Changes to the refund, dispute and ratings system on ThemeForest and CodeCanyon

Hey everyone,

Over the past several months we have been introducing features that give authors greater control over how they manage their interactions with customers on Envato Market. Fundamentally, we want our authors to learn more with each customer interaction and let this knowledge shape each decision that they make, from marketing and item support, to how to create their products.

Today, we’re announcing that late next month, we’re going to be rolling out a number of new features on CodeCanyon and ThemeForest that allow authors more control over how they engage with refunds, disputes and ratings with their customers.

You can find an overview of the changes below, and what this means for you as an author in this Help Centre article.

Key Changes:

1. We are creating a tool, through which authors and customers can resolve refund requests on the Envato platform. For an overview of the tool, check out this Help Centre article.

2. Authors will be able to directly manage a customer’s refund request, and will be be responsible for the decision to approve, or decline a discretionary refund.
Note: There are two kinds of refunds. One is known as obligatory refund, (ie: required by law) and the other is a discretionary refund (ie: your choice). Our legal eagles and the Envato Help team have put together a point of reference document to help you understand which is which. You can find that document here.

3. When an author approves a refund, the purchase will be reversed. Envato and the author will divide the cost of the refund in the same way revenue is divided for a sale.

4. When an author approves a refund, the customer’s rating for that item purchase will be removed, along with the customer’s rights to use and download the item.

5. All future ratings and reviews will now be public.

6. Customers will now be able to raise a dispute with Envato if the refund request is declined or if the request has not been actioned within 5 days


At their core, these changes stem from our desire to create a fairer system that equally acknowledges the responsibilities and implications on Authors, Envato and our Customers when it comes to refunds and their place in our marketplace.

Ensuring that the cost of a refund was divided in the same way as proceeds for a sale was important to us, but equally important was our desire for authors to understand, and ultimately be in control of the refund process itself.

Ratings were an important piece of the puzzle. Ratings exist to help customers understand the experience of purchasing and using the item. This was an opportunity for us to improve ratings towards that goal by allowing customers to read the reviews associated with ratings and allow authors to remove both the rating and review if the item had been refunded and disallowed for use.

Fundamentally, we believe that the more power we can give to authors to take greater control over (and learn from!) their interactions with customers, the more successful our authors will be in the long term.

How can I prepare for this change?

With power comes responsibility. And it’s important to know what your obligations will be after this change, so check out this Help Centre article to learn more. We also want to encourage our authors to be asking themselves a few important questions…

Firstly, what is my policy on giving customers discretionary refunds? Whilst the item promotion guidelines still apply (you still can’t promote your policy on your item pages), it’s good to think about this for consistency.

1. How might this policy influence a customer’s buying experience?

2. What will my process be for resolving refund requests with my customers?

3. How will I act on the feedback that comes from these requests?

Please take some time to learn about the new system, discuss the changes below, and be sure to reach out if you have any questions. We’ll be responding to new questions at the end of each Melbourne day, while there are new questions to be answered.


Just BS.

some stupid buyers make unreasonable requests and if we decline that, they give poor rating saying, author is very harsh etc… and now you want to make them public.

change over a change…change over a change… forum is full of announcements which leads to nothing…most probably envato being purchased by someone in US.

instead of these useless tools, come up with a support platform (tool)



I believe this change will be very positive, giving more power to the authors is always a great thing and surely an useful tool to keep customer satisfaction high!

I also support Public Reviews, because buyers or interested people can see if it’s a true review or a troll review seeing the review and the author replica, for example.


Envato is tired of handling yet another thing and is now shifting responsibility for that to authors. But don’t worry, it’s just support and refunds, nothing to do with extra taxes. Yet :smiling_imp:

Ok, in all seriousness, public reviews are a good thing if done right. I’ve seen countless times how buyers can go crazy in comments if they couldn’t find a file named “Tutorial.mp4” which is in the root of the download.
Mostly they just make themselves look stupid, especially if authors respond properly. But reviews… I’m not sure where that’ll go. But let’s see, I guess.


Maybe I does not understand something… So reviews left with ratings will NOT be public (you left it as it is for now) or reviews from ratings WILL BE PUBLIC in future?

Thanks for changes!
Nice and required changes in the system, congratulation with update!

What situation with previous ratings and refunds?
We have a 1 star rating from customer who made refund.

1 Like

I will buy many themes and templates, download all items that I purchased. In next week, I will make a request refunds for all themes/templates that I bought before with awesome reason: “this template is not what I am looking for”. Tadaa… I get my money back and have all themes/templates too. Cool new features from envato!! I love it!!

If my refund request has declined by the author, I will give 1 star rate and give the review that the item is very poor, hard to custom, bad support, dont buy this item guys!!


lol that’s true :joy:

Thanks for changes!

We have a 3 stars rating from customer who made refund.


Totally! But I guess people at Envato don’t sell anything on CodeCanyon or ThemeForest… They should create some products, like folks at Mailchimp who are creating a real shop to understand how an e-commerce website works for real :

All I see is : “do our work. For Us.”.


###Its a good move. There were many authors who previously asked to get control of this.

However there might me many problems with this.

What happened to the old ratings and reviews? In the right side it says 500 reviews and showing latest 2 reviews is not really good. If you are going to show, Show all.

###Authors need Control over ratings & reviews

If I read right, you mean we have control over the rating on refunded rating & review right?

Same way, What if we declined a request and then the user left a bad review? In this case, can we remove the rating?

So, I think the best solution will be, once the user asked for refund, regardless of the final decision (Approve or Decline) we should have the rights to remove the rating. so that it won’t get misused as @myboodesign said.



Since your responsability is more and more shifting to us authors, will you be lowering your provision or atleast remove the exclusivity part? If this is going to be positive or not is to be seen. But its yet another thing for which we have to worry and handle and you keep the cream.


@myboodesign If I’m right, we can delete the rating of refunded customers.

So not a problem at all.

@matthewcoxy @andrewfreeman Thanks guys!! :grinning:


Thanks a lot for adding this. Yes, I agree if the user is refunded their ratings should also go away.

There is something that worries me. What is the time period to ask for a refund?

What happens if the user ask for a refund three or six months or 1 year after they made the purchase? How that money will be deducted from my earnings? What if at that moment I don’t have money to cover the refund?

I think there should be a period of time that the user is allowed to ask for a refund. In Google Play, for example, the time window is two hours after the user has purchased the app.


@matthewcoxy: Very disturbing to the authors?


You know… someone can buy your items, after the buyer download your item, and then he make a request refund to you. what will you do?


@myboodesign Even now, buyers can do same thing right? The only difference is previously Envato decides about the refund. And now, we need to decide.