|I don't want it because it has too many pages??|
What would your response be?
My first gut instinct was to defend my position, which is that there are NO refunds on digital products!
However, I aim to be fair minded at all times and to see all sides of a situation, so I stopped to consider what my best response would be... preferably without exclamation marks and capital letters. ;-)
While clearly of the belief that there are no refunds on digital products, did my Craftsy sales page actually indicate that? No. Which leads me to the title of this post: is it common knowledge that no refunds are given on digital products? Hard to say. I thought so, but maybe it's something that needs to be spelled out clearly. Perhaps if you are swimming in similar waters, you might want to make it explicit.
So while I pondered the wording of my official reply, I put it on my "to do" list to add the following to each of my paid patterns:
Due to the nature of digital products, all PDF pattern sales are final.
Next, I considered the issue of the size of the PDF.
I'll freely admit that complaints about PDF size/length/bulk always make me groan out loud... really loud. Because I come from a background where most of us learned to avoid printing out stuff. It constantly amazes me that people feel the need to go with the paper format when it's totally unnecessary. (If you're someone who likes to print everything on a regular basis, can you please shed some light on the matter for me?)
The MyTie pattern is my lengthiest pattern at 59 pages. In some ways, it couldn't be avoided, being that it covered three different ways of making the bag. However — and unfortunately — my Craftsy listing did not make mention of this humongous length. (Absolutely a mistake on my part, since most of my other patterns did make mention of total page length.)
Again, as I pondered my response, I went in and added PDF length information to all of my paid patterns.
In an unusual move, I shared the email with my other half. He was of the opinion that "oh for heaven's sake, it's a six dollar pattern" and "how can you ask for a refund based on being unable to pay for the cost of printing it out"? To be totally honest, those same words — more or less — had passed through my mind also.
In even more of an unusual move, my other half actually spoke about the situation to one of his buddies. This friend was also of the opinion that the complaint was not worthy of a refund and said that I was being nice for even considering it further.
The thing is, this is the new world of online commerce. Who knows what might motivate an individual to make life worse for you if you don't take the high road (to follow the advice of the former FLOTUS)? I'm such small potatoes, but I still wouldn't want a customer bad-mouthing me for being rigid.
Given that I didn't have my own safeguards and explicit notices in place, I wanted to be at least a little bit conciliatory.
That said, I wasn't about to refund the whole thing without a valid reason. I've had buyer's remorse about a pattern myself, but that situation was totally different. Even then, however, I knew that there was no point in asking for a refund.
So what was my ultimate response? After stating my belief that it's common for digital products to be non-refundable due to their nature, I covered the remainder of the bases with the following:
Let me first say that PDFs such as these are not meant to be printed in their entirety. Particularly if your [---] is an experienced sewer, she should not need to print every page describing every detail. After reading through the instructions, all she truly needs to print are the pattern templates at the back of the document (a total of 3 pages if she wants to make each of the three designs).
Has she truly read through the pattern or was it just a case of "oh, it's too many pages for me to look at"? Or is the problem that she does not have a device on which to read it?
If you feel strongly about needing some sort of restitution, I would be prepared to offer a credit of $2.50 USD towards your (the purchaser's) PayPal account as a goodwill gesture. Let me know ASAP if that's what you require and if so, please allow up to ten business days for the transaction to appear.
Hubby and I went out for a walk around the neighbourhood after I sent the response. We talked further about it and wondered if I would have a reply by the time we came back.
I didn't... and still haven't.
What is your opinion on the matter?