5 Sure-Fire Ways to get a Software Refund


While it's true that I sell a plugin online called ElegantPURL, if you've spent time here on chrislema.co you know that I don't really generate revenue from plugin sales. And because you know I say no a lot, you know I limit the number of web site projects I work on. Instead I mostly advise and coach.

But because of all that, I feel like I am one of you – a purchaser of online software – mostly WordPress Plugins like FooBox, MemberPress, Soliloquy, Gravity Forms, and of course Pippin's Easy Digital Downloads (or anything by Pippin).

Now, to be clear, I haven't asked any of them for refunds – because I love all their products.

And they have two things in common:

  • They create fantastic plugins
  • They love supporting their plugins

And because of this, you can now see where I'm going. Yes, I can give you the inside scoop on how to get refunds from really great folks who work hard to create amazing software and then provide spectacular support.

So here we go – the five things you should do, really must do, to get your software refund.

1. Send in a support request and then follow it up after 5 minutes

This tells people you mean business and that you're someone to be reckoned with. You're not playing around. You are a hard-core Internet Guru that requires immediate attention. In fact, in your second follow-up email, make sure you highlight you've been waiting (and mention the exact amount of time), as well as to highlight how much money you're losing with each passing minute.

2. Make sure your ticket has absolutely no detail at all

This ensures that these guys are going to have to reach out to you – and that's when you have changed the power equilibrium. Because now they're in reaction mode. They're ready to please you because you're the one with all the knowledge and power. Make sure that you give them only tidbits of information with each successive email. That keeps the power in your hands.

3. Highlight how important your issues are

Nothing compares to writing in ALL CAPS. So don't be shy. Hit the caps lock and start getting to business. Developers aren't good with nuance and sometimes it's hard to know how serious you are, so the all caps approach cuts thru the clutter.

4. Remind them that you paid for their software

Time is money. And you traded some of your seriously valuable money for a bit of their time. So make sure you tell them you paid for this plugin and you expect answers – fast. Sometimes a little jab or slight enhances the fact that you're a paying customer. In fact, use that phrase “paying customer” – it will help.

5. Demand your software refund

At this point, demand your refund. Tell them you're going to look at their competitors. If you have a blog with more than one visitor (like a family member), threaten to write a seriously long blog post about them and their plugin. And when you demand that refund, do it in all caps.

Trust me on this – every single serious developer I know will gladly give you back your money if after all of the above you promise to never interact with them again. Sure, it means you won't get the benefits of their awesome plugins, but seriously, you could likely use the same $39 and build your own.

On a serious note, send a plugin developer you know a message that tells them how awesome they are. They're working hard and whatever you paid isn't nearly enough to cover for some of the folks that do all of the above.