We will provide a refund for customers for various reasons, remember, forcing a customer to stay with something they don't like or doesn't work for their needs is a losing situation for everyone. However, there are reasonable limits.
- Annual Purchase Refund Timeline: 30 days
- Monthly Purchase Refund Timeline: 48 hours
There will always be special circumstances or exceptions, but in general someone knows if the app will work for them within 30 days.
Information to be gathered (from customer or customer history)
- Determine the reason for the request. Ask the user for more information, whether an issue faced, or feature missing
- Determine if the reason is due to something hard and fast in their needs that we don’t offer, of if they are misunderstanding/misusing an existing feature.
- If they are looking for a feature/process we don’t support, determine if this is something we have a reasonable workaround for, or something that could be implemented quickly
- Consider the size of the account/potential immediate return on implementing a feature
- Consider the workaround we might offer. Is it a reasonable solution? Are we asking them to utilize a less convenient workflow without a solution in mind in the near future?
- Consider the current workload of the product team. Keeping the customer with a promise of a feature that might never be implemented or won’t be implemented within a reasonable timeframe is disingenuous at best, and will usually end in customer disappointment.
- Try to keep the customer, but remember that there is a limit. Don’t put up so many arguments and roadblocks that the customer feels inconvenienced by the process. We should never want a customer to stay simply because it is too much of a hassle to leave.
After determining customer motivation
For purchases less than 30 days old, in general these should be refunded. This represents standard practice across the market as well as a minimum of customer expectation of safety for their purchase.
- Apple will provide refunds for purchases for this timeframe
- Many European countries require that refunds be issued for at least 15 days after purchase
For purchases older than 30 days, consider the following:
- Is the purchase older than 6 months
- Is the usage heavy
- Has the use previously reported a problem that remains unsolved/issues unresolved with their workflow
- Has the user previously mentioned a refund
- For accounts older than 6 months or with heavy usage, refunds shouldn’t (as a general rule) be offered.
- For accounts with previously reported unresolved issues (after a reasonable amount of time for the user to allow us to fix) or issues unresolved with the workflow, many times the best option is to refund these. Consider the following:
- If a user is blocked by a feature that doesn’t work properly for a lengthy period of time, we’ve already failed them on our end of the agreement. A refund is a completely reasonable request.
- If a workflow issue can be resolved in the future, the customer will remember that we are the company that refused to work with them on a refund. It is less likely they’d consider coming back when we do have a solution.
For any refund request, always consider the pros/cons for the customer and the company. Is the revenue saved by immediate refusal of a refund worth more than the gratefulness of a customer, potential for them to come back in the future, etc. Consider these guidelines for exception cases:
- What is the potential for getting this user back in the future?
- Is there the potential for a courtesy refund/pro-rated refund repairing a poor relationship with the client
- Is the client demanding making overall unreasonable demands? In this case we likely have nothing to gain from the gesture, don’t waste the gesture on unreasonable customers (this should be considered carefully, and usually only if the customer has displayed a history of unreasonable requests/refusal to work with us). We want to think of the customer, but also consider if the company has anything to gain.
- The most important consideration is to put yourself in the customer's shoes: If you were the customer, would you consider your request to be reasonable? If so, then consider just refunding the charge.
Always put yourself in the place of the customer. If you, as the support agent, consider their request a reasonable one, then consider making the exception. If you think that, in the customer's position, you would expect the company to work with you, then consider making the exception.