Random Ramblings

A few thoughts on giving refunds.

  Gregg Blanchard     August 24, 2021    

It's fairly rare for SendView users to need a refund, but whenever it comes up we never hesitate. I really can't remember there ever being a situation where we even asked ourselves "should we give this person a refund?"

We just...do. Let me share a few scenarios to explain why.

"I forgot to cancel before my trial ended."

Now, some folks might say "tough luck, that's how it works" or perhaps even push back and question whether they're telling the truth. But refusing a refund in both cases is gonna leave a really, really bad taste in folks' mouths. At which point you have to ask yourself, is a marketer that hates our company really worth $49? On the flip side, if we are empathize and treat them like a friend, how much goodwill and word of mouth does that $49 buy us? You could argue both ways, but we err on the side of being an understanding peer rather than a stingy landlord.

"I meant to get the smaller plan, could I get refunded the difference?"

Same story here. Sure, it's the users responsibility to choose the right plan. But we also all make mistakes, and if we push back we're essentially telling the user that we believe they're lying. Again, we could either pleasantly surprise the user by refunding their $49 or...well...we could be jerks about it, keep the $49, but have someone out there who is never going to say a kind word about SendView even if they loved the product.

"The person who used to run this account left and we didn't realize we were still being charged."

This brings up a key point. We have a good margin with SendView. We're far from millionaires, but we're also not losing money. Which means we're in a position to give these refunds in the first place. I think that's an important point. Because when someone like this - who likely doesn't have the luxury of that margin and really needs those funds - comes to us, we can help them out instead of pushing back and risking leaving folks with a bad taste in their mouths.

Planting Seeds

What I think is important to remember in each of these situations, is that refunds almost always come after the user is already lost. All that matters now is their impression of you and your company.

As I mentioned yesterday, marketing is planting seeds. And every refund someone requests? That's one of those potential seeds. Because these people could absolutely come back or change jobs or mention you during that webinar or suggest you to a friend, but wanna guess how likely they are to do so if the last thing they remember about you is your emailing refusing to help them out?