New Refund System & Policy Updates

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New Refund System & Policy Updates

Community Manager
Community Manager

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
  • Credits 

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.

 

The Platform

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. 

 

Refund Policies

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.

 

Credits

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. 

13 Comments

Hello @Lili,

 

I noticed some unusual or suspicious activity by a student It seems to be a single person enrolled in all of my courses. I strongly believe they have downloaded the source code, Video and taken a refund. Could you please help? I have mailed to the Instructor Support team but haven't received any response yet.

 

 

One thing you should really add too. A student that finishes a course (100%) should be denied a refund. If you don't like something you're not going to go through it the full 100%. After reaching a certain percentage watched the students should not be able to get a refund anymore in my opinion. It's not fair to a teacher to allow students to go through the full course, or nearly full course (over 80% or so) and then deny the teacher the payment.

Community Moderator
Community Moderator

Hi @Art_by_Benjamin, as we mention in the announcement, part of the update to the system is a new consumption threshold. This threshold takes into consideration how much of a course a student has watched and refuses a refund if they have watched too much of the course. To reduce risk of gaming the system, we can not share the specifics of what that threshold is but we can confirm that it is well below 100% of the course.

 

That’s really good to hear!

Will instructors be able to see the reasons why students request refunds?

 

Instructors can't improve what we can't measure.

Good to head this, and I already see the impact in my course refunds. 

I had reported multiple refunds from my courses in August, and I was wondering should I drop an email to support for the status on that. 

I think this answers it well.

 

Thank you.

Good to know

Thank you so much! These improvements are so welcomed in the Instructors Community! Keep up the great work!

Community Moderator
Community Moderator

Hey @JoshuaGeorge, this isn't currently on our roadmap but it is something that has been considered. We currently don't share out the refund information we collect in this form for a few reasons. The most important of these is a legal constraint: when students use Udemy they agree that some things they enter (like their reviews or questions) will be shared out with other users, and others (like private interactions with our Support team) won't.

 

We're still open to any suggestions and we're sharing all your feedback with the appropriate team.

 

Thank you very much Udemy. You guys are doing a fantastic job

Thank you very much Udemy. This is an issue that has been bordering me for long. Some students will enroll into a course, download complete source codes and never learn or watch the video and apply for refund. Someone like me only build software to train students but I notice some students only enroll into that course and download codes. Once they are done, they apply for refund. Am so happy with this new development. This will save many instructors efforts from some students

Thank you. This should help.

An extra option for feedback from students would be great. I mostly get refunds from outside the US and I do not know if it is because they just did not like it or were planning on a refund from the start due to high cost in their country or if it is something I can improve like speaking English too fast. 

I also wonder when my course is later on a pirated site...