you get to make the choices...

    In my experience it is ALWAYS better to ask, analyse and understand BEFORE moving on and then you don't make the same mistakes again.

    Cheers for your feedback guys,

    All the best,

    Chris Jones
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  • Profile picture of the author Christophe Young
    I still get annoyed by refunds but now I just go to Paypal and click "issue refund" and move on. I don't even respond to their emails anymore. Get it behind you as quick as possible.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Chris, I'm guessing you got the usual mix of rants about refunders, so I'm not going to read them.

    IMO, you handled this properly. In business, contracts get cancelled all the time. If there's a return policy, tools no longer needed get returned. You ask for feedback, and issue the refund as per your promise.

    Then you move on...
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  • Profile picture of the author leadgenninja
    I had someone ask for a refund because Adwords was taking to long to approve their ad.

    Dead serious.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Hey, wait a minute . . . it's a REfund. He funded you once when he bought it, now he wants to REfund you again. He wanted to give you more money and you wouldn't let him!



    Yes, that is a joke.
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    Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

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    • Profile picture of the author cthorpe
      I know it seems to go against the spirit of your refund policy to ask for one just because the customer decided not to use your product, but I would go ahead and issue it anyway. I think you did the right thing by asking why, and then going ahead with the refund and well wishes.

      I don't know if your product was a WSO, but one problem I see with that model of selling products is that it forces people's hand when it comes to purchasing products that may or may not be what they need. So you are going to end up with people buying your product quickly to lock in the best price, and then deciding later if they want/need it.

      I also disagree with blacklisting someone because they requested a refund. Maybe if the same person buys multiple products from me and then asks for a refund on every single one, I would consider blacklisting them, but not for just one. The fact that you were willing to issue the refund in the first place may be enough to get them to come back and stick with something else you are offering that fits their needs better.

      My current thinking on refunds is that if I offer a refund policy on a product, it will be a 2-tiered policy. 30 days to get a refund for any reason at all, however I reserve the right to ask why. 90 days to get a refund if it didn't work for you (you can demonstrate that you took action, followed the steps, set up the website, etc).

      Carl Thorpe
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      • Profile picture of the author pacelattin
        I think you shouldn't refund, and then:

        - Risk a chargeback
        - Risk the user writing bad things about how you couldn't afford to refund the product even with a guaranteed refund.
        - Look like an idiot.
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
    You're overthinking it...

    Refund him, blacklist him from your list and shopping cart, get him out of your life, and move on.
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  • Profile picture of the author d3sign3r
    Maybe he was just another serial refunder who shares the stuff elsewhere on the web? How soon did he ask for a refund?
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  • Profile picture of the author mysterrio
    I guess it all depends on your refund policy. I can understand his reason and I can see both sides as to why you should and would not want to refund him.

    It shows that you are ethical because you did issue the refund. I think I would have said this: Just fo clarification and so I can improve my product or service, would you please help me to understand why you are asking for this refund. Was it the product? Was it hard to follow? Was it...

    Bottom line is - he wanted his money back and you gave it to him....I'd do busness with you - you are honest and care about your product and the customer. Being 'hard' only leads to burn out and bad ethics...
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  • Profile picture of the author savvybizbuilder
    Don't let that upset you. Look at the brighter side, that will help you build your branding and gain costumers trust.
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