How to Find an Optimal Money Back Guarantee Policy in Software Industry

Sellers and buyers have always had some special rules pertaining to the products sold and bought. One of the crucial features of a long-term, trust-infused relationship between these two parties is the money back guarantee. In a nutshell, if a buyer isn’t satisfied with the purchased product or the item in question doesn’t work properly, they have the right to be refunded.

The arrival of software trade has shaken the grounds of the area that has worked the same way for centuries. Software vendors should follow some traditional rules, as well as some new practices in order to provide a buyer-friendly money back guarantee. Here are some tips that will help you make the most of your online software commerce.

1) Full or partial money back guarantee?

A new software-selling business can use different strategies to generate leads and increase their sales. Offering a full money-back guarantee is one of the ways to nudge your leads to make a purchase on your website.

When a potential buyer comes across a new software brand that seems practical, they don’t know anything about it. That’s why the owner of the brand needs to make an effort to offer their services at affordable conditions.

This is where full money back guarantee comes on stage. Knowing that they can stop using your software tool if it doesn’t meet their needs and get their money back will convince the potential buyers to make a purchase.

As opposed to that, a partial money back guarantee might sound trustworthy enough for new customers. Because of that, it’s wiser for new software vendors to opt for a full money back guarantee, with a number of specific conditions.

2) Special conditions and trial periods

The money-back guarantee is a borderline case between marketing and financing.

It can be grouped together with other marketing features because it is one of the factors that contribute to the popularity of your brand.

On the other hand, it’s a financial category, as well, since it affects your cash flow.

This is why you should set some clear rules that will unambiguously define when a software buyer is eligible for a money back guarantee.

First and foremost, you need to prevent dishonest money-back requests. Naturally, every software solution becomes a bit obsolete after a while. This is where your duty is to keep coming up with regular updates and ensure that your customers are satisfied with the relevance of your software product.

What might happen is that a customer asks for a refund once they think your product becomes outdated.

This is why you need to highlight the conditions under you’ll return the money to the buyer. The smartest thing to do here is to set a time limit and clearly stress that out on your website.

Also, trial periods are a great way for both the seller and the buyer. The former will get a chance to showcase all the pros of their products. The latter will have an opportunity to check out whether the product and its features meet their needs.

The trial period will completely depend on your preferences. Still, if you’re a new business that needs customers, offering a 30-day trial period is a bit more persuasive than a 14-day trial.

During that time, your customer service has to be engaged 24/7 to make sure every single bug and breakdown are sorted out in no time.

And if a customer still decides to enter the refund procedure, don’t make a big deal out of it and show them that your money-back guarantee really works in practice. You might lose a customer or two, but you’ll keep a good reputation.

3) Offering free and premium versions

In addition to the trial version during which you allow your buyers to get a full refund, you should consider introducing free and premium versions of the same software product.

Let’s say that you’re developing a time-management app for businesspeople. After you’ve put the app through different stages of testing and allowed users to try it for free, it’s time to spice things up and start making money from the app.

What you can do here is offer some basic features for free and charge the additional pack of services. If the buyer likes what they see in the free version, they might go for the entire package.

If they don’t like the free features, they won’t buy the rest of your app.

You can apply the same principle to every single bit of software you sell, so as to reduce the hassle of having too many money back guarantee requests.

4) Refunding after the money back guarantee period

What if a customer buys your product, keeps using it and then suddenly realize that they aren’t satisfied with it? This is something we all hope won’t happen, but we also need to have a ready-made strategy for such a situation.

In that case, you can do your best to resolve any issues the client might have with the software. For instance, offer to fix their bugs for free. Outsource additional staff or pay overtime to your in-house workers if necessary.

The buyer will see that you really care about them and their problem, which is already a great way to keep them a loyal customer. To cut a long story short, do everything you can in order to update/fix the software and leave a positive impression on that customer.

Finally, if nothing works, you can direct the buyer to read the terms and conditions and inform them that the money-back guarantee has expired. Still, that might backfire on your business as a bad reputation. Even though you might be legally right, there’s the marketing aspect of your relationship with customers. That’s why you should approach each of these cases individually and make your final decision on the spot.


As a non-tangible form of commerce, software tools can be a bit tricky when it comes to money back guarantee rules and refunds. Sellers should bring their own rules here, but within the legal frame, they’re obliged to follow. A business beginner might sometimes go an extra mile and make a refund that they’re not legally obliged to if they want to keep a good reputation. Hopefully, you won’t have to deal with such issues too often if you set and highlight the terms of conditions under which your customers are buying your software. Such an approach will ensure a high level of customer satisfaction and a low number of untimely refund requests.

Mark Thomasson
Mark is a biz-dev hero at Invoicebus - a simple invoicing service that gets your invoices paid faster. He passionately blogs on topics that help small biz owners succeed in their business. He is also a lifelong learner who practices mindfulness and enjoys long walks in nature more than anything else.
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