Have you ever purchased a product or service on line and decided that you weren’t happy with it? Doesn’t matter why you weren’t happy – just that you weren’t.
What do you do in that situation? I know what I do…
If it costs a decent amount of money, I would ask for a refund. If it were a subscription of some sort, I would cancel it and if it billed me another month, I would ask for that month refunded.
Fair enough, right?
So, then let me ask you this…HOW would you ask for it back? Would you simply go to the product or service owner first? Or would you bypass them and hit up Paypal, or whatever merchant provider they use and file a dispute, or chargeback?
Mind you – I am NOT asking what you would do if you tried 10 times and are frustrated – I am asking what you would do right from the beginning.
Not for nothing, but as someone who has been doing business on line for nearly 10 years, I have only ever filed a chargeback once. After finding the product to be pure crap, then being summarily ignored when asking for a refund.
Listening to some people, you would think they got ripped off on a daily basis. Let me give you an example…
I have a service that charges a good amount of money per month – which is clearly stated on the sales page in several places. I run the payments and subscription through Paypal.
I had a client that decided that they no longer wished to use my service, but their second month was billed. I was emailed and asked (that is being kind) to “…put back the money I took from their account”. I mean, you could see the anger right off the bat – the money I took?? Hmmm…
Well, no big deal. It’s part of the business.
So, I log in to my Paypal to refund this customer and what do I find when I log in? Yup – a dispute…for an UNAUTHORIZED transaction no less.
Now, I find that laughable, seeing as they signed up for a recurring payment and the first payment went through a month prior. They used that because the mindset of those who do that are simple – Hey, if I say it’s unauthorized, I can make them look like a thief and get my money back…
What’s even funnier is the fact that this mindset prevents the person from understanding that that’s NOT how this works. In reality, knowing Paypal the way I do, all I needed to do was provide proof that it was authorized – and considering the first payment was NOT being disputed, this would have been easy. And this person WOULD have lost this dispute – and created bad vibes along the way.
So, I very nicely explained this to the person, telling them a simple “Hey, can you please refund the second month? I am canceling…” and they would have had their money back in their Paypal in about 30 seconds.
The response I got? “Well, I have been ignored by others, so I filed the dispute”
With the kind of mindset displayed, it’s no wonder.
I am a very simple guy – treat people the way you want to be treated. Karma lives in my world, as it does in so many others.
Many of my on line friends would have told me to simply refund them and get them out of your life. And, I could have I suppose. But what I explained to this customer is that when you claim that the payment I “took” was unauthorized, simply because you are too lazy, or scared, or whatever to come directly to me, then you are calling me a thief.
Sorry. Not gonna let that fly. Especially considering that by calling me a thief, you made yourself into a liar. Lock, stock and barrel.
In the end, we traded a few emails, they recinded the dispute and I refunded them. But when you insist on doing business this way, I can tell you that more often than not, people will remember you in not such a positive light. For example, if this person were to email me in six months with a JV request for a new product, that email goes straight into cyber heaven.
Spiteful? Maybe. Or, maybe I simply know that somehow this person may in the future call me a liar then withhold any affiliate payments due to me. Bad business is just bad business even if it starts out as something a little personal…
This is just a rant, but it’s food for thought on a few different levels…
Just because you sit behind a keyboard and not across from people does not give anyone the right to treat people poorly. It may give you a feeling of power over someone, but it’s short lived and misguided, to say the least. It ALWAYS comes back around sooner or later.
As has been said by better people than me – character is how you behave/act when no one is looking. Or not sitting across from you.
People WILL remember you and your attitude.
Just because you may have been ripped off by someone does not mean you will get ripped off by everyone. That kind of mindset will hold you back.
Fianlly, don’t automatically assume that because YOU are the one that files a claim that it means the merchant provider will automatically believe you and side with you. They understand fully that there are as many thieves on that side of the credit card too. And, you would be surprised how few people actually win those disputes anyway.
Try asking first. The bad taste you leave may come back to haunt you…