Part 2: Money-Back Guarantees… Is It A Ploy?

Part two of this five part blog series provides a deep look into the relationships businesses have with other businesses and how to trust business service money-back guarantees.

Money-Back Guarantees Blog, Golden Mailer Money-Back Guarantees Blog, Golden Mailer

As a small business owner, it is important to understand the level of trust you are investing into another business when working together, especially when it comes to money-back guarantees. When partnering with other businesses or vendors in regards to advertising, branding, product quality, etc., be sure to have a mutual understanding of what exactly you are being promised and vice versa.

As money-back guarantees often come with a lot of loopholes, reading the fine print is key, and customer satisfaction should always be the first priority when deciding whom to partner with.

Before You Trust a Money-back Guarantee

Prior to making your decision about working with another business for their product or service, be sure to check, double check, and triple check the both of you are on the same page. Here are some questions to consider asking regarding your money-back guarantee before making anything official.

  1. Can I get a copy of the terms in print?
  2. How long before I get my refund?
  3. Will all additional expenses be included in the money-back guarantee?
  4. What if I’m not satisfied?
  5. How do I go about requesting for a refund?

Be sure to get the name of the person you dealt with when making a deal involving a money-back guarantee. It’s O.K. to ask repeatedly for clarification. Consider your potential losses (time and money-wise) if you are unsatisfied. Will another business’ promise to you hurt your business if it backfires? Always be fully aware of the money-back guarantee before you make any decision final.

Where to Focus Your Guarantee Promises

As a small business owner, you will most likely experience having to make up a money-back guarantee policy of your own for a product or service. The most important guarantee you can offer in your policy is customer satisfaction. Whether you promise to increase online search rankings through SEO services or drive more customers to the business through appropriate marketing practices, you must follow through on your contract based on what the customer claims. Money-back guarantees should be focused on products or services that a business invests in to help with marketing, advertising, branding, design, packaging, delivery, or any service that promises to drive more business.

Below is a review posted on Yelp from a business owner unsatisfied with a logo design and storefront signage company. Read the review and take note of how upset the customer is; the customer paints a bad image of the company resulting in the customer losing a client and the client losing money.

“Company X advertised in writing and verbally a money-back guarantee if I wasn’t satisfied with the design and decided not to use it. The manager himself promised me a full and SPEEDY refund if I was unsatisfied but it’s been over four months and I still haven’t seen a single dime, now he won’t even call me back. Not only did they waste my time, take my money, and lie to me, but also they are STILL advertising a money-back guarantee policy. They can’t be trusted and don’t honor their promise to customer satisfaction. I would have been better off tossing my money in the trash, at least it would have saved me time.” *Business name will remain anonymous

Understanding the Fine Print

Money-back guarantees are often littered with loopholes to cheat customers out of money. Sometimes a company will refund the service charge, but not the initial set-up fee. Sometimes a company might refund the labor fee, but not the cost of materials. A company may sometimes even refund the materials, and not the cost of the labor. Loopholes in money-back guarantees can range from anything regarding how long you have to act before your “guarantee” period is over to how much of the money you will actually be getting back. Ultimately, it is your job as a small business owner to be aware of such loopholes and read the fine print when partnering with another business in order to avoid a loss for your business, or even your customers in the future.

About this series…

This five part blog series takes a deep look into highly competitive industry landscapes and tips to successfully compete as a locally owned business.

Part 1: The REAL Threats Local Businesses Will Face in 2015

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