Popular Vendor and Payment Processor Refund Policies

Two Primary Methods of Payment Processing

  1. Their own direct relationship with a merchant account/payment processing firm (example: PayPal, Authorize.net, Intuit, etc.). In these cases, the vendor is directly responsible for handling any refund requests and ensuring customers are happy. If you were the victim of legitimate fraud, the payment method you used may offer a dispute process whereby you can dispute the fee and provide evidence of the fraud. You receive this security whenever you pay using methods such as a Visa or Mastercard (typically offers a 60-90 day dispute period) or PayPal (45-day dispute period).

  2. The vendor can use a third-party payment processing service that handles the shopping cart checkout/security/payment/etc on their behalf. Popular services like this include ClickBank, RegNow, and Click2Sell.eu. These services typically have their own refund and dispute policies that can be followed in the event that you are a vicitim of fraud. Some of the popular services are noted below.

Best Practices Regardless of Payment Method:

  1. At the time of purchase, take screenshots or save the web pages of the vendors website that spell out the terms and conditions of the refund policy. If the vendor changes their web page after your purchase, you may not have any evidence that they ever had a refund policy.

  2. Try to use a payment method that offers a dispute process even when using a third-party payment processor, For example, if you make a purchase via ClickBank, try to use a payment method such as PayPal/Visa/Mastercard/etc. that offers you an additional layer of security in case you are defrauded.

  3. Some payment methods do not offer any security or dispute process (Bank wire, money order, Western Union, Liberty Reserve, Bitcoin, etc.). Try not to use those payment methods unless you sincerely trust the seller, or you are willing to make the purchase with no guarantee of product delivery or satisfaction.

Popular Third-Party Payment Processors:

ClickBank technically acts as a "reseller" of the goods and services you purhcase. They buy the product from the vendor at a discount (between 5-10%) and resell to you at the normal price in one seamless/automatic transaction.

This makes ClickBank responsible for handling the money side of the transaction and also responsible for honoring refund requests and handling disputes. They offer a 60-day no-questions-asked refund policy on everything sold through their service.

Sometimes if you request a refund, ClickBank will convert the request from a "refund" to a "tech support" request if they feel like receiving some help/support from the vendor will satisfy you and save the sale. If you want a refund and not a resolution to an issue you're having, simply be persistent and you will get the refund.

Important Note: New ClickBank quality control guidelines effective in 2013 restrict the refund/dispute rate that vendors and affiliates are allowed to have before they are subjected to extra fees and possible account termination. If a vendor - or affiliate - maintains a refund rate over 25% their account could be subject to termination. The fantastic refund policy at ClickBank should not be abused: please do not purchase a product if you only intend to ask for a refund later.

Regnow & SWReg technically acts as a "reseller" of the goods and services you purhcase. They buy the product from the vendor at a discount (between 5-10%) and resell to you at the normal price in one seamless/automatic transaction.

The refund policy at RegNow is a little more strict. They will attempt to let the vendor handle the refund first. If the vendor does not take care of the problem, RegNow will attempt to honor the posted refund policy of the vendor only if they cannot reach the vendor to settle the issue. They will first attempt to contact the vendor multiple times over a few day period. If they cannot reach the vendor or the issue remains unresolved, they will handle the processing of the refund themselves.

Obtaining a refund from an unresponsive vendor via RegNow will require a little patience and follow-up, but as far as I have heard, RegNow will take care of you.

Click2Sell has a unique arrangement: they offer a variety of different services to their vendors. In some cases, they only act as a "shopping cart" service and they do not handle the payments at all. In other cases, they may act as a reseller of the product/service.

When Click2Sell only acts as a shopping cart and the actual transaction does not go through them, the purchase terms & conditions posted on their website do not apply. At the top of the Terms & Conditions page it states that the terms are only applicable if you buy the products from UAB Click2Sell. Here are two screenshots from a customer checkout screen so you can see the difference:

Seller is NOT Click2Sell:

Seller IS Click2Sell:

When Click2Sell is not the seller, they have nothing to do with the transaction and could not offer a refund or dispute process even if they wanted to. The money goes directly from you to the vendor. You will use the dispute process of whatever payment method you used to file claims (such as PayPal/Visa/Mastercard/etc.)

When Click2Sell is the seller, their normal terms & conditions apply, which include a 90-day satisfaction refund period. Note that while this information is accurate as of May 1st, 2013, we have not received any confirmation or feedback from individuals who attempted to receive a refund for a product sold by Click2Sell.

PayPal is a merchant payment processor that can handle both PayPal balance payments and payments through credit cards (such as Visa/Mastercard/etc).

When you make a purchase with PayPal, you receive a 45-day resolution period where you can dispute a payment. However, their rules are quite strict. When you open the dispute, it creates a dialog between you and vendor to resolve your issue. If you do not receive a satisfactory resolution, you have 20 days to escalate the dispute to a "claim" in order for PayPal to take a look at the issue.

They will look at both sides of the disagreement and make a judgement regarding your claim. If the vendor can show that they delivered the product, that the product is functional, and that you did not follow the refund policy (or if there is no refund policy), PayPal may decide to NOT give you the refund.

Visa/Mastercard/Discover are credit/debit card payment methods. It is important to note that the dispute policy may not be the same for all Visa/Mastercard/Discover cards. The dispute policy is created and enforced by whatever bank provided your card.

Most banks that offer these cards have a 60-90 day dispute period that includes the ability to dispute sales for products that were "not as described" or "not as advertised". The process to file a dispute will likely be different with each bank, but will usually involve you sending them a copy of your statement highlighting which transactions were fraudulent and may result in you obtaining a new credit card number (to prevent the fraudulent vendor from charging your card again).

It is highly recommended to try to resolve your dispute directly with the vendor first. Include a threat to dispute the fee with the credit card company if they do not provide a satisfactory resolution. A disputed fee can cost the vendor $25-$35 in additional fees charged by their processing company. Most vendors will provide a refund if they know that you are going to file a dispute with the bank.

We Use and Like: