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Kendra Parfort

Customer writes negative reviews for not wanting to refund him (it wasn't a double purchase)

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A few days ago someone purchased from me 2 skin head appliers (in 2 different skin tones) and the body appliers for them. Then he sent me a notecard asking me to refund him because he claims he bought the first skin tone by mistake and it's not working with the body. But it is not true because the body appliers include all the skin tones so they work with all the head appliers in the store.

Anyway, after I sent him a notecard explaining him nicely that I only refund double purchases and not purchases made by mistake he wrote the same negative review on all 3 products saying that my response was offensive and I have bad customer service.

I have tried to contact him again after he wrote the reviews but I didn't got any reply.

So my question is if I should I flag the reviews? And should I flag them as off subject posting or for what reason?

I know the review sistem is there to let people express their opinion about the products and also about the customer service, but I don't think this situation counts as bad customer service. Everyone knows that there are no refunds for non transferable products (except for double purchases). And I was nice to him, my reply to him was not offensive as he claims.

I always reply to the customers whenever they contact me and I am always willing to help and answer their questions. But I am not gonna give people money because I am scared they will revenge by writing bad reviews on marketplace.

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I would leave it as stands but perhaps a little less confrontational ( '..You just hoped that I would have gone with your pity little game' ) although I understand :)

As it is I may be rare insofar as I do read reviews and comments added to them. Your response was basically fine. Plus point - we know who this other is. I would leave it there and move on.

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Yes flag for off topic posting. The product is as described, people want to know about quality, not about buyer error or failure to read product info.

There are many buyers who routinely threaten bad reviews if you do not refund, it's their modus operandi, how they end up getting a lot of things for free. It's called extortion, and LL is not fooled by it. 

PS I never contact anyone who leaves a review of this type. When I flag a review I address my comments not to the buyer but to other readers (like LL).

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Kendra Parfort wrote:

Everyone knows that there are no refunds for non transferable products (except for double purchases).


No, that is simply not true.  There is no reason or method which prevents a merchant from refunding ANY purchase, transferable or not.

The option for discretionary exceptions always exists.

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I think you don't understand what I wanted to say. I am not a native english speaker so it may be my fault for not expressing myself good enough.

I am not saying that it is not possible to refund someone. Of course it is up to every designer if he/she decides to refund ANY purchase, transferable or not.

What I am saying is that generaly this is the policy mostly all the designers use: We don't offer refunds for non transferable items except for double purchases and we can't be blamed for bad customer service because of this.

And that is simple true.

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Well it's a policy that is often adopted because it's what people see others already doing.  It's not one that is necessarily the correct approach but each merchant is at liberty to set out their own policy.

It's subjective as to whether someone feels this is bad customer service or not, however the review system is for objectively reviewing the product, not the merchant, any conversation or opinion about service so just flag it as you have done and move on.

From my own experience, quite often, when refunding for whatever reason, especially when it's unexpected, the customer then buys something else instead.  If they don't, they don't but they'll remember where they were treated beyond their expectation but we've all experienced the few that are more challenging than others.  Even I lost my cool with one once and that takes a seriously exceptional amount of effort.

My complients on your English, it is very clear and accurate, I was just responding very precisely. *smiles*

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Sassy Romano wrote:

Well it's a policy that is often adopted because it's what people see others already doing.  It's not one that is necessarily the correct approach but each merchant is at liberty to set out their own policy.

 

I don't think that's the reason. If the merchants would start refunding for their non transferable products that would be vey easy for people to claim they made a mistake and take advantage of the situations. I know not everyone would do that, but many would, and I think this policy is the best way to keep things simple and clear.

 

 

Now of course it is up to each merchant to use a different policy, but I don't think we are to blame for wanting to protect our businesses and work.

In my case, I do offer demos, I name and present my products in a right way without trying to fool anyone, I also help my customers out whenever they need my help or even if they ask me what hair I used in an ad or something that has nothing to do with the product itself.

I think that is the most I can do by my side, as a designer I am human too, I work very hard for each product I make, because I want it to be good and customers to be pleased. But I can not be blamed for mistakes that are not mine.

As a designer I don't think it is fair to be automaticaly perceived as the "bad guy" or that I am trying to steal people's money just because I also think about my own good while being honest and fair to my customers as well.

I also want to say that this guy didn't bought something that he can't use. It's not like he bought a female skin or female clothes that he would never use. He also sent me a NC telling me that this happend to him with other designers and he had no problems with them. So he basically admits that he tried this with other designers as well. So it is not really a mistake purchase after all.

 

I know that I would maybe have more to gain by refunding him and get over with it but:

1) I do believe this wasn't even actually a mistake

2) Even if it was, it is still not my mistake and as I said before, this is a fair trade.. the designers shouldn't be the one who takes full responsability when he respected his part of the deal. Just because you offer me money and I offer you a product it doesn't mean my right are less important. I can't get my product back, you can't get your money. You work for your money, I work for my product.

3) I do not want to encourage him.

4) Out of respect and gratitude for the fair customers who paid for the product.

 

Thank you for your compliments Sassy :)

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Sassy Romano wrote:

 

From my own experience, quite often, when refunding for whatever reason, especially when it's unexpected, the customer then buys something else instead.  If they don't, they don't but they'll remember where they were treated beyond their expectation but we've all experienced the few that are more challenging than others.  Even I lost my cool with one once and that takes a seriously exceptional amount of effort.

This is my experience. Most people in SL are decent. While there are the occasional jerks, I'm usually impressed by the honesty of the majority.

I always refund people because it's easier and more business effective. I avoid the time and energy involved in a drama, and gain a happy customer. I have three stores, and I hardly ever get asked for a refund, so when I do it isn't a big deal to just give and forget.

I think of it this way. A customer's loss after making a mistake is bigger than a merchant's loss in giving a refund. Because with digital items, a merchant can just forget the sale ever happened, but the customer has lost real money.

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Welcome to the Second Life Marketplace.

Much like Yelp and other online review sites, there are only 2 kinds of reviewers.

5 star reviewers who are the friends of the business, or fanatical about their muffins. or the 1 star angry customer who posts a completely opposite point of view.

"The muffins are disgusting and rotten!"

Most people don't leave reviews if they are satisfied with your product. Most people won't give you any feedback of any sort, because most people are shy about criticism, or feel they would be rude by pointing out what could be improved.

The other side are pissed off enough to bother, and always go 1-star.

This is why Youtube and other sites eliminated the 5 star system. People either 1 starred or 5 starred videos, and didn't explain or give context to a 2-4 star anyway. So now we only have thumbs up and thumbs down, like or dislike.

I personally think the review system is pointless. Much like it is pointless on every other shopping site on the internet, from Amazon to Walmart, its all 1 star or 5 star... 'amazing' or '**bleep** product'. I can't make any decisions with such opposing reviews.

When I leave an actual constructive review myself (I don't bother leaving a review unless it is helpful or it is very bad), all I get is threats to report me to LL, hostility in my PMs, other problems. WHy? Because people don't want honest reviews or feedback, really. You either worship their work, or keep quiet - that's what they really want.

So in the end, it's pointless.

I get more reviews, if any from what is missing, or should be in a product, or what the buyer would have rather had... nothing related to the product itself - and I am open to constructive feedback, for learning and improvement.

Other customers use it to blackmail you into a refund - when it is not the shortcoming of your product is at issue, but rather their ability to read, understand and implement the use of your product, or understand what it actually is and does.

So now I don't care. I can't change the system, the reviews will continue to be unrelated to the product itself, and either be 1 star or 5 star, and I won't be held hostage by faulty reviews. So now I just respond to their review, productive or not, and use it to make another sale.

Let me shed a tear for someone who paid 20 cents for one of my products, that I probably spend 20 hours learning how to make, who wants to use a review system to try to manipulate me and others.

That being said, many customers do contact me inworld, not usually with complaints but with individual need requests, and I'm more than happy to oblige if possible - because I want to improve and make people happy ffs.

That's the internet for you. An amazing place but filled with vitriol that can (and has) eat(en) me alive.

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i don't think it's pointless, review systems often help me make the right choice. how i use them is look at the worst reviews first. unreasonable people are usually easy to spot then fake positive reviews. so i throw out their review. and there are less reasons for a negative review, a merchant might game the system for positive reviews but obvioulsy not for negative, so as i say it's easier to filter out the jerks. if i see some thing with 17 5 stars and 1 with 1 star, the 1 one star usually turns out to be meaningless.

 

i think most people can spot revenge reviews. i wouldn't worry about it.

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Some reviews are just ridiculous, I got a one star bad review from someone who couldn't get one of my appliers to work, after I contacted them I discovered that they were trying to apply it to a standard avatar, even though my ad made a point of saying they only worked with mesh avatars, sigh.  I flagged it but don't know if it will be removed

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Correct me if I am wrong but it sounds like he bought 2 head skin tones and the body appliers (which include all tones). He claims one of the head skin tones was not working properly and asked for a refund? I would have offered to send him another copy of the skin if it wasn't working as intended (problem solved). I am sure that would have caused him to say otherwise because it seems as though he either purchased it by accident or he changed his mind. While policy stands to hold the masses back from requesting a refund, it is of course discretionary as some (including you) have eluded too. I am not saying you did anything wrong but hear me out.

You can of course stick to your guns, but it may come at a cost (future business). While it sucks to eat the loss, it also sucks to loose potential future business. In the world of retail this happens everyday, all day. I think you have to weigh that carefully each time a customer presents you with a problem and are faced with the question of "will you refund" ...If you're not doing refunds often, my question is—"is it worth it?"

I had a experience once with a store a few years ago that I had made a lot of purchases with. Similarly, I had an issue and ended up getting the wrong item. I was polite with the store owner and explained the situation. At some point during the conversation I also mentioned that it was not my first time there and that I was a regular. I quoted some purchases and told them how far back they went. After all that, they were unwilling to refund. I politely thanked them for their time and I never returned. In that case, I lost a little but they lost a lot.

 

 

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On 11/3/2016 at 4:18 PM, entity0x said:

 

Welcome to the Second Life Marketplace.

Much like Yelp and other online review sites, there are only 2 kinds of reviewers.

5 star reviewers who are the friends of the business, or fanatical about their muffins. or the 1 star angry customer who posts a completely opposite point of view.

 

Well I think that is a bit overstated.  I did have a competitor seemingly buy some expensive items just so that they could write completely lame one star reviews that had nothing to do with the product -- true.  I know that happens fairly often. I also know one merchant who INSTANTLY has six or more rave reviews when a new (very expensive) product is released. So that is true too.

But I do NOT think that is the norm.  I have very low review rates on the products I sell (if we don't count that competitor which seems to have given up the fight but I have thought that before :).   So every few month I may get a review. They are mostly four and five star reviews but I did get a one star review from someone that "just hated it". It was a very inexpensive product and she may very well have hated it LOL.    But I don't think that she was at least saying what she felt and not playing games. 

I do agree that I don't see a lot of middle of the road stars and I think that is likely because things either work or really don't.  Honestly I pay very little attention to the stars on a product because I understand all the games being played.  I kind of wish that whole process would be continued and be replaced by inworld viewing as in long ago or demos. 

 

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Pamela seems to have MUCH better luck getting her bogus reviews  removed than the rest of us LOL.

Just saying. She must give brownies to the support staff Immathinkin'.

 

I did finally write a comment in the product description of that one item with the one stars reviews (still selling tons of the product) explaining that there was absolutely NO reason for someone to give a one star review since you could see a smaller revision of the product inworld AND there was a full sized demo that you could try for free. Both things had been true for a year and a half or so -- long  before those one star reviews raised their heads again. Since then (fingers crossed and that was quite awhile ago) I have had no more one star reviews. 

And to the OP ---  wasn't there a demo of the applier?  And yes, I would have checked the product to make sure it was STILL correct (things DO happen inside the mysterious database that make no sense at all) and then resend the product.  You might actually do that and make a note on the review saying that you did so. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Chic Aeon said:

Pamela seems to have MUCH better luck getting her bogus reviews  removed than the rest of us LOL.

Just saying. She must give brownies to the support staff Immathinkin'.

Well they are very special brownies. 9_9

But yes LL does a very good job removing spurious reviews. If I state in the listing that a product is a purple cube, LL will reliably remove a one star review that hates that it is purple or a cube. 

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On 4.11.2016 at 0:18 AM, entity0x said:

Much like Yelp and other online review sites, there are only 2 kinds of reviewers.

5 star reviewers who are the friends of the business, or fanatical about their muffins. or the 1 star angry customer who posts a completely opposite point of view.

No, there are MP merchants who pay people to write good reviews too. I know that for a fact since it happened to my oldest alt (technically my main) a while ago when she was still young and innocent. A merchant offered her enough money to buy the product and then a little bit more if she promised to write a positive review. I can't say if she accepted the offer or not. She was ignorant enough about SL back then she might have but it was so long ago and it's easy to forget such minor details. Besides, I'm not responsible for my alts' actions, they're responsible for mine. All I can say for sure is that money or no money, she wouldn't have written a review unless she actually thought the product deserved it.

There are honest reviews too of course but not many. Relocating the item on MP, trying to come up with a sensible word or two for those two required blank fields... It's a bit of a bother and no reason for a regular customer to do it.

Edit:

I should add for the sake of completeness, if a buyer contacts you inworld and asks for some minor modifications - different textures or such - and you agree to do it and the customers is so happy they promise to give you a positive review even if you never mentioned it, the chances they actually will are approximately 23.69%. If you give them a hint a positive review would be nice, the chances drop to about 0.21%.

Edited by ChinRey
Adding more info
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I appreciate your anecdotal opinions as responses, but in general, review sites utilizing star ratings are usually 5 star or 1 star reviews.

It's either extreme, just go look up some statistics on the internet, and why star ratings are fallacious and pointless, and why many companies including Facebook and YouTube no longer, or do not continue to use such systems.

Example: 5 star ratings systems are useless

As for my own 'anecdotal' experience which forms my personal opinion, most ratings I get on products are either 5 star or 1 star as well, with a dash of (5 stars - "i didn't like the color so take away 1 point") style reviews that do nothing to help improve or critique products.

In the end though, any rating system is pointless if the reviewer doesn't provide context or constructive feedback as to how to improve the product.

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2 hours ago, entity0x said:

It's either extreme, just go look up some statistics on the internet, and why star ratings are fallacious and pointless, and why many companies including Facebook and YouTube no longer, or do not continue to use such systems.

Yes and that's the real point of course. Generally only those with special reasons, honest or dishonest, will leave a review and they tend to use highest and lowest ratings, nothing inbetween.

With the Marketplace even a two level "thumbs up ro down" or a single "like" system as we have on the forum would probably be rather inefficient since the buyer can't rate when they buy. They have to return to the listing later specifically to rate it.

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9 hours ago, Pamela Galli said:

Well they are very special brownies. 9_9

But yes LL does a very good job removing spurious reviews. If I state in the listing that a product is a purple cube, LL will reliably remove a one star review that hates that it is purple or a cube. 

OK. It must BE those special brownies as I haven't had such good luck getting reviews like that removed LOL.  Happily they aren't often. :D

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