What is an acceptable time period for a refund?


I setting up a marketplace style transaction system and I was wondering what an acceptable time period for refunds would be, On one hand it would be nice to get the money to them immediately on the other hand I would like to handle refunds with ease. What is a common time period for refunds?

Business Business Process

asked Nov 16 '11 at 05:24
136 points
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3 Answers


Put yourself in the user's shoes.

How important is customer service to you organization? If its the most important thing then refunds should be as immediate as possible. If there are other things that are more important then add more time accordingly.

As a user of any service I would expect a refund within 24 hours.

answered Nov 16 '11 at 08:12
Mike Nereson
411 points
  • Yeah -- a company refunds me money immediately without question. They'll earn my respect. If I have to fight / send continuous reminders for it... no amount of apologies will make it up. Every refund is an opportunity to astonish your customers. – Sunil 12 years ago
  • At least email the customer within 24 hours to acknowledged the refund. – Mike Nereson 12 years ago


If I were a customer, I would expect an acknowledgment that a refund would be issued within 24-48 hours and the actual refund coming within a week at the latest. Communication is key.

answered Nov 16 '11 at 11:33
323 points
  • +1 for the value of the communications. the time is less important than acknowledgement immediately, setting the expectation, and then meeting it. – Joseph Barisonzi 12 years ago


If it is the exchange of strictly digital services and no physical goods are transferred then 24 - 48 hours is fine. If there are goods involved then typically when the product is returned the refund should be also done within a couple days.

answered Nov 16 '11 at 11:29
Ryan Doom
5,472 points

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