* The Business of Software

A former community discussing the business of software, from the smallest shareware operation to Microsoft. A part of Joel on Software.

We're closed, folks!

Links:

» Business of Software FAQ
» The Business of Software Conference (held every fall, usually in Boston)
» Forum guidelines (Please read before posting!)

Moderators:

Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Refunds for fully-working apps?

Working on an app that is 100% free to use with no payment required.  However, the user can make an *optional* payment to receive support, and to remove an "About" box that always appears at startup.  They can always cancel the "About" box quickly -- it isn't forced open or delayed.

Do I need to offer refunds for such a product?  Generally, refunds are issued by a company where the product doesn't work as advertised and so on.  In my case, the user can completely test what the app does, so they can't claim a refund due to "doesn't work" or anything similar.

Should I still put "100% money-back guarantee" on my sales page?

Reading this back now, I can see the answer from you all will probably be "yes".  :)  How would I word it, then, based on my app?
PSB136 Send private email
Saturday, December 13, 2014
 
 
Because I can't really say:  "We provide an 100% money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied" as the user will know if it's to their satisfaction *before* they pay.
PSB136 Send private email
Saturday, December 13, 2014
 
 
But what if it stops working on their machine for some other reason after they've purchased it? Their levels of satisfaction wont be very high then.

Some other software could be installed that interferes with it's operation. In might be impacted by a Windows update.

 HTH
Andrew Gibson Send private email
Saturday, December 13, 2014
 
 
"Refunds for fully-working apps?"

Yes, based on your title.

Now I will go back and start reading the thread.
Scott Send private email
Saturday, December 13, 2014
 
 
"the user can make an *optional* payment to receive support, and to remove an "About" box that always appears at startup"

I see. This is a moot issue. In practice you'll probably not make many sales given the freeware is fully functional. There are exceptions though.

It sounds like your product is free and you are selling service.

What if I think your service sucks and want my money back? I could see that happening and the customer thinking it is reasonable.

So refunding stops them complaining more, but that would be the end of it.

If they said this after I did extensive service for them though over many months, I'd say no. If this is all about them not getting an email back within 24 hrs the first time they ask for service, then I'd refund them.
Scott Send private email
Saturday, December 13, 2014
 
 
Thanks Andrew and Scott.  Both good answers.  I will make it clear that refunds are possible if they're not 100% satisfied.  I feel silly now for even asking this question.
PSB136 Send private email
Sunday, December 14, 2014
 
 
Always worth asking such a question; helps clear the mind so you can concentrate on other things.



AC
Reluctantlyregistered Send private email
Monday, December 15, 2014
 
 
take refund management as risk management. Always keep in mind that you need to comply with the national legislation of the customer. In most countries the consumer can request a refund with no questions asked within 14-30 days after the purchase and the vendor has to always comply.

In case you refuse to issue a refund, the customer has all the rights to initiate a chargeback and it will result in time and other resource losses for disputes and fines. Moreover, even if you win the chargebacks, you will still get negative statistics that can never be reversed.

As a conclusion, it is a lot cheaper to issue a refund instead of dealing with an eventual chargeback.
Valeriu Braghis Send private email
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
 
 
#refunds?

1. Asking for optional payments is begging, not commerce. If whatever it is you are offering has value, charge. Charge the user. Charge the advertiser, Charge the sponsor, charge someone. Or open source it and be done.

2. That said, if you charge, offer an instant refund, no questions asked, refund of what they last paid. Period. This is "settled law" - clearly demonstrated by the vast majority of online and offline businesses globally.

By way of illustration, when I do microconsults my very last question is, "Do you want your money back?" If someone were to say yes I'd pound the refund button in PayPal, send them a "sorry it did not work out, here's your refund" email and never, ever, reply to them.

 (and after several hundred such consults, number of refunds requested: 0 :) - I don't have to guess people find value in what I do, I know.)
Bob Walsh Send private email
Monday, December 22, 2014
 
 
For those of you who are unfamiliar with microconsults, this is what Bob meant:

http://47hats.com/microconsult-with-bob-walsh/
Li-fan Chen Send private email
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
 
 
"Asking for optional payments is begging" -- Well, I guess.  My method is kind of like nagware I guess, because the app can be used for free but the user has to see the "About" window every time they launch it, or every new day (whichever comes first).  They can pay to remove that.

Is that really nagware, though?  To my mind, it's still a free app because free users get exactly the same end results as paid users, but paid users get those results without an "About" screen every day/launch.
PSB136 Send private email
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
 
 
"If whatever it is you are offering has value, charge. Charge the user. Charge the advertiser, Charge the sponsor, charge someone." -- I like that.  A lot.
PSB136 Send private email
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
 
 

This topic is archived. No further replies will be accepted.

Other recent topics Other recent topics
 
Powered by FogBugz