Inefficient Refund Dispute Processing

tips-and-tricks

#1

Hey everyone,
Recently I’ve got an email from one of Envato support engineers regarding a refund dispute processing:

Hey[…],

[…] here from Envato support. It has been brought to our attention that you are not providing support within a timely manner: […]

More specifically, you have denied support to the following user: […]

As you know, authors are expected to be available to provide the item support services we’ve set out on this page: […]

If there are particular items you don’t want to support (e.g. you’re retiring an older item) then you can disable support for these items from the edit and upload pages.

Please let us know where you stand on this subject. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Regards,
[…]

What I think is wrong with this email is the fact that Envato staff immediately took a side of a buyer accusing an author (me) in “not providing support within a timely manner”, pushing me into position of defence and making excuses. Without any evidence or investigating the issue. IMO such behaviour is humiliating and impermissible.

What makes the situation even more funny are the facts that:

  1. Envato never gave a clear definition of “timely manner”;
  2. We resolved the issue with a buyer and he contacted Envato to close the dispute.

Therefore I’m asking to bring this issue to attention of Envato higher management. What I see here is the irresponsible and careless attitude of the particular staff to his duties. IMO a support engineer should be unbiased and never take sides (does not matter a buyer or an author) without investigating the issue in depth.

Thanks you.

Regards,
Miroslav (from Dream-Theme)


#2

Iv been in this situation before and felt very much the same. However, I decided not to mention it as really, knowing how Envato are these days, I didn’t want to waste my breath.

I do hope you get some kind of worthwhile response however, rather than just cookie cutter fluff.


#3

The main issue I see is the choice of wording.

“…you are not providing support within a timely manner” should be changed to “you may not be providing support within a timely manner”

If a buyer raises concerns then support need to investigate. The best way to do that is to contact the author and see what’s happening. In this case it seems like you’ve been sent a stock template mail relating to not providing support. It’s understandable, as custom replies from scratch would result in support queries being answered in weeks rather than days! Ideally they’d have varying templates for those that are maybe, possibly, probably, definitely, or absolutely not providing support, but then things get a bit complicated. But yeah, a catch-all “may not be…” wording would be a lot better than “you are…”. Innocent until proven guilty and all that!

And just on the "Envato never gave a clear definition of “timely manner” part… that could be dangerous giving a specific timescale. If they say 72 hours and people are normally getting back in 48 hours, they might think “well, Envato says 72 hours, so I may as well chill out a bit.”

And at the end of the day, the email wasn’t sent out of the blue for no reason. An email like this will be as a result of a buyer getting in touch with support, so whether you get this email or not will be defined by what the buyer thinks is a timely manner. If you regularly respond a week later, but all your buyers are fine with that, you’ll probably never get an email.

I’m not saying you’re in the wrong and Envato/the buyer are in the right, I’m just trying to point out a few things that you may not have considered. Support could have definitely tailored the email slightly based on the situation. Or the apparent situation.


#4

It is possible. In this case, this is an “irresponsible and careless attitude of the particular staff to his duties”.
I guess we all (authors) utilise pre-made replies. Sometimes they can be irrelevant, but never offensive.


#5

If it is a template, which I’m pretty sure it is, then it’s very likely that the member of staff selected the appropriate template and sent it out, as trained to do so. That would be the responsible and careful thing for him to do. The odds of that specific member of support writing the template in question, are pretty slim.

The blame (if any) should lie with the person who wrote the template. Although creating a template that potentially implies blame is possibly more of an oversight, or a slightly poor choice of words, over an irresponsible and careless attitude to their duties.

But the thing is… the buyer has stated (in whatever words they used in the email to support) that ‘you are not providing support in a timely manner’. Support have then informed you that it’s been brought to their attention that you are not providing support in a timely manner. That’s what happened, that’s what was said, and that’s what they’re passing on to you.

Maybe you were providing support, and you were providing it in a timely manner, but if the buyer felt you were… then he probably wouldn’t have contacted support. Rightly or wrongly, the client felt that you weren’t. And when it comes to investigations, complaints, or important issues, sometimes it’s best not to paraphrase one party or the other. For example:

“It has been brought to our attention that you might not be providing support within a timely manner”

“What do you mean I might not be providing support within a timely manner?! Either I am or I’m not. Which one is it?”

“Well, the buyer actually said that you weren’t providing support within a timely manner.”

“Well why did you say he said ‘maybe’, when he said that I wasn’t? That’s just confusing.”