Upcoming improvements to the refund system

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Upcoming improvements to the refund system

Community Manager
Community Manager

During the State of Udemy this past May, we shared that we’re working on improving the refund system in 2020. Throughout the coming months, we’ll be releasing a series of experiments and updates to our existing refund system.

 

The new refund system will help us set better student expectations and identify refund abuse. Our goal with the new system is to provide a better experience for revenue-driving students, while protecting your course content — and your revenue — from bad actors. 

 

The first improvements that we will be making are to our refund platform. These changes will allow us to track and process refunds efficiently for students and help us to better monitor and enforce our refund policies. With these updates, we hope to better flag and catch refund abuse, while providing risk-free exploration for the majority of students. 

 

In addition to these backend improvements, we will be updating our refund-abuse policies to identify bad actors and limit their ability to request a refund. We will be implementing new thresholds based on refund rates, course consumption, and repeat course refunds.

 

While these are the currently prioritized changes, the work on refunds will not stop there. We will continue to monitor refund trends, reasons, and behavior to identify opportunities for additional improvements, and explore alternative modes of refunds including a credit system.

 

As our work on refunds progresses, we will continue to provide updates on the project.

 

You can learn more about the new refund system in our FAQ here.

 

Teach on!

7 Comments

Refunds are out of control. First of all Udemy needs to change their back end to make it harder to use pirate softwares to download content. Obviously the option to record their screens will always be available for criminals.

 

I sell 4 courses here, and probably 50%+ of the people that have bought them have requested a refund 1-10 days after buying it. The courses are good quality and the few people that actually bought them legitimately have left great review.

 

So obviously people just come here, buy whatever they want, screen record or extract all the content they want and have 30 full days to request a full refund and we the instructors get screwed in the end. It is ridiculous. I am already looking at all the competitor alternatives out there.

 

You should implement something were the instructor can contact a student who requested a refund and ask them what was wrong. To see if they can justify why they feel they need to be refunded after having started the course.

I made $1023.00 this month in sales of which $23.00 was returned as refunds. I don't know how many trolls that is but for refunds, that's right in the ballpark of what I get each month. Be nice if instructors could see the refund stats for each of the refunds so we could determine which ones were legit and which refunds were just a result of someone gaming the system. Nothing major, just a break down of which refund was a result of abuse and which wasn't.  I don't need to see the student's ID. 

I've been here for six years and the refund rate, at least for my courses, is very consistently between 0.5% and 1.5% of sales. I have never considered it a problem and my assumption is that the guarantee and the sales it attracts outweight the cost of refunds. I think my refund rates are fairly normal. 

 

I agree that it would be nice to require the student to leave some reason why they were asking for a refund. that would be useful feedback. 

 

Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi @Lili , I first published in April 2014, my refund rate has always been very tiny. Even full-priced sales staying on and purchasing discounted courses from me.

It is great to see that you will be tracking for potential frauds - as I have seen posts from people where this has been a problem.

I do hope the team is working on App improvements - all these years later and still there is no assignments feature available... much to the irritation of many students and instructors.


@Lili wrote:

During the State of Udemy this past May, we shared that we’re working on improving the refund system in 2020. Throughout the coming months, we’ll be releasing a series of experiments and updates to our existing refund system.

 

The new refund system will help us set better student expectations and identify refund abuse. Our goal with the new system is to provide a better experience for revenue-driving students, while protecting your course content — and your revenue — from bad actors. 

 

......


Thank you, Lili ! 

Irrespective of what our individual refund rates are, this is welcome news.

 

We all know that there are many students who game the system, and its always good to be able to monitor the process better, and identify them more easily. Thanks Smiley Happy

Good to see.

 

I'm new to Udemy, but I experienced this problem with online book sales, through lesser known bookstores - when I checked them out they were not really bookstores but websites telling people to download and then return books for a refund - so after a few months they were no longer on my distribution platform.

 

Sadly there's always one or two who "shoplift" and great to see Udemy taking action.

This is a really great initiative, indeed. Thank you, Lili and Udemy!