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.
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.
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.
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….
@envato Its been a 15 days, after putting complaint about corrupted files for forest theme, no resolution and refund initiated. Expecting a quick refund on the same. pic.twitter.com/cGGhQwoVb0
— Omprakash P (@OP_inion_) April 27, 2020
The @envato refund policy is fucking terrible.
I will never recommend a product from this company.
— Guillermo Mayoraz (@Mayoraz) November 20, 2019
@envato Received a charge on my credit card from Envato. Do not do business with @Envato. Contact me to arrange a refund.
— Mary A. Redmond (@MaryARedmond) July 16, 2020
@envato_help just sent you guys a DM re. a refund I’m still waiting for.
— gracialnation (@GracialNation) May 19, 2020
Sir My User Name is sumitathwasiya please explain why you delete my comment on your product smart school management and smart school management app. and also tell me why you are not accepting my refund request. #envato_help #envato
— Sumit sharma (@sumitathwasiya) May 5, 2020
Envato is no trustworthy for buyers now, totally baised with Seller only…
Have many fraud authors on themeforest, but someone from envato support Ralph M named person, he was resolving my issue with seller, @envato @envato_help @tutsplus
— Aniruddha Shivaji Shelar (@anishelar1) July 29, 2020
@envato @envato_help 5 days ago a REFUND was approved to us up til now there is no INFORMATION about it
— Kingsley Felix (@Iamkingsleyf) April 29, 2020
kinda messed up that @envato processes a $200 annual renewal payment without any prior authorization, no email warning or anything. When are you guys sending my refund? @envato_help
— trayze (@djtrayze) February 1, 2020
Pity not the best place to do business with. Been battling to get a refund out of you or you to even acknowledge that one of your authors is not upholding an acceptable standard of quality and support.
— Paul Benn (@PaulBennCT) July 27, 2020
@themerella Raised many tickets regarding my Boo license that I’ve purchased from @ThemeForest but eventually, the author’s account gets closed.
It’s been 2 years! Didn’t get my theme’s license back nor refund.
IDK what’d happened between these two but wasted my money. pic.twitter.com/8KTBm3yMPU
— Prajjwal Rajput (@howtoshout) July 31, 2020
Why is it taking Envato so long to refund my money nau?! 😡
— se:al (@seyialbert_) June 10, 2020
@envato_help hello, i have requested to refund buy source code, and authors is approved my cancelation. It’s take 3-5 days, but now already 6 days and i still don’t get my money back from envato.
Please check it for me
Refund approved 16 April 2020 pic.twitter.com/UrBCjOEQ5Z
— Patra Gaffar Anggono (@PatraGaffar) April 21, 2020
I had a MASSIVE issue getting a refund with Envato (I didn’t get one and gave up at the end).
Their Envato Elements Shopify Themes are very poorly made.
They also didn’t like it when i tagged @Collis and sighted that as a reason not to refund me (amongst other bollocks)
— NemiX_TV (@NemiX_TV) August 10, 2020
How can I get your company to refund fraudulent charges? Your support is useless
— Sexual Diarrhea (@SexualDiarrhea) July 29, 2020
Seems like they drag their heels on copyright infringement issues also…
@envato are you responsible for audio jungle? If so, you are selling for license a track whose copyright does not belong to you. Please contact me immediately.
— Hyper (@djhyper) May 25, 2020
Most of the stuff of their site is junk and full of unpatched security vulnerabilities anyway. Spend your money elsewhere.
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.
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.
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.