Dealing with disrespectful customers

I am always keen to offer a refund when a customer asks for it, especially when they say they did not check the compatibility with their environment. What I really cannot stand is the kind of approach shown in this comment.

First of all, someone who has been with Envato for 8 years and has collected more than 10 items should know that there is a refund request form.

But what pisses me off is how people can boldly claim a product is buggy only because they did not bother checking whether the plugin is compatible or not with the tools they are using. Let alone the lack of respect in requesting a refund without even asking for assistance (which is also something required to be eligible for a refund).

The funny thing is that this happened minutes after I was discussing with @WebWizardsDev the opportunity of starting a Money-Back Guaranteed policy on my product!

I usually cut to the chase, send them to the refund request form and accept the refund: it is easier and doesn’t force me to deal with the ones who seem unreasonable and unbearable customers. But in this case, the reputation of my item needed to be protected.

How do you guys deal with this kind of comment?

Some people are just not worth the time.

I’ve recently had a similar experience. A guy asked me 17 questions. I answered every one. After, I exchanged 5 long emails with him about the plugin. After, he asked me 7 questions more. After I answered them with solutions, he asked me for a refund and said my product is buggy :slight_smile:

I just clicked “Accept refund” instantly because I didn’t want to lose 1 more second of my life with him.

Don’t lose too much of your energy. Your time is valuable.


Well, I totally agree with you, of course! :slight_smile:
And I will definitely accept their request right away, without any further hesitation.

And while your story would certainly infuriate me too, my problem with this one was with how he jumped to the comment board to share his opinion about my plugin, without even trying to make it work. He could have simply gone to refund request form.

The netiquette is definitely dead and buried!

Had a similar issue last month or so, a customer requested a demo several times before buying and we told him that was not possible. Then he bought it and immediately requested us to help him debug an issue with our plugin, we spent a few hours on his site only for him to demand us to add more features. I was beyond angry, but I immediately gave him a refund since we’d rather lose some bucks than having to deal with a bad rating and a problematic customer down the road.

Just refund the guy and move on, you’ll save a lot of time and headaches.

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There is no question about that: I am certainly going to refund the guy as soon as I receive their request. What I don’t understand is the need to publicly expose a bad comment that anybody can read when you have a very simple tool such as the refund request form.

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You cannot offer a money-back guaranteed policy at Envato. It’s against of the rules. This will cause problems with other authors as if you start offering refund with no specific reason. This is the issue you’re having right now, it may not be related to the item.

There’s a comments/review policy at Envato that you can get it take down easily. If there’s a problem with the item, you should offer support to fix it ( if it’s covered by support policy ) or state that it’s related to third party problem and you cannot do it.

Most of the users are not able to use the system due to they don’t want to spend time. Agreeing on refund is the easy way to avoid the problems. In case of these issues, you should be able to stand up for your right.

Again, it’s a temporary/fast solution.

After a year later, if 40% of the author does the same thing with you, buyers will purchase the item and ask un-related questions to get the item for free when they know if they keep bothering you, you will give the refund. Not tomorrow, not next week but you will come back here then complain about why there’re so much refunds.

Duly noted! :slight_smile:

Well, I don’t see how this is even the case since I have never refunded an item without requesting the customer to go through the customer support as per the Envato Market Refund Rules. In most cases, I even transformed a refund request into a 5-star rating and enthusiastic review. Just so you know, my refund history includes 14 refunds requests in total. 7 of them were declined in agreement with the customers after listening to their concerns and providing my assistance. So, we are left with 7 accepted refunds out of 1206 sold licenses in four and a half years. I am not sure how you can say this is the issue I am having… :wink:

Your response was spot on, Luigi. I don’t think you could have handled it any better.

In the end, the time one must spend trying to satisfy customers like this is rarely worth the trouble.

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There is another aspect of this situation that we should consider.

In this case, the guy ended up requesting the refund by choosing the reason “The item is broken, malfunctioning or not as described”, which is obviously a false claim, since my item is not described as compatible with the plugins he was trying to use it with.

So, we authors are always between the proverbial rock and a hard spot when it comes to refunding an item, especially now that the refund process is totally on our shoulder.

On one hand, we could decline such a request because the customer is not entitled to a refund, based on the Envato Market Refund Rules… but in doing so we expose ourselves to the almost certain retaliation of a bad rating or review, putting the reputation of our items and ourselves at stake.

On the other hand, we could accept the request to avoid any unpleasant consequence and show that we value our customers’ satisfaction but we would expose ourselves to a possible infringement of the Envato rules, while also compromising our financial interests and professional integrity.

At the end of the day, I believe it is just a matter of deciding what we value the most.

directly approving refund without valid reason and base on Envato rules is not advisable.
In my case i do decline most of refund as there are lot of customers who just want take item for free without paying. I do first check if its valid and can it be solve with customer support even if it is not part of what should be given in support.

And your concern about bad review or rating is right but when buyer who matters to us (legit one) is not going to read just the bad review but also going to read our response to that.

I believe there is a misunderstanding about this whole thread. What you are saying is not only obvious but exactly what I am doing and have always done since the first release of my item. Maybe you missed my refund statistics from an earlier post but I believe my numbers strongly support my conduct and professional integrity, especially in terms of compliance to the Envato Market Refund Rules.

licenses sold: 1210
refund requests: 20
approved refund: 8 (3 of which never downloaded the plugin as it was a mistaken purchase)
declined refund: 12 (5 of which accepted to keep the plugin, submitted a support request and, after my assistance, left a 5-star rating)

That’s exactly what I do. :wink:
When I posted this thread, I did not mean to better understand the Envato Market Refund Rules. Those are very clear to me and I followed them as strictly as possible.

I was more interested in understanding your approach when dealing with an unreasonably disrespectful or rude customer. Just as an example, during the refund process, one guy threatened me to track down my home address if I did not approve his refund request. Honestly, I don’t have the time to deal with those psychos.

Yes maybe somewhat. and your stats are great and you are doing right, no doubt in that.

Yes, I got that but there are also some people come later with the same topic and explanation in this one will surely help them too.

My response to this kind of rude people or the ones who try to get a product for free is simple “Decline” as if they give a bad review I can put my explanation in that. I approve of a refund sometime even if a buyer has a downloaded item but to the buyer who is respectful and really has a valid reason for a refund. and one more thing my sales are not at your level so I am having more time to deal with these people.

For Stats, I am having 5 refunds request out of which I Reject 4. and had 1 bad review, and it’s not from the ones who ask for a refund.

Thanks for elaborating more on your experience. :slightly_smiling_face:
To me, it is more important to keep as much as possible a spotless rating, even if that means I need to go the extra mile or beyond my call of duty (which I always like to do, especially for kind and respectful customers).