Envato refunds for reasons outside their refund policy, quite disappointed.

A couple of days ago, I’ve had a customer ask for a refund stating the following:

It was a mistaken purchase

I´ve bought this plugin and after I realized I already had a similar plugin.

Sorry

Obviously, I refused this refund because this falls under one of the exact reasons why a refund may not be given if the item has been downloaded.

Apparently the customer raised a dispute and Envato granted the refund anyway. I’m surprised because under the customer refund policy, they state quite clearly that a refund may not be given for mistake purchases:

There is generally no obligation to provide a refund in situations like the following:

you don’t want it after you’ve downloaded it;
the item did not meet your expectations;
you simply change your mind;
you bought an item by mistake;
you do not have sufficient expertise to use the item;
you ask for goodwill; or
you can no longer access the item because it has been removed (we advise you to download items as soon as you have purchased them to avoid this situation).

I find this very disappointing coming from Envato. So now any customer claiming a mistake purchase gets a refund. For digital goods, this is unsustainable in my opinion.

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It sounds worrisome.
Have asked envato for an explanation about this decision?

Contact Envato and ask the explanation first as @sotto3d suggested and after if it’s not reasonable, ask for the money.

Yes, they did provide a reason. They stated the following in the refund request dispute:

The refund has been issued as we believe the customer is eligible under their local refund law. Accordingly, the refund has been shared with you - which means we have removed any associated earnings from your account.

If you don’t believe the customer was eligible for a refund, here’s what we need you to do:

Identify the customer’s country from the sale invoice. You can find this on your statement
Investigate local consumer law in that region
Respond to this message and let us know your findings. Specifically we need you to:
Point out any relevant consumer refund legislation in that country
Subsequently tell us why the customer isn’t eligible for the refund
Provide any other supporting information that can be substantiated against consumer law

Once we have this, our team will assess your appeal and make a final decision. If you’d rather not go through this process, that’s ok too. But we wouldn’t be able to return your earnings from the sale.

I find this to be a lot of work on my part to have to challenge this decision by producing evidence to a very obvious refund exemption that I have no obligation to issue. I’m simply following their very own refund policy.

The customer is from the EU. I have wasted quite a bit of time looking for a clauses that exempts digital goods from refunds if these were already downloaded by the customer. I put it in my response.

I am now waiting for their response but I am very disappointed that Envato staff will step in to resolve a dispute but rule in favor of the customer without checking EU regulations and going against their own refund policy but most importantly without asking me for any clarification :disappointed:

On it, thanks @ki-themes :+1:t5:

The information you have found is correct.
In the EU, digital goods can’t be refunded if they are downloaded.
All EU country members are obligated to conform to this law.

I also find quite worrisome that envato tries to pass to the author the responsibility of finding legal information, since they have the last word in the refund disputes.

Based on that decision then every EU buyer can ask for a refund for every project they buy.
The company I work for is in the EU, I guess they would be happy when they find it out.

1 Like

I think this information I found here: https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/consumers/shopping/guarantees-returns/faq/index_en.htm will help you too a bit with sending requested info to Envato Help&Support team:

(the last paragraph)

2 Likes
  1. envato granted the refund even it is not the case for refund according to their own rules

  2. then kicked the author to Investigate guarantees returns law of customer’s country (looks like just to get rid of the author).

  3. by public forum investigation refund is not allowed, thanks to @hevada

  4. what’s next? really interested how they will comment this situation

Oh there are many similar cases. For example when a customer escalates a declined refund, they don’t say anything, just approve quietly and then send you an email to say that since you’re not responding to their email (of course never sent) they will approve the refund request to the client. This happened to me twice. And I checked spams and every folder to make sure i was not the one missing their email.

But did you respond to the all the buyer’s emails? I’ve heard quite a few instances of authors completely ignoring buyer’s refund requests… and being surprised when Envato issues a refund for them.

Of course. He submitted a ticket on saturday and sent a refund request on sunday because the support was not replying. I checked and saw that one of the agents replied few hours later without any feedback from him. I apologized and told him that we usually don’t work on weekends but replied anyway. He was the one who did not sent anything back after we asked details regarding his issue. He said he’s done and simply wanted a refund which of course I declined after sending him envato refund policy. Then he escalated. You know how this ended.

Fair enough then. Just checking!

Hi.

Thanks for this very helpful link to the EU laws. Today I also got such client who wish refund only because this is mistaken purchase. Waiting for the asnwer from Envato.

Thanks.