How are refunds & chargebacks determined and handled?

How are refunds & chargebacks determined and handled?

SUMMARY

This article discusses how returns/refunds and chargebacks are handled in the eSellerate system, including step-by-step instructions for issuing a return or a refund.

MORE INFORMATION

eSellerate feels that the best party to determine whether or not to issue a refund is the publisher. Each publisher may have its own unique return/refund policy, and eSellerate's Customer Support Department and Client Services Department will generally not grant returns or issue refunds to end users. Rather, if an end user contacts eSellerate requesting a refund, the Support team usually encourages the customer to contact the publisher directly for assistance, using the publisher contact information provided in the customer's original receipt.

Note:  Sales tax and/or VAT refunds cannot be processed via the Sales Manager. If a tax-exempt customer requests a refund of the sales tax or VAT that was collected on an order, please ask the customer to e-mail a copy of his or her organization's tax exempt documentation (or the organization's VAT ID, in the case of EU customers whose orders included VAT) to csfileattachment@digitalriver.com.  Alternatively, or they may fax the request and the certificate (or VAT ID) to +1 952-253-8760. eSellerate Customer Support will promptly issue a refund on the sales tax or VAT portion of the order, and your account will not be affected by the refund.

This article consists of the following sections:

 

Procedures for Issuing a Return or a Refund

There are several ways to process a return or a refund in the eSellerate system. The method you should use is determined by the circumstances of the return or refund.

When you return an item, any amount of the price paid by the customer may be refunded to the customer, and any serial numbers that may have been issued for the item will be blocked from future product activations (and will return a failure on optional calls to ConfirmSerialNumber in the SDK). For each return you process, you have the option to withhold a restocking fee.

When you issue a refund, any portion of the total amount paid by the customer on the order can be refunded to the customer, but the items that were purchased are not necessarily returned. Thus, any serial numbers that were issued for the order may continue to be available for use with product activation and the optional ConfirmSerialNumber call in the SDK.

You also have the option to refund only the total shipping amount, without returning any order items. This can be done quickly and easily using the Shipping Refund button.

Note:  For orders placed using PayPal, is currently not possible to return any order whose order date is more than one year in the past.

Note:  If the payment type for the order was international wire, you will have additional steps to complete upon clicking the Process the Return button as instructed in each of the procedures below. For more information, please see the eSellerate User's Guide.pdf, which can be downloaded via the eSellerate Downloads link on the main page of the Sales Manager.

Step-by-step instructions for each type of return or refund

 

To quickly and completely return an entire order

Note:  The Full Order Return button will be unavailable (dim) if any prior return has occurred for the order, or if the order includes shippable items that have not yet been marked fulfilled.

Note:  When using the Full Order Return method, you cannot enter a restocking fee.

1.  Log on to your eSellerate Sales Manager at http://publishers.esellerate.net.
2.  In the Order Management section of the main Sales Manager page, click Returns.
3.  Enter criteria (such as the order ID) to search for the order to be returned, and click Find.
4.  If multiple orders are found matching the criteria you have specified, click the link for the order ID to be returned. If you entered the exact order ID in the previous step, this step will be skipped.
5.  Click Full Order Return.
6.  Click the drop-down button next to Reason for Return and select a return reason (the available options can optionally be edited via the Edit Return Reasons link).
7.  Optionally, enter a comment or note in the Comment field.
8.  Review the return details, and if everything looks correct, click Process the Return.

The Return Detail page will be displayed, and the return status should be either Submitted or else Processed.

 

To quickly issue a partial refund of the order amount without returning anything

Note:  The Satisfaction Refund button will be unavailable (dim) if all of the money paid by the customer for the original order have already been previously refunded, or if the order total was originally zero (i.e., the customer never paid anything).

1.  Log on to your eSellerate Sales Manager at http://publishers.esellerate.net.
2.  In the Order Management section of the main Sales Manager page, click Returns.
3.  Enter criteria (such as the order ID) to search for the order to be returned, and click Find.
4.  If multiple orders are found matching the criteria you have specified, click the link for the order ID to be returned. If you entered the exact order ID in the previous step, this step will be skipped.
5.  Click Satisfaction Refund.
6.  Click the drop-down button next to Reason for Return and select a return reason (the available options can optionally be edited via the Edit Return Reasons link). 7.  Optionally, enter a comment or note in the Comment field.
8.  In the field labeled Amount To Be Refunded, enter the amount of the refund the customer is to receive.
9.  Click Process the Return.

The Return Detail page will be displayed, and the return status should be either Submitted or else Processed.

Note:  Processing a Satisfaction Refund does not adjust the amounts paid to any eSellerate Affiliate or SplitPay Payees who may have received credit for the original order. If you need to refund money to the customer and you want to ensure that adjustments to the corresponding Affiliate or SplitPay Payee accounts are made accordingly, do not use a Satisfaction Refund.

 

To return only selected order items while leaving other items unreturned

1.  Log on to your eSellerate Sales Manager at http://publishers.esellerate.net.
2.  In the Order Management section of the main Sales Manager page, click Returns.
3.  Enter criteria (such as the order ID) to search for the order to be returned, and click Find.
4.  If multiple orders are found matching the criteria you have specified, click the link for the order ID to be returned. If you entered the exact order ID in the previous step, this step will be skipped.
5.  Select the check box(es) next to the SKU(s) to be returned, and then click Specify Return Details.
6.  On the Specify Return Details screen, if any SKUs being returned included more than one quantity, specify the Quantity to be returned for each SKU.
7.  If any SKU being returned included more than one serial number, select which serial numbers are to be returned. The number of serial numbers to be returned must match the Quantity to be returned. If none of the SKUs being returned included more than one serial number, skip this step.
8.  If any SKU being returned included a subscription, you can choose to cancel the subscription (despite the return or refund) or not by selecting or clearing the Cancel Subscription check box.
9.  Click the drop-down button next to Reason for Return and select a return reason (the available options can optionally be edited via the Edit Return Reasons link). 10.  Optionally, enter a comment or note in the Comment field.
11.  If a coupon was used on the original order, the coupon amount to be adjusted will be filled in the Amount to Be Adjusted field by default. Leave the default value if you want to refund the entire purchase price that was actually paid by the customer. If no coupon was used for the original order, skip this step.
12.  Optionally, enter a restocking fee in the Restocking Fee field. Entering a restocking fee reduces the amount of the refund that the customer will receive, thereby increasing the amount of the original order proceeds your account will retain. The original transaction's eSellerate processing fee for the selected item is displayed for your reference, in case you want to enter a restocking fee to recover the original transaction cost.
13.  Click Verify Return Information.
14.  Review the return details to make sure everything is configured as it should be; if everything looks correct, click Process the Return.

The Return Detail page will be displayed, and the return status should be either Submitted or else Processed.

 

To refund only the shipping on an order

Note:  The Shipping Refund button will be unavailable (dim) if all shipping amounts on the order have already been refunded, or if the order had no shipping charges. This includes orders for which the customer entered a free shipping coupon.

1.  Log on to your eSellerate Sales Manager at http://publishers.esellerate.net.
2.  In the Order Management section of the main Sales Manager page, click Returns.
3.  Enter criteria (such as the order ID) to search for the order to be returned, and click Find.
4.  If multiple orders are found matching the criteria you have specified, click the link for the order ID to be returned. If you entered the exact order ID in the previous step, this step will be skipped.
5.  Click Shipping Refund.
6.  Review the details of the return, and if everything looks correct, click Process the Return.

The Return Detail page will be displayed, and the return status should be either Submitted or else Processed.

 

Transaction Costs and Restocking Fees

There is never any direct cost or charge to the publisher account associated with issuing a refund. However, when you decide to issue a refund, bear in mind that the original transaction's processing fee is not credited back to your account (per the terms of the eSellerate Distribution Agreement). eSellerate has incurred costs associated with processing the original transaction that we are not able to recover.

Note:  Customers are always shown exactly how many items are in the shopping cart and what the exact order total will be before the order is submitted for billing.  Unless a publisher makes significant modifications to the layout used by the Web Store or Embedded Web Store layout, it is impossible for the customer to submit the order without first being shown the complete order details on the confirmation screen.  In addition, if a customer attempts to purchase the same product more than once in a seven day period, the system will warn the customer and list the previous purchases of the product; the customer must confirm that s/he wants to proceed before the card or PayPal account can be charged.

Because the original transaction's processing fee will not be credited back to your publisher account, you may choose to enter an optional restocking fee in the Restocking Fee field of the return detail screen, to cover your cost for the original transaction.

Note:  If you elect to apply restocking fees to returns, it is a good idea to set up a Return Policy (via the Policies link in the Account Management section of your main Sales Manager page) that clearly states how and when restocking fees will be applied.

 

Return Status and Processing Time

There are three common statuses for returns:  Submitted, Pending and Processed.  You can use the Returns link in the Order Management section of the main Sales Manager page to search for orders that have been returned, by status.  If you're not sure of the return's status, start by searching for Submitted returns, and if you don't find the item in question, try searching for Processed returns.

When a return has been newly submitted and has not yet been processed, the Return Detail screen will show the status as Submitted. Generally speaking, that return status will change from Submitted to Processed within 36 hours.  The Processed status indicates that the refund has finished processing on eSellerate's side and has been submitted to the payment card's issuing bank (or the customer's PayPal account, for PayPal orders).  At that point, the transaction has been accepted by the original payment method and it should not take more than two or three business days before the refund posts to the customer's account.

Generally speaking, most refunds should post to the customer's account within 3-5 business days, total (if not sooner).

In the event that the card's issuing bank (or PayPal) has rejected a refund request, the return's status becomes Pending.  This unusual status indicates some kind of problem or delay with the refund.  If you see a return status of Pending, please contact eSellerate's Client Services Department with the order ID for further assistance.

 

Chargebacks and Fraud Returns

A chargeback occurs when the owner of a payment account (credit card, PayPal, or bank account for ACH transactions) contacts the issuing bank or organization and disputes a charge to the account.  The basis for the dispute is usually either a fraud claim - that is, the account holder did not authorize the charge and was not aware of it - or else an unsatisfied customer claim.  The former is often the case when a credit or debit card has been stolen and used fraudulently.  The latter type of claim indicates that the customer did not receive the goods or services as advertised.

All chargebacks are handled directly by eSellerate.  The bank (or PayPal) notifies eSellerate that the chargeback has occurred, and the funds are automatically withdrawn from eSellerate's account (without any manual approval process on eSellerate's part).  eSellerate is penalized a processing fee for the chargeback.  eSellerate issues a return for the order, with a return reason of CHARGEBACK - FRAUD or CHARGEBACK - UC (for unsatisfied customer).  The system automatically e-mails the primary contact address for the publisher account, notifying the publisher of the chargeback return.

For all fraud order returns processed by eSellerate, regardless of whether the return was initiated by the issuing bank via a chargeback or if the account holder contacted eSellerate directly, eSellerate automatically credits the publisher account in the amount of the original transaction's processing fee.

For CHARGEBACK - UC returns, as with all other types of non-fraud returns, the publisher account is not credited for the original transaction's processing fee (per the terms of the eSellerate Distribution Agreement).

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Topic Information
  • Topic #: 5570-407
  • Date Created: 05/22/2009
  • Last Modified Since: 03/23/2015
  • Viewed: 5030
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