View Full Version : Money Back Guarantees - 30 vs 60 vs 90 days
08-24-2004, 11:22 AM
First of all let me state that I think it's important to keep customers happy, and refund their money for any reason. If you don't, it'll come back to bite you sooner or later. I believe repeat customers are important with an indie business, so if you don't get them the first time, hopefully you'll get them at a later time. ;)
I know a lot of indies and other companies offer a money back guarantee (usually 30 or 60 days) on their products. I would most likely refund someone’s money regardless if their over that date or not, as customer satisfaction is paramount. However, I like to discuss the merits of having 30, 60, or 90 day guarantees. Obviously the customer would view 90 days as best and the least risky to their investment, but I'm wondering if there can be a negative side to having too many days stated as your "official" policy.
One downside I could think of is an abuse of the policy. One could buy the game, play the heck out of it, get what they want from it, get their money back, and then move on to something else. I don't how many would try and abuse the system. I know there will always be some that will, but hopefully they are a small minority. Having a smaller amount of days might limit this abuse somewhat. I also think that most people that legitimately want a return would do so within a 30 day period anyway. Although, on the other hand, I'd hate for someone to think that this return period is too small.
What are some of your opinions on this?
08-24-2004, 11:49 AM
123456789 --- 10!
08-24-2004, 12:16 PM
I've offered 30 days for as long as I've had my site up and only had a single customer ever take advantage of it.
08-24-2004, 12:34 PM
I actually have been thinking about this lately too...
If I was just offering an electronic download version, then I wouldn't think twice about offering a 30 day or 60 day money back guarantee. However, I'm planning to have a CD version with some other stuff included, so I'm a little wary of offering a 60-90 day money back guarantee since I'm actually providing a tangible product. When I give a refund not only do I just lose the sale, but I take a loss on all the materials and shipping and handling costs.
So I'm not sure what I'm going to do. Maybe for all tangible products, if the customer wants a refund, they must return the game and any other materials to receive their refund. This is how most other businesses operate. Then again, as a consumer, I always get annoyed when I have to pay for shipping charges if I need to return something...
08-24-2004, 12:49 PM
I guess it all depends on how many returns you get.
Would I be correct in guessing that the number of refunds that you would be looking at for a CD version would probably be less than or equal to the number of refund for electronic distribution?
If so, I wouldn't worry about it. It probably won't hurt any more than an electronic version.
Besides, you are always free to change your refund policy if things get out of control.
08-24-2004, 12:55 PM
Ya thats perfectly acceptable to expect the CD back before giving the refund.
The reality for us has been that in the few refunds that have been requested, the people seem to have genuine reasons. Theives really don't like to be seen, and would usally just look on usnet for a key or use a stolen card.
We get more stolen credit cards er " unotherized use of card" than people using the gaurnantee.
Have more to gain by lossening the grip on thier purchasing dollar than worrying about a few potential refunds.
as for the 30-60-90 days. We haven't really done much testing with that, and probably should. If you take credit cards, you are giveing them at least a 60 day just buy the way they work.
08-24-2004, 12:59 PM
I'm planning to have a CD version with some other stuff included, so I'm a little wary of offering a 60-90 day money back guarantee since I'm actually providing a tangible product.We have 5 products available on CD-ROM and the only problem we've had is a couple of bad CDs (so we just sent new ones). If a customer wanted a refund for a CD-ROM, I would ask them to return the product (just like any mail-order store would do).
Anyway, we haven't had any refund problems with CD-ROM versions (although, CD orders make up only about 3-5% of our sales).
We've had very few refund requests as well...I think it's mostly due to the demographic of our core audience.
08-24-2004, 01:58 PM
I think with shareware in general, you’re going to get less returns because of the “try it before you buy it” philosophy. If the software doesn’t work for them, they generally aren’t going to buy it. Despite that you may still get a handful of returns here and there.
Also if the user paid with a credit card, there maybe costs you’d have to eat when doing a return, even if you’re only doing online distribution (no CD or packaging). It depends on how you are doing order fulfillment/registration. If you are doing it yourself (own vendor account), then there are the Visa or Mastercard charges (3%) that you’d have to eat. I’ve heard that some registration services will eat some or all of this cost for you, but I believe most will pass this on to you. They might eat their percentage they’d normally take out, but they’d pass the Visa charges on to you.
As far as returns on CD products, I agree with what has been said about the CD needs to be returned in order to receive their money back. You might send them a prepaid disk mailer so that the customer doesn’t have this cost to contend with. That’s up to you though, as I’ve seen companies do this either way.
In any event, there’s generally some sort of cost to you in doing returns. Hopefully we can minimize these. I don’t know if choosing a 30, 60, or 90 day return policy can help with that? Not sure.
08-24-2004, 02:26 PM
Just to play with the possibilities...
30-day money back guarantee sounds standard. It has no added implications.
If a product swore to me that I could return for any reason if I was not satisfied within *90* days, I might get the impression that they were promising that their game was SO great that I couldn't get bored with it even if I played it for 90 days. Why else would this be being promoted as an important selling point?
This might raise my expectations and make me more likely to feel let down when/if the game got boring, and thus more likely to make use of that return.
So, if you're not Supreme With Cheese....
Powered by vBulletin™ Version 4.1.3 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.