As an aspiring affiliate and or Internet marketer, you probably see a few new online marketing products every day. JVZoo, Clickbank, WarriorPlus, and other affiliate networks advertise hundreds of products guaranteed to help you improve your email marketing, drive traffic, increase sales revenues, etc.
Most of these products come with generous money-back guarantees that last 30 days. However, as many unsuspecting consumers have learned, those guarantees have caveats and disclaimers.
Example #1: Fast Cash Mechanics
Sometimes, the guarantees are outright lies designed to get you to buy. For example, here is the reply I received from John Goff when I requested a refund for Fast Cash Mechanics:
Such a response to my request would be reasonable if this product came with no money-back guarantee. However, on the Fast Cash Mechanics sales page, you see the following (false) promise:
Example #2: VidCuratorFX
I purchased this product at $37.95 and found that it didn’t exactly deliver on its promises. I asked for a refund just days after purchasing ViCuratorFX, assuming that the product creators would honor their 30-day no questioned asked money-back guarantee.
Not only could I not get a hold of anyone at the support center, but the generic support tickets I generated were not even recognized by the software platform provided by VidCuratorFX’s creators. I detail the gist of my emails and refund requests here. In short, I ended up losing my $37.95 because there was simply no one I could reach out to for a refund.
Example #3: High Ticket Cash Machines
I purchased this product for $16.97 and figured I’d easily obtain a refund if I didn’t like the product. After all, High Ticket Cash Machines came with the following money-back guarantee:
Oh, how wrong I was.
When I wrote Gary Alach at his support email, he initially wrote me the following reply:
After I filed a Paypal dispute, my conversation with Gary took an interesting turn. Gary agreed to refund my money, but only on the condition that I close my Paypal dispute first. I agreed- and then realized that, by doing so, I’d have no recourse through Paypal to get my money back. I wrote Gary again, asking that he refund my money, after which I’d close the dispute. His response is provided below:
Instead of trying to haggle with Gary any further, I escalated my claim on Paypal and had them look into it firsthand. The final result was that Paypal decided the case in my favor. However, had I listened to Gary and closed my dispute, I don’t know if I would’ve seen my refund.
So, what lessons have I learned from all these refund requests and disputes?
Lesson #1: Read refund conditions closely.
Sure, the sales page might claim that your purchased product comes with a no-holds-barred money-back guarantee. However, you won’t know what kinds of caveats and disclaimers are part of that “guarantee” until you take a peek at the product’s terms of conditions area. There, you might find all kinds of disclaimers, including one that requires you try the product and somehow “prove” you’ve made no money with it. Uh huh.
Lesson #2: Always buy via Paypal or credit card.
When purchasing IM products online, don’t ever, EVER, pay by check, money order, or God-forbid, actual money. If you do, you have very little proof of purchase and the seller can just take your money and disappear. Instead, always make your purchases using Paypal or your credit card. In this way, you have a record of your purchase and can initiate a chargeback.
Lesson #3: Keep track of those refund terms and expiries.
I lost out on my refund request for Fast Cash Mechanics because I did not immediately respond to John’s reply or file a dispute with Paypal. Instead, I just assumed that John would eventually get around to refunding my money.
Waiting for your seller to have a change of heart and send you money is a mistake. Sellers will try every stall tactic in the book to use up their promised 30-day money-back guarantee. After the stated time is up, you have little to no legal recourse in getting your refund.
Lesson #4: File a dispute immediately.
If you write your seller and that seller gives you the runaround about your refund, don’t play nice and waste time with additional emails/phone calls. Instead, go to Paypal or your credit card merchant and file a dispute. If you at least have that dispute on record, you have some bargaining power over your seller (who doesn’t want to get banned by Paypal or the credit card merchant).
Lesson #5: Don’t ever close your dispute until it’s resolved.
Sellers and IM product merchants will try all kinds of tactics to have you close your dispute, including making the false claim that a dispute prevents them from issuing you a refund. Don’t buy into these lies- and don’t ever close your dispute until you see your refund. Otherwise, you’ll have little to no recourse with your credit card issuer or Paypal.
When shopping online, it’s a buyer beware world
Online purchasing has become significantly safer over the years; however, that doesn’t mean that unscrupulous product merchants no longer exist. Protect yourself from being duped online by checking out refund terms carefully, getting a third party like Paypal involved, and never completely trusting product merchants at their word. By following these simple steps, you’ll (mostly and hopefully) avoid getting ripped off.