Skip to content

Getting a refund on online shopping when you missed the returns deadline

McKinley Valentine — 1 min read
Getting a refund on online shopping when you missed the returns deadline
Photo by MealPro / Unsplash

Or you didn't realise Sale items aren't eligible for a refund or whatever.

I've had reasonable luck just emailing their customer service and saying "I didn't read your Returns policy properly, I thought it was 30 days, is there any chance you could make an exception for me this one time?"

This isn't a 'hack' it's just, sometimes people will help you if you ask nicely, but you might not have realised that's something you can ask for. And the person you're talking to, the customer service rep, it's not their money, so they have no emotional investment in it. But it still feels good for them to be able to help you.

Things to say clearly:

  • you made a mistake, not them
  • this would be a very generous act of goodwill on their part
  • you know it's not their policy, and that you're asking for a favour

No entitlement, no "I've been a loyal customer for x years" nonsense.

Their main fear is not the loss (a couple hundred bucks is a lot to you, but nothing to a business) but that if they do it once, you'll think that's the norm and expect it every time. Hence the "I know I'm not eligible for a refund, but..."

Anyway, like I say, this isn't a hack, you really cannot do it routinely, and I'm suggesting being honest about the reasons even if they're bad ones ("I lost track of time" ).

but if you already fucked up, look, you still have one avenue left worth trying before the money's lost

This piece was originally published in The Whippet #172 – subscribe to get the next one in your inbox!

Unsolicited AdviceBe More Functional


Sign in or become a Whippet subscriber (free or paid) to add your thoughts.
Just enter your email below to get a log in link.