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voudini says

Hello,

What is the policy for obtaining a refund on buggy themes that are in the marketplace? I have already downloaded and tested the theme before I could find that it just won’t work and doesn’t function as described.

I sent an email via the Support link, but is that the correct way to do this? Often I feel like I’m getting shafted by this entire marketplace. I buy a theme, it has a lot of bugs, then I try to get support from the author and it’s a 50/50 chance that I get any reply at all. So countless dollars go down the drain because Envato doesn’t have a better refund policy / system in place. It’s my opinion as a customer, that refunds should be given by default if the theme or script is reported to have bugs, then let the author sort it out. Why should the author hold onto my funds for something they are selling that doesn’t work? Why should Envato hold onto their % of those funds for the same reason?

Whatever the case is, the refund system is severely lacking and needs some attention. I have purchased a lot of stuff here and it floors me that there are so many poorly written scripts, themes and other products that continue to sell even though there are many users complaining in the comments for those items.

Anyhow, </rant>, what is the protocol for getting a refund?

P.S. There should be a 12 or 24 hour window for obtaining an automatic refund from the time you first download it.

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ChillThemes says
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SwiftIdeas says

P.S. There should be a 12 or 24 hour window for obtaining an automatic refund from the time you first download it.

This would get abused endlessly..

- Ed

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voudini says


P.S. There should be a 12 or 24 hour window for obtaining an automatic refund from the time you first download it.

This would get abused endlessly..

- Ed

Neither you or I have metrics to backup your statement, so I’ll just ignore it.

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PaddyTaylor says

I agree 100% with Ed – you are right we do not have data to support it BUT there is a reason why digital download sites operate this way.

Think itunes – you download a video and then ask for refund within the first 12-24 hours will you get an automatic refund? No because other wise everyone could download stuff to their machines – request the refund and get it for free.

I get that you are referring to a theme which is allegedly faulty in which case (as it would be in itunes if the video did not play for some reason) staff would check it and if there is a problem then you would receive a refund.

The rules are clearly stated in the T&Cs and with 2 million+ users of course it takes time for staff to check these things.

If there is a problem with you theme then I am sure they will resolve it.

Bottom line, Themeforest, and similar marketplaces are a business and need to protect themselves from the unfortunate % of people who are less honest on the web.

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voudini says

I agree 100% with Ed – you are right we do not have data to support it BUT there is a reason why digital download sites operate this way.

Think itunes – you download a video and then ask for refund within the first 12-24 hours will you get an automatic refund? No because other wise everyone could download stuff to their machines – request the refund and get it for free.

I get that you are referring to a theme which is allegedly faulty in which case (as it would be in itunes if the video did not play for some reason) staff would check it and if there is a problem then you would receive a refund.

The rules are clearly stated in the T&Cs and with 2 million+ users of course it takes time for staff to check these things.

If there is a problem with you theme then I am sure they will resolve it.

Bottom line, Themeforest, and similar marketplaces are a business and need to protect themselves from the unfortunate % of people who are less honest on the web.

Google Play has a refund time limit. They seem to do pretty well.

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PaddyTaylor says

With respect I think you will find thats not exactly right:

Music = all sales are final

Movies/TV = Yes if you have not started playback (which is effectively the equivalent to the downloading of a theme)

Apps= Yes you can within 15 mins BUT it will auto uninstall it for you so you don’t get to keep it

Books – yes but only if it is faulty

And so the list goes on – so yes while you are right they have a refund policy it is no different. Either way they have got themselves covered and you do not get to keep the purchase.

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sevenspark Volunteer moderator says

To answer your question, if a theme does not work as described or is broken, you can receive a refund by contacting support as you have.

To address the issue in comparison to Google Play, since those apps all run within a Google-controlled Android ecosystem, Google can automatically uninstall those apps and delete the files from the device, therefore they do not run the same risk; Envato has no control over your WordPress installation (nor should they, of course), and once you’ve downloaded a theme, it can’t be “taken back”.

Personally, I think individual authors should have the ability to provide refunds – sometimes that is just the best solution, even with quality products, if they don’t fit the customer’s need. I think the threshold for a refund is pretty high, and that should be lowered. However, the state of WordPress digital downloads does not make an automatic-refund system viable; while there are many, many honest customers out there, unfortunately there are also plenty who are not. The human element is involved to avoid abuse of the system. It’s unfortunate that that also adds a delay to the process.

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AlexFjord says

The fact that Envato sometimes refund new users who have purchased the incorrect file type is considerate in itself given that in many cases they had downloaded it – genuine error or not. But ech case needs to be at their discretion.

While as Sevenspark says it may be an idea for authors to give direct refunds then it requires a self moderated decision process which could potentially get tricky without an independent adjudicator like Envato staff.

Quite often (not necessarily in this case) we see people demanding refunds for a range of justification when on occasions it is due to their lack of technical knowledge, not checking the demo carefully enough or not reading the description or documentation thoroughly enough. These cases demonstrate the need for a 3rd party decision maker.

I hope you get your issue resolved but absolutely a auto refund option could never be realistically viable. I cannot think of any leading market which operates in that way – they would be bankrupt within a month.

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sevenspark Volunteer moderator says

@Alex, absolutely, I should have been more specific. I think that authors should have the ability to refund customers, but not sole discretion in the matter (I think this would expedite the process in many scenarios). Envato would still be able to offer refunds regardless of the author’s feelings on the matter in the scenario I’m describing :)

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