“To refund or not to refund, that is the question”
The answer is simple — you may not have a choice. If a customer feels that they are entitled to a refund and you do not provide it to them, they may dispute the charge on their credit card. With credit card disputes, you run the risk of losing the dispute and owing additional fees as banks and credit card companies tend to side with the customer.
Show your customers that you are handling refunds carefully, thoughtfully, and responsibly to demonstrate that they don’t need to rush to ask for a refund before you run out of money. Review best practices for tips for starting the conversation with families here.
The more you proactively communicate your flexibility to parents, the better. Establish simple and clear messaging that outlines how you’re thinking through your summer offerings. This should include information about cancellation options and refunds for customers who may need to request something sooner rather than waiting. When it comes to refunds, you can’t claim that you normally don’t offer refunds for camps beyond a certain date or that purchases are ‘non-refundable’. Those rules disappeared when businesses and customers became impacted by the Covid-19 global pandemic.
Fighting a customer for a refund creates unnecessary headaches — including disputes, chargebacks, negative reviews, and bad press.
Don’t believe us? Here are a few examples of what not to do:
Large camps not offering refunds
When camp Galileo in Northern California didn’t offer refunds, some parents became upset.
Airline disputes over ticket refunds
As travel becomes more and more limited by restrictions put into place to minimize the spread of Covid-19, ticket refunds — or lack thereof — have become a hot topic.
Gyms not cancelling membership dues
According to Newsweek, consumers have had difficulty freezing or cancelling dues for gyms they cannot access.
Event arenas and vendors not offering refunds
Large gatherings — for the time being — are on pause. The event industry is hurting, but some policies are upsetting consumers.
As always, we are here to help! Check out our recent posts about maintaining cash flow for your small business and understanding the CARES act, where we outline strategies for small businesses navigating tough financial decision making and resources that can help keep you afloat as you weather the storm. For more information about how Sawyer works with providers in the event of a credit card dispute, check out our help center article here.
Learn how to get ahead of goal setting for summer while navigating the potential impact of Covid-19 refunds and cancellations in our next blog post.