I'm amazed when I hear from people inquiring about MoneyWell that XYZ company wouldn't give them a refund. To be honest, part of me wants to keep quiet about this and not help my competition improve, but I'm not sure anything I'd say would matter anyway.
I think that some businesses feel that the customer is trying to screw them by using the software and then wanting their money back. It's a bit like the argument for stronger copy protection on software. I don't think that you can stop real software thieves, which means you're only hurting your honest customers. Unfortunately, so many people feel attacked personally when someone takes advantage of them like this. It's really not personal; some people don't feel guilt stealing software and other people legitimately need to return software because it doesn't work for them.
But what if they are getting a refund and continuing to use the software? So what? Again, some people don't feel guilty about using what they don't own, but I believe that 90 percent are honest and I'm not going to ruin their experience with my company over the 10 percent that are dishonest.
And let's face it, if you burn someone over $40, they are going to complain about how XYZ company screwed them and how your company sucks to dozens of people—or worse thousands because they posted rants on the internet—is it worth the money? Was all that bad press worth whatever you charged them for your product? Not for me.
That's why No Thirst Software offers a 60-day money back guarantee and on day 61, you're still not going to get a fight from me if you want to return one of our products. I'd rather win a customer over with great software and stellar service than quibble about contractual obligations. If you don't like our software for some reason, tell me and I'll try to improve it. If I can't make you happy that way, then simply ask for your money back. I've had some great emails from customers who were amazed and thrilled at how easy it was to get a refund from No Thirst Software and they may just tell a few friends about that. It sure beats the scary comments I read about other software companies that didn't give a refund.
So if you're a Micro-ISV and you're not making it easy for customers to get refunds, think about what you are doing to future sales for a few bucks today. And, if you happen to be one of my competitors... just keep up the good work.