Over at Sprout Apps I respect our customers and I try to make that as clear as possible in our Terms. However, there’s one condition: we ask, no expect, respect in return.

Today I’ve been dealing with a customer that’s having a bit of buyers remorse. They’ve learned that their sales staff doesn’t want to use Sprout Invoices and instead wants to use another product. Their reasoning is that the “other product” has a few features that SI doesn’t have yet 1 and he’s told me that even though he “personally likes the software” he can’t convince his staff to use it. The customer goes on to say, “I will keep my eye on your progress and we might well convert at a later date…”. Obviously this isn’t an issue with the product not working or a set of false promises; as I see it, the real issue is the customer wasn’t able to “adequately understand what [they were] purchasing and why”. 2

I’m a bit torn. I don’t want anyone customer to be disappointed; I believe in our products and I’m very proud of them; clear messaging, demos, and the free version all offer the opportunity for the customer to understand what they’re purchasing; refunds with software (or digital goods) are tricky since they can’t send back what they received, we don’t (and will never) lock down our products with serials either; trust is extremely important, especially when Sprout Apps is so new.

At this point I’ve tried to appease them by conceding a little. Maybe I shouldn’t take it so personal though and instead just process all requests and move on 3.

How do you handle refund requests?


  1. One feature PDF invoices and estimates, which was SI received an add-on yesterday for.
  2. Compounding the issue: the person I was dealing with passed off the refund request to someone else in his staff. So whatever civility we had was lost when this person started throwing insults and manipulating the refund policy to prove a false point. I do wish this person read the previous conversations before coming out like a bulldog and demanding a refund.
  3. At some point pushing back will be less cost effective.