Mr. X buys a new product and loves it (but doesn’t think he should pay for it) and instantly on delivery, he requests a refund and continues using the product – that’s theft.
Mr. Y buys stuff he’s disappointed and disillusioned with, he deletes it and moves on, without asking for his money back – that’s not smart.
The unscrupulous internet marketer loves Mr. Y and hates Mr. X. This marketer continues churning out his crap which hundreds like Mr. Y snatch up without so much as a whimper and the crooked internet marketer profits all day long (for now), while Mr. Y maxes out his credit cards and loses his shirt.
The conscientious marketer, on the other hand, takes precautions to manage Mr. X, like using remote file locking software, but isn’t so happy with Mr. Y either. This marketer wants you to complain!
If his product doesn’t live up expectations, he wants to know, he wants to improve - yes, he's in it for the long haul. Ok, so he’s still got a family to feed and a mortgage to pay, so I'd be lying if I said that profits don’t matter – but the fact is, this marketer doesn’t want to profit from your misery. He wants to earn his money honestly.
So what are justifiable motives for requesting a product refund?
I’m glad you asked…
1. False advertising
This is a biggy – there’s nothing worse than ‘forcing’ a sale by telling blatant lies.
You know the type of ad ‘100,000 hits in 24 hours with the push of a button’ or ‘become a millionaire in three weeks with two hours work a week’.
But most advertising is much more subtle. Protect yourself – read the small print before you whip out that credit card, or it could come back to haunt you. If it sounds too good to be true – it is!
2. The Product is Outdated
Incredible, but true, products are still being advertised (and marketers still happily pocketing your hard earned cash), long after they no longer work on more modern operating systems, or have been pulled from servers altogether!
If this is the case, attempts to contact the product creator will usually be fruitless. But all is not lost; you can still contact paypal or your credit card company to get your money back.
Not all software is as user-friendly as Windows (lol!), but a good product should be backed up with written and/or video tutorials to walk you through the complexities of your new purchase. Some have help forums buzzing with information and full of helpful folks just waiting for your questions.
If you've exhausted all avenues and still can’t make head or tail of the product, state this to the creator and you should get that refund.
However if, despite stating legitimate and acceptable reasons for a refund, the product vendor refuses or simply doesn’t respond to your request, don’t give up hope.
Most marketplaces offer a refund guarantee for products that were sold through them (e. g. Clickbank offers its customers a general refund policy of 8 weeks after the product purchase, for a vendor like PayDotCom you’ll need to contact the credit card processor like Paypal which has a refund policy of 60 days).
In all cases…
Clearly state the reason for your refund request;
Employ a friendly communication style – even if the product isn’t worth a dime, it won’t help your cause by insulting the creator;
Explain how you’ve made every attempt to use the product efficiently – attach screenshots or make suggestions for improving the product;
The vendor may lose you as a customer, but can benefit from your experience.
Play fair – as mentioned earlier, requesting a refund for a product you’ll continue to use is theft - Most marketplaces (Clickbank, PayDotCom) tolerate 2 or even more refunds, but after that you might not be able to purchase anything again through the specific company.
So go ahead – if its crap, doesn’t do what it says on the tin, is outdated or unusable, don’t be afraid to ask for a refund.
You’ll be helping the reputation and integrity of all serious, honest marketers.