In late July, we announced that we’d be releasing a series of experiments and updates to our existing refund system.
Refunds are an important part of Udemy. They provide students with the ability to explore learning online, the Udemy platform, and new instructors - all risk free. Based on our user research data, Udemy’s refund policy has a noticeable impact on a student’s confidence and willingness to buy a course. This is true for students new to Udemy and existing students unsure whether a new instructor or course is the right fit for their learning goal. While our data shows that the vast majority of students on Udemy never request a refund, we know from our user research studies that the refund policy increases confidence in students’ purchases.
However, we recognize that there is a small subset of students who abuse the refund system. That is why over the last two months, we built a new refund platform that allows us to better set student expectations and identify refund abuse.
We’re excited to announce that improvements to the refund system are now live in three main areas:
- The platform
- Refund policies
Our goal with these improvements is to provide a better experience for revenue-driving students, while protecting your course content — and your revenue — from bad actors.
Learn more about the updates to the refund system below and in our detailed FAQ here.
Over the last few months, we have rebuilt the refund platform from the ground up. The new platform will allow us to track and process refunds more efficiently for students. Additionally, it gives Udemy the ability to better monitor and enforce existing refund policies, and implement new ones. We’ll now be able to better flag and catch refund abuse, while providing risk-free exploration for students.
In addition to the backend improvements, we have built new refund-abuse rules directly into the platform and will deny refund requests instantly if a student breaks our refund policy. The denials consider our existing policy and new abuse thresholds.
These thresholds are based on:
- Account refund rates
- Course consumption
- Multiple refund requests for the same course
By building the policies directly into the new system, we’ll be able to better identify and deny bad actors before they request a refund. See an example of our new system in action below.
We’re excited to announce that we now have a new alternative mode of refunds for students — credits. Udemy credits are available to students that request a refund. Unlike cash refunds, credits are instantly available in student accounts, encouraging them to explore immediately and find the right course to fit their learning needs.
While these updates cover our refund system revamp, the work on refunds will not stop there. We will continue to monitor refund trends, reasons, and behavior to identify opportunities for additional improvements.