I work with lots of startup companies that sell goods or services to consumers online. Every company believes they are providing a great product but, the fact is, not every customer will be satisfied. So, the question becomes, if and when should a customer get their money back? I believe the correct answer is, when they ask for it. Here’s why…
If you’re selling a physical product that can be returned in “as new” condition, I think it’s pretty clear the customer should get their money back when the merchandise is returned. However, should the shipping be free in both directions? Should your company charge a restocking fee? Should only a partial refund be given if the merchandise is difficult to resell as new? What if your physical product is consumed or perishable? You don’t want the product back or it simply may be impossible to get it back. Should the consumer be out their money if they are not happy? I say no. Give them a full refund and eat the return shipping cost if you want the product returned.
If your company is selling information or e-products you may be thinking, “I can’t un-ring a bell”. The consumer has received the information or could easily make an e-copy that may be of continued benefit to a customer even if they claim they are not satisfied. If the customer claims to be unhappy, is it reasonable to charge the customer a full or even a partial fee? I say no, if a customer wants their money back, I think it’s best to make a full refund upon request.
Alan Gassman and Erica Pless are tax attorneys in the the Clearwater, Florida area. Both are experts in helping founders figure out the right corporate structure for their business and personal situations as well as many other tax strategies for your business.
In this interview we talk about the how to select a corporate attorney, the tax implications of options, tax planning for your exit strategy, paying minimal salaries and dividends in your S corporation, protecting your company in probate and many other critical issues.
We’ll also discuss Alan’s book “The Annihilation of Wealth 2013”
To contact Alan Gassman visit Gassman Law Associates
Erica Pless can be found at The Pless Law Firm
Srikumar Rao is a noted author, lecturer, professor and founder of The Rao Institute. He is the author of the course “Creativity and Personal Mastery”, the only MBA course in the world which has its own alumni association.
Professor Rao talks about his career and how it led him to a life-long mission to help others be more happy and successful in their careers.
This is an amazing interview with a truly amazing person.
Be sure to pick up Professor Rao’s books:
There is a big difference between being a CEO and a COO. I know, because I’ve been both.
At my first startup company I didn’t have a COO and, while the company was a success, it wasn’t until I learned to let go of certain tasks that the company flourished. Entrepreneurs, almost by definition have a vision of how things should be and how their company should be run, but first time entrepreneurs, myself included, often spend too much time on internal details which can be crippling to a startup venture.
My first job out of college was a corporate engineering position with a $3B multinational aluminum and chemical corporation.* My branch of engineering was highly specialized so, as a 22 year old, I was able to pick and chose which of several dozen multi-million dollar projects I wanted to work on at any of the company’s manufacturing facilities worldwide. My list of projects was a mile long with some involving serious health and safety concerns of employees. Every project required reconciling the production and financial needs of plant managers with the demands of corporate execs to maintain control over disparate operations. For a foot loose young man with an unlimited travel budget, I needed to balance my responsibilities with a desire to see the world.
You see, if you’re 22 years old and can choose between working in a can factory supplying a major European brewery with access to all the beer you can drink for free, or standing next to an 1,100 degree extrusion furnace on a 107 degree July day in the panhandle of Texas which would you choose?
Well… not so fast.