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Envato Marketplace falls short when it comes to refunds on faulty products

Envato Marketplace falls short when it comes to refunds on faulty products

When it comes to an online marketplace, trust is paramount to win over buyer confidence. Without it, a buyer has little faith in the product being purchased. Envato is an online marketplace of low-cost digital products and has become popular in everything from website templates to software, to stock audio and video files.

Due to the non-tangible nature of these products, they make refunds difficult because the purchaser has often already downloaded the product. This can be overcome with a product that can be validated by the software author. Many products on the Envato Marketplace do not have product serial keys to validate the software. There is a serial code number, which is only for support to contact the author of the product.

What happens when you purchase a product from an Envato Marketplace site (ThemeForest, AudioJungle, CodeCanyon etc) that doesn’t work? Or what if the support serial number does not work also? Well, then you have to turn to Envato Marketplace support for assistance. I recently spoke with a Web Developer who had quite a surprising experience after purchasing a faulty product from Envato.

Envato license invalid

The software they had purchased did not work, neither did the support serial number. When the purchaser contacted Envato support, they were told to wait 7 days, or 6 days (I am really not sure) after the purchase date to raise a dispute. Here is the message on how to start the dispute process.

Envato dispute process

How to get a refund from Envato

Now that 5,6, or 7 days have elapsed from the purchased date, there should be a dispute link. You may need to reach out to @envato on Twiter to get this link or contact support. There is then a long form to fill out about the item you are disputing. Once you have spent the time to complete the form, it is sent off to Envato and you will receive a reply within 7 days.

After a week, the response from Envato gives away that they really do not want to issue a refund, if you haven’t already gotten that by now. The purchaser who is raising the dispute has already provided information as to why they are disputing the payment:

  • Support license key does not work
  • No response from the author in over 2 weeks
  • Software has bugs
  • Essentially useless

Envato then requests more information

  • Screenshots of any error you are incurring.
  • Logs or screenshots of any conversation you have had with the author.
  • Summary of your reasoning for the refund dispute.
  • Any other supporting substantiation to your claim.

These requests are there to protect authors and merchants, it is starting to seem as though they are really trying to delay the process as much as possible in hopes that the customer will lose patience and give up.

Opening a PayPal dispute with Envato

After numerous emails, tickets, DMs, the purchaser was beginning to lose patience with Envato on the issue and went to PayPal to raise a dispute on the purchase. This did not work out well as Envato blocked the user from all their sites, and refused to provide further assistance until the dispute was marked as resolved in PayPal. After several days, they believe PayPal closed the dispute but access was not restored. The issue has been going on for several weeks and remains to be resolved.

Getting an update on the status of a refund with Envato

Several days after the PayPal dispute was closed, several tickets to Envato and Twitter DMs they did finally reactive the account. No word on the refund. When the buyer enquired about the status of the refund on the software they never received and after waiting several weeks, they received this reply from Envato:

This is Aicah, taking over my colleague Paulo.

From checking your account, I can see that it has been locked due to the dispute you filed with PayPal. No worries, since I confirm that it has been cancelled, I’ve gone ahead and re-enabled your Envato Market account. You should now be able to log back in.

Ideally, we’d like to work with you to resolve your issue, so if this situation happens again, please contact us to help you. We have a refund policy in place to help our customers with their purchases, hence, it is not necessary to file a dispute with your payment provider.

Thank you for your time and have a great day.
Sincerely yours,


Customer Success

Envato is still yet to respond to requests for an update on the refund that was never received. It seems like their policy is to delay and defer any refund requests. A quick search on Twitter will show you that thousands of other Envato customers have also been scammed buy purchases something that is faulty, no longer works or like in this case, has an invalid purchase code even after a valid purchase.

Envato has also been accused of posting fake reviews to the online review sites to try and bury one-star reviews from an abundance of angry customers.

Seems like a few people on Twitter have also expressed frustrations with bias and questionable business practices….

Seems like they drag their heels on copyright infringement issues also…

About The Author

Russi Spoon

Web marketing is my thing, I enjoy audiobooks and data. InfoSec researcher and Security awareness advocate.


  1. Sane

    Most of the stuff of their site is junk and full of unpatched security vulnerabilities anyway. Spend your money elsewhere.

  2. Steve

    Bought one template and the support was shocking. Not only from the author who showed little interest in getting his template to work but also envato.
    They protect the author and not the client. Don’t waste money here.

  3. Cam

    This is the worst experience in terms of the customer services. I have made several purchases over the last 4 years. However, their true colors were seen when one of the WordPress themes named “StartIT” started taking forever for the activation.

    I raised the ticket and the response was confusing. Overall, it was left on me about what I should have done, what they can’t do, what can’t resolved, what theme authors can resolve, what theme authors can’t resolve etc. Essentially tonnes of crap in the response of the ticket, other than the solution.

    Additionally, be extra careful with the licensing terms and conditions after cancelling their subscription.

    This is how the garbage customer services is provided. I purchased the software from your system so this is your bottom line responsibility to resolve the issues.

    I have already blocked their URLs on the personal firewall to avoid going on their site again.

    Consider other theme providers for your needs. They should be the last one to go with.

  4. Rain Media LLC

    The quality of the provided plugin / themes is not assured, and then the worst is that reviews are consistently deleted and only wanted reviews are kept. Makes it look like the market offers lots of good working plugins, which is absolutely not the case. I posted a one star review about code quality six times, only to have it deleted time and a time again. Stay away from the market. My experiences are horrible.