Part of being a product vendor is that no matter how great your product is, you'll occasionally receive refund requests. ClickBank tries to make it as easy and painless as possible to handle these requests and attempt to save the sale. This article will describe how refund requests and chargebacks work, as well as our Quality Tiers, and gives some tips on how to avoid refunds and chargebacks altogether.
The following subjects are covered in this article:
As part of our commitment to quality customer service and satisfaction, ClickBank may approve a return in accordance with our Return and Cancellation Policy. When a sale is returned the customer receives a 100% refund and payouts from that sale are debited back out of the corresponding Vendor and Affiliate accounts. In addition, any future payments for recurring billing products are cancelled.
Product returns are evidence of customer dissatisfaction with product quality or lack of support, and ClickBank wants to encourage vendors to identify and fix any problems to minimize the number of returned sales. Therefore, vendor accounts that maintain a refund rate in excess of 20% may be subject to ClickBank retaining its processing margin. Vendor accounts that maintain a refund rate significantly above this amount may be subject to additional fees.
If a customer requests a refund of their purchase, a customer support ticket will be created in the ClickBank Customer Support Ticket System. From there, you as the vendor have 24 hours, not including weekends, in which to attempt to save the sale by providing support directly to the customer. After that time, ClickBank automatically processes the refund.
For physical products, the refund is processed within the following timeframes, based on the order status:
- If requested on the same day as the order and the product has not been shipped: Within 5 minutes.
- If requested after the day of purchase and the product has not been shipped: Within 24 hours.
- If the product has been shipped and you have not provided return information: After 19 days.
- If the product has been shipped and you have provided return information: When you acknowledge that the product has been returned.
For more information about supplying return information for physical products, see the Selling Physical Products article.
For more information about the Ticket System and how to interact with it, see the Customer Support Ticket System article.
For more information about ClickBank's refund policy and how it affects you, please read our Return & Cancellation Policy.
Common Reasons for Refunds
To help our vendors maximize their profit by keeping refunds low, the ClickBank Customer Service team has been hard at work recording refund reasons for each refund request they handle. In the last year, we have recorded thousands of refund reasons and have spent extensive time analyzing the refund data in the following categories:
- Vendor Problems
- Problem with Delivery of Product
- Problem with Charge
- Customer Expectations
Within these categories we have identified the top 10 vendor specific reasons a customer contacted ClickBank to request a refund:
- Not satisfied with product / Was not as expected
- Didn’t realize this was a recurring purchase
- Couldn’t get product to work
- Did not realize this was a digital product
- Does not recognize the charge
- Non-delivery of product
- Vendor didn’t respond to customer
- Vendor changed ticket to tech support
- Could not download the product
- Misrepresentation and/or over-promotion
The default return period for products sold through ClickBank is 60 days. The flexible refunds feature lets you select a different return period, from a minimum of 0 days (no refunds) to a maximum of 365 days. You can manually set a return period between 0 and 60 days, while any refund period over 60 days must be set by a ClickBank administrator.
If you change the refund period for a product, the new refund period is only applied to new sales, and is not retroactive. For example, if you decrease the refund period for a product from 60 days to 14 days, a customer that purchased the product 30 days prior to the change can still request a refund.
This feature is admin-controlled. Contact ClickBank if you want access to this feature.
Setting the Refund Period For a Product
If you are creating a new product, the Refund Policy field is displayed in the Product Pricing & Commission section. See the Creating Your First Product article for the full procedure.
If you are editing an existing product, the Refund Policy field is displayed in the Product Pricing & Commission section. See the Editing Existing Products article for the full procedure.
You can provide a partial refund for a product. This refunds a portion of the price, from a minimum of $1 to a maximum of 90% of the price, to the customer. The refunded portion is drawn from the affiliate, vendor, and Joint Venture partner portions, proportional to the amount initially paid to each party. If the refunded amount exceeds the vendor, affiliate, and Joint Venture partner portions, the remainder is taken from the ClickBank portion.
You cannot issue a partial refund if the product price is less than $10.
You can only give a partial refund for a purchase once. However, you do have the option of refunding the remainder of the purchase price.
See the Customer Support Ticket System article for information about creating a partial refund ticket or issuing a partial refund to a customer who has requested a refund.
This feature is admin-controlled. Contact ClickBank if you want access to this feature.
A purchase is "charged back" when a customer disputes a charge through their bank or credit provider, usually because the customer claims that the purchase was unfunded, unauthorized or fraudulent. Chargebacks cost ClickBank money and harm its valuable reputation as a reliable Internet retailer. When a vendor is the subject of a chargeback, the Vendor is assessed a fee based on the chargeback rate of the vendor account. The chargeback fee assessed to the Vendor is:
- $22 if the account's chargeback rate is less than 1.0%
- $29 + ClickBank's margin if the account's chargeback rate is between 1.0%-1.49%
- $49 + ClickBank's margin if the account's chargeback rate is greater than 1.5%
Accounts with a chargeback rate over 1% without meaningful improvements are subject to termination.
NOTE – ClickBank does not generally dispute chargebacks with banks or credit card companies.
Let’s face it: no one likes refunds and chargebacks. They eat info your profits as a vendor, are an inconvenience for customers, and add to overhead and costs for ClickBank. In addition to the time, effort and cost it takes you to deal with incoming refund requests, if you end up with a high enough refund rate you may be subject to additional fees or penalties. Above all, refunds represent a lost opportunity to create happy, profitable customers. This section discusses actions that you can take to minimize refunds and chargebacks.
Be Easy to Contact
- Add your customer service email, phone number, and website to your account so that we can direct customer inquiries to them. See the Updating Your Account Information article for more information.
- Display your customer service email address on Pitch Page and Thank You Page.
- Provide your contact information in every interaction you have with the customer.
- Provide customers with a phone number and hours of operation so they can speak to you directly.
- Create a FAQ page for customers based on actual customer questions and issues.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
- Instead of using autoresponders, address each customer's issue individually.
- Be courteous, polite, professional, and easy-to-follow when replying to all customer inquiries.
- Address the customer by their name to add a personal touch.
- Respond to all customer inquiries, whether through ClickBank’s ticket system or your personal customer service provider, within 24-48 hours.
- Add your customer service email address and customer service phone number (if you have one) within your ClickBank account, as well, so that ClickBank can refer customers to you if they contact us directly.
- Let customers know that the product is backed by ClickBank's guarantee of quality customer service and that ClickBank will be happy to help them if there is any problem with their purchase.
Provide an Honest and Detailed Description of Your Product
- Make sure the customer knows exactly what they’re getting so their expectations are met and exceeded.
- If the product is delivered digitally, make that very clear on your Pitch Page and Thank You Page.
- Clearly state the price of the product.
- If it’s a recurring subscription, than clearly state what the initial cost is, what the future cost will be, and how often/when they will be charged.
- Make sure that any upsells have a clearly marked "No Thanks" option.
- Explain which software programs the customer needs in order to access their product. Keep in mind that not all customers have Adobe or Microsoft Word.
- If the product cannot be delivered immediately after the purchase, then make sure the customer is clearly aware of when and how they will receive the product.
- Provide detailed instructions, if necessary, on how the customer can access the product.
- Remind the customer that their credit card statement will show either "CLKBANK*COM" or "CLKBANK*<order number>", rather than the product or vendor name.
Find Out Why People are Returning Your Product
- Utilize social media outlets to communicate with your customers to find out why people are returning your product.
- Implement fixes to your product, Pitch Page, and Thank You Page to reduce refunds.
- Have a friend or family member perform a test purchase while you watch, so you can see where they might have questions or problems.
- Analyze your product for any parts that may confuse your customers or not be clear enough for them to understand and act on. Some customers may need more instruction and assistance than others, especially if they're new to a topic, so try showing your product to friends or family to see if there are parts they don't understand that could frustrate customers and result in them giving up on your product and requesting a refund.
Avoid Other Issues
- Avoid any upsells with the exact same price point as another item in the sales funnel – two charges of the same amount are often interpreted as “duplicate” charges and disputed for that reason.
Video: How to Reduce Refunds
Nine Tips to Reduce Refunds – This PDF guide explains several effective methods for reducing refunds.