Do you process refunds coming from everywhere?

19 replies
Hi guys,

I just want your feedback on this problem I'm having.

My recent WSO has been doing great for a first one, but of course, with all WSOs and the "30 days no questions asked" policy, you do get refunds for no reason. Although that pisses me off, I'm still willing to offer refunds to anyone who asks for one. However, here's the problem.

I specifically asked everyone to send their requests through our support desk and I processed everything that went through there. However, I'm also getting requests on my personal e-mail, auto responder e-mail, PM, PayPal, etc.

Do you process them as well or do you just leave them be?

I'm all for customer support, but I think the right thing to do is to ignore these requests coming from anywhere else apart from the support desk. I hate it that clients complain about some aspect of the product, which is clearly mentioned in the thread, but they obviously didn't read it. Plus, if they can read the refund policy, they should read it completely. Also, I think you should remain strong in your policy about "Please send all refund requests or any other bla bla through our support desk". If they expect you to make the effort of going to W+ and clicking refund, they should make the effort to properly request it as well, considering that you're offering them an advantage, as they don't normally have buyer's protection for intangible goods.

What do you guys think?

-Eduard
#coming #process #refunds
  • Profile picture of the author Gambino
    I'm an advocate of "the customer is always right." after all, without customers we wouldnt have anything.

    Now, that doesn't pertain to chronic abusers of refund policies. If you have an individual/s who repeatedly purchase and return products, I'd just prevent them from purchasing in the first place.

    Which brings me back to the topic of your question. If these are abnormal refund requests that were simply sent to the wrong place for whatever reason, I think the right thing to do is refund the request. After all, I'd be pretty pissed at a company that didn't honor my refund just because I didn't send it to the right place/person.
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    • Profile picture of the author Eduard Stinga
      Originally Posted by HeadToHeadFantasy View Post

      Which brings me back to the topic of your question. If these are abnormal refund requests that were simply sent to the wrong place for whatever reason, I think the right thing to do is refund the request. After all, I'd be pretty pissed at a company that didn't honor my refund just because I didn't send it to the right place/person.
      Well I'm pretty sure that if you go to the guy who is cleaning the floor in the Nike store, you're not going to get any refund
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      • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
        Originally Posted by Eduard Stinga View Post

        Well I'm pretty sure that if you go to the guy who is cleaning the floor in the Nike store, you're not going to get any refund
        I was thinking of something similar. For small operations, I guess it's fine but once you have lots of customers, refunding from every source could become problematic.
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      • Profile picture of the author Gambino
        Originally Posted by Eduard Stinga View Post

        Well I'm pretty sure that if you go to the guy who is cleaning the floor in the Nike store, you're not going to get any refund
        Valid point, sir. But, the online marketplace is a little trickier than a brick and mortar shop (especially if you're dealing with noobs).
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        • Profile picture of the author tpw
          Originally Posted by Eduard Stinga View Post

          Well I'm pretty sure that if you go to the guy who is cleaning the floor in the Nike store, you're not going to get any refund
          Originally Posted by HeadToHeadFantasy View Post

          Valid point, sir. But, the online marketplace is a little trickier than a brick and mortar shop (especially if you're dealing with noobs).

          Shouldn't noobies be expected to go through all of the regular procedures as non-noobies?

          After all, when you ask the janitor at the Nike Store for a refund, he is going to send you to the Customer Support Desk, and if you persist wanting him to do it for you, you will find yourself extremely frustrated that the Nike Store doesn't give the janitor keys to the cash register.
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          • Profile picture of the author Gambino
            Originally Posted by tpw View Post

            Shouldn't noobies be expected to go through all of the regular procedures as non-noobies?

            After all, when you ask the janitor at the Nike Store for a refund, he is going to send you to the Customer Support Desk, and if you persist wanting him to do it for you, you will find yourself extremely frustrated that the Nike Store doesn't give the janitor keys to the cash register.
            Yes. Is the OP contacting the people who are requesting refunds the "wrong" way and informing them of the correct way to do it, as you suggested the janitor of a Nike store would? If so, it seems like doubling the work when he could just process the refund via the channel requested.

            As I stated, brick and mortar stores are common in today's society. Online, there are adults who have no clue what they're doing. Is that he OP's problem? Well, yes and no. No, because he's told customers how to request refunds and he refunds via that channel. Yes, because he could potentially piss customers off and create a poor image for himself, his product, and his business.
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            • Profile picture of the author TimCastleman
              In fact, ignoring a PayPal refund request will result in PayPal siding with the customer and taking the money back anyways.
              Actually not true.

              We tell our people to fill out a form to get a refund.

              They fill it out - they get a refund.

              They don't - well, they don't.

              If they can't follow directions it's not really up to me to babysit them.
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            • Profile picture of the author tpw
              Originally Posted by HeadToHeadFantasy View Post

              Yes. Is the OP contacting the people who are requesting refunds the "wrong" way and informing them of the correct way to do it, as you suggested the janitor of a Nike store would? If so, it seems like doubling the work when he could just process the refund via the channel requested.

              As I stated, brick and mortar stores are common in today's society. Online, there are adults who have no clue what they're doing. Is that he OP's problem? Well, yes and no. No, because he's told customers how to request refunds and he refunds via that channel. Yes, because he could potentially piss customers off and create a poor image for himself, his product, and his business.

              The deal is that if I don't check my mail for several days, like when I take a weekend off to spend with my family, the person not following the designated approach will have to wait several days for his refund, whereas if he went through proper channels, he could get his refund immediately.

              I was called a scammer once by someone who had to wait three days for his refund.

              Why did he have to wait three days for his refund? Because he used some obscure email address to make his request -- an email address that was never intended for customer support and I only check about once a week.

              If customers don't follow the prescribed processes to obtain a refund, they are not going to get the level of service they want anyway, unless I decide to check every email address I own every ten minutes.
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              Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
              Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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  • Profile picture of the author textbroker
    For us, it didn't matter where refunds come from - e-mail, Skype, phone call, PayPal refund request - they get done. In fact, ignoring a PayPal refund request will result in PayPal siding with the customer and taking the money back anyways.

    Of course the janitor won't give you a refund. But he will at least tell you who will or point to the cashier. He won't ignore you entirely (unless he's got his headphones on).

    We created a central log (Excel file) of each refund's details and did batch processing on a regular basis. This way, we didn't miss an e-mail or phone call.

    I'd much rather have a client refunded quickly than a cranky client complaining that he had to jump through hoops to get a refund.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Keith
    Depending on which help desk you use, you may be able to setup email piping that automatically adds email replies into your support desk.

    obviously every setup is different with how you have your business structured.

    You may need to use some email forwarding as well to make sure you always get the email in the places you want it.

    For many of my "set and forget" systems, I also setup an autoresponder using the cpanel system to autoreply to any replies i get to certain emails. So "noreply@" would have a autoresponde email that says use my helpdesk... no one reads this email.
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  • Profile picture of the author SandraLarkin
    Banned
    Yes. You will get refunds for no reason, but you must deal with it. Paypal will never, ever side with you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gama Seva
    I process refunds be it requested through Paypal email, autoresponder email or support desk EXCEPT if they file a dispute first in Paypal before requesting a refund.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
      To use the Nike analogy, when it comes to refund request ... Just Do It!
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        If you only process refunds through your help desk - make that requirement part of your stated refund policy.

        If you say ""30 days no questions asked"" - then do it no matter where they come from.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eduard Stinga
    I guess this time I just wanted to be the nice guy, I processed even one refund coming as a PayPal dispute, LOL.

    But with the next product I'll be very strict about the policy (and very clear about it); I don't have time to check everything every 10 minutes. And if they can't make the effort to properly request one, they'll never get it, period.
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  • Profile picture of the author marketerpro
    The problem with ignoring refund requests that weren't submitted properly is PayPal...and the refunder too. If the refunder doesn't know or care about the procedure, they can get frustrated and file a dispute. Now you have a bigger problem. In extreme cases they can file a chargeback. Now it will cost you the refund, plus another $20.
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    • Profile picture of the author WillR
      Originally Posted by marketerpro View Post

      The problem with ignoring refund requests that weren't submitted properly is PayPal...and the refunder too. If the refunder doesn't know or care about the procedure, they can get frustrated and file a dispute. Now you have a bigger problem. In extreme cases they can file a chargeback. Now it will cost you the refund, plus another $20.
      Exactly.

      Sorry, but anyone who says they don't process refund requests unless they are sent to one specific place are just silly, I think. Does that also mean you ignore your customer support requests if they don't send them exactly where you want them?

      The kind of people who dont care to follow your procedures are the same kind of person who will just open a dispute or file a chargeback if you don't respond.

      The only person you then end up hurting is yourself.

      If you have a refund policy then ANY refund request you receive should be actioned. The fact you have seen that refund request, no matter where it was sent, means you are now obliged to action it. Ignoring them or saying they were sent to the wrong place is just your (proverbial you) way of trying to rationalize the fact you don't want to pay those refunds.

      The Nike example above is a silly one and doesn't relate to what we are talking about here. If you want to use that example then it would be like going up to the cashier who is adjusting stock on the shelves. If you told them you needed to return an item do you think they would say, no sorry, we can't do that because you didn't ask me while I was behind my desk. I only listen to return requests when I am behind my desk.

      What a load of garbage!
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  • Profile picture of the author textbroker
    I think you just need to be clear in your refund policy when the refunds will be processed. Put it in your policy that all refunds will be processed within a week. That way, if you check the most obscure e-mail addy once a week, you're still covered.
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  • Profile picture of the author dab123
    If you don't refund everyone, you risk getting chargebacks which are no fun.
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