Customer paid twice, what to do?

52 replies
Just thought I'd pop in and get you guys' opinion on something. I had a customer purchase my course but I got the money in PayPal twice. I've emailed the customer twice over the past few days to ask if they intended to purchase two copies or if it was a mistake, with no response. I have no phone number or other contact info. What would you do? [cue John Quinones, LOL] Should I just refund one of them if they don't get back to me?

Edit: What I meant was, should I refund right away or wait until they get back to me? I'm sorry my terminology wasn't clear.
#customer #paid
  • Profile picture of the author funkynassau
    I'd wait a bit longer then I'd refund one and if he comes along saying he really wanted to buy two, he can then buy another one.
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    • Profile picture of the author cello
      I'd give him a refund and send an email explaining what you did. Your honesty will bring repeat sales for sure!

      Best of luck to you!
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      • Profile picture of the author Ron Killian
        Originally Posted by cello View Post

        I'd give him a refund and send an email explaining what you did. Your honesty will bring repeat sales for sure!

        Best of luck to you!
        Agree 100%. Could be a way of creating a raving fan, that your looking out for them and their money.
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  • Profile picture of the author TeamBringIt
    Originally Posted by Laura B View Post

    Just thought I'd pop in and get you guys' opinion on something. I had a customer purchase my course but I got the money in PayPal twice. I've emailed the customer twice over the past few days to ask if they intended to purchase two copies or if it was a mistake, with no response. I have no phone number or other contact info. What would you do? [cue John Quinones, LOL] Should I just refund one of them if they don't get back to me?
    I would refund them. They probably ordered twice, by accident
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  • Profile picture of the author bhuff85
    Originally Posted by Laura B View Post

    Should I just refund one of them if they don't get back to me?
    I would send them a refund for one of the purchases regardless if you hear from them or not.
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    • Profile picture of the author JSProjects
      Originally Posted by bhuff85 View Post

      I would send them a refund for one of the purchases regardless if you hear from them or not.
      100% agree.

      I've had this happen a handful of times I can't recall one instance where the buyer meant to purchase 2.
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  • Profile picture of the author George Wright
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author angshuy2k
      I would refund one
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  • Profile picture of the author DerekMadden
    Hold it for 30 days.

    It is just a matter of morals. Most companies will keep something like that for 30 days.
    Don't spend it, just hold on to it.. and after 30 days, if he still hasn't responded, you know one of two things.
    a) he doesn't care about the money
    b) he uses that email for just money purposes so he has no idea you are even mailing him.

    That is when you make your decision.. to keep it or give it back.
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    • Profile picture of the author SeoDemon
      Originally Posted by DerekMadden View Post

      Hold it for 30 days.

      It is just a matter of morals. Most companies will keep something like that for 30 days.
      Don't spend it, just hold on to it.. and after 30 days, if he still hasn't responded, you know one of two things.
      a) he doesn't care about the money
      b) he uses that email for just money purposes so he has no idea you are even mailing him.

      That is when you make your decision.. to keep it or give it back.

      so in case no.1 you mean she can keep the money if he doesn't care about it? i have to say that i disagree, OP please refund him, i'm sure he did this by accident.
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      • Profile picture of the author CyberAlien
        Originally Posted by SeoDemon View Post

        so in case no.1 you mean she can keep the money if he doesn't care about it? i have to say that i disagree, OP please refund him, i'm sure he did this by accident.
        How are you sure of this? Customers never order the same thing multiple times lol? People buy stuff all the time and if it's an honest customer and they are planning on sharing the product with a family member or friend, they will purchase them their own copy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Laura B
      Originally Posted by DerekMadden View Post

      b) he uses that email for just money purposes so he has no idea you are even mailing him.
      That occurred to me. If that's the case, I guess the only thing that may get his attention is getting money back in his PayPal account.

      Thanks everyone for your suggestions!
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  • Profile picture of the author Debra Barrow
    Hi Laura,

    I think you should go ahead and refund the customer because it's unlikely they would purchase the same course twice. (probably a mistake) However, if you want to reach your customer first, then let PayPal know so they can contact your customer. PayPal would have their personal information.

    Another reason for letting PayPal know about this, is that it could an issue with their payment system.
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    • Profile picture of the author Laura B
      Originally Posted by Debra Barrow View Post

      Another reason for letting PayPal know about this, is that it could an issue with their payment system.
      Hm, hadn't thought of that. I will let them know. Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author Colin Palfrey
    It could be because he gave a copy to his mate. A lot of people don't check their email regularly, so it may take a while to get an answer.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    If it's a product you are selling and not a service then it's more likely than not the duplicate purchase was a mistake. I would just refund the duplicate purchase.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
    If it's a product (especially a digital one) I'd refund them as there's no good reason for them to purchase two. Honesty is the best policy in business.
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    • Profile picture of the author Laura B
      Originally Posted by RockingLastsForever View Post

      If it's a product (especially a digital one) I'd refund them as there's no good reason for them to purchase two. Honesty is the best policy in business.
      I agree - there was never a question whether I would refund if it truly was a mistake - just didn't know whether I should do it automatically or wait for them to respond. But I have to disagree about there being no good reason to buy two - in theory, if it was for two different people, they should buy two. Just the fact that it's digital doesn't mean it's okay to share. Of course, in practice, I would not make a stink if someone bought one and everyone in the household used it.

      I have contacted PayPal and I'll see what they say about why it might have happened.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Hill
    Refund one purchase regardless if he contacts you or not. Include a note in the PayPal refund that it was a double purchase of the same item and you are refunding one of those purchases.

    Then carry on with your business.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Why refund it?

    How do you know the customer didn't purchase a copy for someone else using their account?
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    • Profile picture of the author WillR
      Originally Posted by John Romaine View Post

      Why refund it?

      How do you know the customer didn't purchase a copy for someone else using their account?
      I like to work with the numbers. Past experience has told me that when someone purchases a product twice in a row, it is infinitely more likely it was a mistake rather than a legitimate double purchase.

      If someone does want to purchase a product twice it's a LOT more likely they are going to buy it once, go over the product and make sure it does what they want it to do, and then purchase it again.
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      • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
        Originally Posted by WillR View Post

        I like to work with the numbers. Past experience has told me that when someone purchases a product twice in a row, it is infinitely more likely it was a mistake rather than a legitimate double purchase.

        If someone does want to purchase a product twice it's a LOT more likely they are going to buy it once, go over the product and make sure it does what they want it to do, and then purchase it again.
        This is an assumption on your behalf, numbers or not.

        Ive refunded stuff in the past only to find out the person at the other end either wanted two copies, bought for someone else, or needed two copies because of licensing terms.

        You can refund all you like.

        I'll let the customer decide what, and how they intend on purchasing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bill Jeffels
    You've contacted them. They ordered twice and
    it might be mistake or not. If you're contacted
    for refund. Then refund accordingly.

    The balls in their court.


    Bill


    .
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Bill,

      That would be the best advice, except for a few non-obvious practical issues. The first is the question of people not reading mail sent to their Paypal address. That's a lot more common than I would have thought, personally.

      The second, which is a pretty small issue, but still possible, is that some people are embarrassed to acknowledge they goofed (if it was them, and not a software glitch).

      A third is that they might assume it's a scam on the seller's part and file a dispute. Very uncommon, but it does happen occasionally.

      Assuming it's a mistake and refunding immediately avoids those issues. It also reinforces that you're a real person, and paying attention to your customers' well-being.

      I used to email and ask. Now I just send the refund when I notice this happening.


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Bill Jeffels
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        Now I just send the refund when I notice this happening.
        Paul,

        Good point. I usually have a when in doubt refund them out. It's easier for everyone that way. These circumstances seemed to be a little different.

        However, I do see your point.


        Bill


        .
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      • Profile picture of the author zerofill
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        Bill,

        That would be the best advice, except for a few non-obvious practical issues. The first is the question of people not reading mail sent to their Paypal address. That's a lot more common than I would have thought, personally.
        Yeah that is so common it isn't even a funny...
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Just refund the extra order. You'll get plenty more sales to make up for that 1 refund.
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    • Profile picture of the author curly sue
      send them a refund, that shows you're trustworthy and they will buy from you again. on the other hand, some people have more than enough money an extra $27, $99 spent won't put a dent in their bank account, accept it as a tip
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  • Profile picture of the author FirstSocialApps
    I agree give a refund. But I would just add dont wait. Just give it to them right away. There is very little reason why someone would buy a digital product two times.
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    • Profile picture of the author prem khaira
      Banned
      Refund the extra order...
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      • Profile picture of the author Laura B
        Interestingly, here's the response I just got from PayPal:

        I checked both payments, the time difference was between payments were 3 minutes and 11 seconds.

        Its possible that your buyer clicked on submit twice or intentionally paid 2 of the same item.

        I understand your worried, it will be best to wait for your buyers response before you issue a refund. I'll let your buyer know about this concern you have and I'll have it noted on your account.
        So I guess I'll wait a bit more since PayPal is contacting them? I'm of the mind that most of you are - that it was a mistake - and would have refunded today based on your input and my gut feeling, except that now I got this from PayPal.
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        • Profile picture of the author OnlineAddict
          Originally Posted by Laura B View Post

          Interestingly, here's the response I just got from PayPal:

          So I guess I'll wait a bit more since PayPal is contacting them? I'm of the mind that most of you are - that it was a mistake - and would have refunded today based on your input and my gut feeling, except that now I got this from PayPal.
          This happens, because some people pay with paypal and then close the page afterwards, before it redirects them to the actual product. Then if they didn't get a confirmation email instantly, they think it didn't went through and buy again...
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  • Profile picture of the author Anton543
    Its best to refund after waiting a few more days. Honesty counts for a lot.

    By the way, WWYD is a great show, clips of which I watch on Youtube.
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  • Profile picture of the author BIG Mike
    Banned
    I sometimes run across duplicate purchases when auditing our sales table - I'll generally send an email asking them if it was intentional and if not, reassure them that the duplicate purchase can be refunded.

    Usually I do get a response back, but not always. I'll give them a couple of days to respond, but if they don't I go ahead and issue the refund.

    I don't recommend waiting too long once you become aware of it only because as Paul mentioned, they may file a dispute with PayPal or even initiate a charge back. Chances are they may then perceive you as having scammed them, whereas being proactive about it won't usually make you look bad.
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  • Profile picture of the author ScottieDog
    I would auto give them the refund soon as I realized. Would be interesting if they contacted you back and said they purposely ordered two copies.. :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    You really have 2 options here:

    1. You can go to your PayPal account and manually refund one of the payments.

    2. You can keep the money and don't email that person ever again if he doesn't reply back to you.

    This will only test your integrity and honesty. You can choose either one.
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  • Profile picture of the author lastdual
    When I get double orders, I always email the customer and give them 2 days to respond (often I'll do a 2nd attempt at contacting them on day 2). One of the orders goes out within 24 hours, but I hold onto the second. If they don't get back to me and confirm that they intended for the second order (sometimes they *did* want it), I refund it when the 2 days are up.
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  • Profile picture of the author Laura B
    Based on all the "honesty lectures," I guess I wasn't too clear in my OP. I fully intend to refund one - I just wondered whether to do so right away or wait until they get back to me.
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  • Profile picture of the author connorbringas
    Originally Posted by Laura B View Post

    Just thought I'd pop in and get you guys' opinion on something. I had a customer purchase my course but I got the money in PayPal twice. I've emailed the customer twice over the past few days to ask if they intended to purchase two copies or if it was a mistake, with no response. I have no phone number or other contact info. What would you do? [cue John Quinones, LOL] Should I just refund one of them if they don't get back to me?

    Edit: What I meant was, should I refund right away or wait until they get back to me? I'm sorry my terminology wasn't clear.
    I'd wait to hear back-communication is key. However, I wouldnt end up keeping it in the long run. If they dont respond back within a month I'd just refund.
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  • Profile picture of the author dhanediesil
    The ethical course of action would be to inform them and give it back to them... Or you can credit their account...

    The unethical course of action would be to keep quiet.
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    • Profile picture of the author shaunyb1
      Yep, as everyone else is saying, be honest and ethical and this will reap rewards throughout life.
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  • Yes, it will effect a good sign to them when one is refunded before they came to know.
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  • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
    I would let Pay Pal run their course since you already have them involved. Apparently a lot of people didn't read the thread far enough to figure out PP was already on it.
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  • Profile picture of the author OnlineAddict
    Happened to me a few times, I always refunded instantly, there is nothing to even think about. Refund and email the customer what happened.
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  • Profile picture of the author Justin Says
    Originally Posted by Laura B View Post

    Just thought I'd pop in and get you guys' opinion on something. I had a customer purchase my course but I got the money in PayPal twice. I've emailed the customer twice over the past few days to ask if they intended to purchase two copies or if it was a mistake, with no response. I have no phone number or other contact info. What would you do? [cue John Quinones, LOL] Should I just refund one of them if they don't get back to me?

    Edit: What I meant was, should I refund right away or wait until they get back to me? I'm sorry my terminology wasn't clear.
    I've been in the same situation.

    I had a client purchase 2 of something in the past (that I never expected to receive 2 orders on) and refunded one immediately.

    A week later, the person came back furious saying that they had also bought one for their partner.

    Definitely caught me off guard, so I'd wait.
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  • Profile picture of the author jerytohn
    Go out and buy yourself a beer?
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    • Profile picture of the author MarkThomas
      I disagree with what most people have said; I would not process a refund unless the customer got back to me. Of course, giving them a 30-day grace period would be the best thing to do (in case they had a family emergency or something of that nature).

      The Internet is a free market; you've already shown yourself to be honest and ethical (since you took the time to E-mail them in the first place). I know that if I made the mistake of accidentally making 2 purchases, I wouldn't put the seller at fault; the onus is on me.
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  • Profile picture of the author YasirYar
    The best way is to refund him immediately. Anyway, had he intended to buy two copies, he should've contacted you about it. He can always buy again if he'd like, and you will never have a headache down the road in case he disputes a double payment and you have not sent him back his money.
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  • Profile picture of the author PolicyMaker
    Keep It ... I guess your customer has got too much value from your previous Work. NOW He wants to Pay-Back more than intended INTENTIONALLY...

    Just an Opinion...
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  • Profile picture of the author Nail Yener
    Originally Posted by Laura B View Post

    Just thought I'd pop in and get you guys' opinion on something. I had a customer purchase my course but I got the money in PayPal twice. I've emailed the customer twice over the past few days to ask if they intended to purchase two copies or if it was a mistake, with no response. I have no phone number or other contact info. What would you do? [cue John Quinones, LOL] Should I just refund one of them if they don't get back to me?

    Edit: What I meant was, should I refund right away or wait until they get back to me? I'm sorry my terminology wasn't clear.
    Laura, I would wait for a reply a little longer in your case. If email doesn't work, I would search for that person online on social networks (assuming you know their name). I was able to contact people through social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter when email didn't work.
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  • Profile picture of the author Laura B
    Thank you all for your input.
    Originally Posted by Nail Yener View Post

    I would search for that person online on social networks (assuming you know their name). I was able to contact people through social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter when email didn't work.
    Thank you for that suggestion, don't know why I didn't think of it myself. I did find one person by that name on Facebook but it doesn't seem to be used, and one person on LinkedIn but the IP is from a totally different place. I will wait a bit more to see what PayPal says - maybe they will be able to get his attention.
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  • Profile picture of the author Laura B
    Update: I never heard back from PayPal or the buyer, so I refunded the second payment. A few days later, he initiates two chargebacks. Two. I'm getting so sick of this crap.

    I've sent documentation to PP in the Resolution Center, but what a royal pain.
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    • Profile picture of the author ScottieDog
      Originally Posted by Laura B View Post

      Update: I never heard back from PayPal or the buyer, so I refunded the second payment. A few days later, he initiates two chargebacks. Two. I'm getting so sick of this crap.

      I've sent documentation to PP in the Resolution Center, but what a royal pain.
      Incredible isnĀ“t it. So time consuming and annoying. Sorry to hear it after you tried to do the right thing.
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