Payment policies for merchants involved in e-commerce are essential. Here we take a look at return, refund, and cancellation policies.
Refund, return, and cancellation policies outline your company guidelines on how these actions are processed. They ensure that both the merchant and customer are protected in the event of fraud, poor product quality, etc.
A policy can stipulate various information such as contract lengths and the time scales in which returns and refunds are acceptable. You can set early exit fees or any other processing costs, highlight any charges for returns, and detail how the customer should return a product or start the refund process. You can include all of the contacts and addresses the customer will need, which also ensures the action is carried out in the manner most effective for you.
Uncertainty can kill an online sale, so it is vital to ensure that all potential roadblocks to the sale are removed. A return, refund, and cancellation policy gives the customer security, builds trust with your company, and protects you from potential chargeback requests and fees.
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Your policies must be clearly stated and visible on the website when customers are in the process of completing transactions. They must adhere to trading standards and, where possible, match or be competitive with other websites.
You must be able to deliver on what you promise, so do not state the refund will be with them in their account in 24 hours if this is not possible.
While there are many sources and templates available online to help you write your own statements, we would only recommend this as a starting point to be used as a guide.
While it is not a legal requirement to have a policy on your website, you will legally be required to honour this document (within reason) should one be posted on your site.
Your policy should be straightforward and easy to understand to avoid confusion and disputes over its interpretation. It helps to include how refunds will be made (Paypal/Stripe/bank transfer), who pays for shipping costs, and how long a customer has to return a product.
We recommend employing a professional to either construct this for you or review the policy you create. This review will ensure you are compliant and able to operate as promised.