Why I Will Not Refund (aka – Somebody Hates Me)
So I got this email today. It was the fourth or fifth in a series of them from this chick.
In a nutshell, the backstory –
She bought my program.
Changed her mind before it began.
Wanted a refund, for health reasons.
I said no. Well, what I said precisely, was –
“Hey, thanks for the email –
I have a no refund policy on my online programs. The GREAT news is that not only would implementing this program MAKE you money, but you also have lifetime access to the content should you choose not to use it now.
Thank you for understanding!
She wasn’t too happy with this, and I guess it was pretty brief. But it was also truthful. Anyway, she wrote back –
I don’t see that you’ve made it clear there is no refund policy. Not cool.
For someone who is claiming to be making $80,000 a month, it seems to refund someone $497 shouldn’t be a hardship.
Yet you are willing to put someone in a health hardship situation in a really bad spot.
This is the kind of person you are? Seriously?”
Well, actually the kind of person I am is somebody who stands by her word. The fact that you don’t read my terms and conditions is not something I can comment on, but no – I don’t respond to flakinesss. That’s not how I do business, and it would be a HUGE disservice of me to allow you to think that DOING business that way is ok. That’s not what I would want to TEACH you about success. I wrote back to that effect.
This responded in a Paypal claim against me, which was shortly determined in my favour.
Right away afterwards, namely today, I received the following in my inbox:
I sent you an e-mail before as I have had deal with some health issues and really needed to use this investment in my health care. You refused to refund. I’m in a position where no matter how much money I make, wasting this kind of money is not okay.
Since your cold hearted response I have tried to get everything out of this program so the money isn’t wasted.
This is NOT a program. It’s robbery.
I just received my week 3. There is no time frame you even deliver your content. The first week was on Tuesday. The second week late Monday night. This week not until Thursday night. Not cool. Not professional.
There’s not even a a webpage with any info to go to for launch it. You send an e-mail with a recorded diatribe of crap that isn’t even as good as most of the stuff that I can get for free on a number of websites out there.
There is no content here. There is you talking about “do your thing.” There is nothing about the actual steps to do a launch. It’s pure talking off the cuff. It’s not authentic. I see through it. It’s a full on rip off.
I am asking for a refund and I plan to take this to the end if I have to. Believe me, you will lose way more than $497 if you don’t plan to give me a refund.j
First you should know that I have an accountability partner who is an attorney that I have worked with for the last 9 months who I met through Ramit Sethi’s I Will Teach You To Be Rich… yes a real program. Real content. Real this is exactly what to do with a website, worksheets, step by step videos. A real program. Not your blabbing at a recorded regurgitated message without any clear direction, uploading it and sending it in an e-mail that basically says try new stuff and see what works for you, ya know, get the gist of it and then try it again. The first 3 weeks say the same thing in essence with exception at the end you throw out a few non descript things about a sales page and launch time between 3 and 21 days. Be your authentic self and sell your fucking awesomeness. Great. Yeah. We got that. You are going to need to figure this shit out on your own, a direct quote from your “program”. You did mention you had a worksheet for a sales page but it wasn’t provided. Again, this is not a program anywhere worth $497. (**Side note from Kat: the worksheet I offered is provided and is linked in the email. YEP I occasionally do do worksheets. Mostly what I do of course is WHAT FREAKING MATTERS based on the RESULTS I have offered. Anyway … it continues)
Back to the attorney. I’ve run all of this by him, and provided the “content” for his review. He’s ready to (at no charge to me) launch (for real) the full reports to the FTC, and the Internet Crime Complaint Center, that’s to start. There are many other places he’s got an entire list with a lot of legalese he’ll gladly be providing in regards to the charges for this (lack of) program.
As well, my attorney will draft a letter, including the transcript of your “program” to Marie Forleo, who has been known to get rid of people from her site doing things that aren’t cool. Coming from an attorney, this is more than just one of the ladies on there bitching about someone promoting too much. This is reason for many to feel ripped off and she is not willing to knowingly promote that kind of thing through her brand nor does she want the FTC concerned about what’s promoted through her forums and/or programs.
There are also online reviews that can be put out there. Those will have your name added which I’m sure at some point will take more than $497 of sales.
As you may have guessed, I’m tired of being ripped off. Your program quite frankly is a rip off.
I’m asking for a refund in the next 48 hours. That being done I’ll feel you’ve been fair to me and will call my attorney off and leave it be. Should you decide you don’t want to refund me, I’ll go ahead and go forth with the above.
I’ve included my invoice below for the refund. Please let me you’ve done the refund as soon as possible.
I thought about this briefly, and without really contemplating, I wrote back –
“You are welcome to take the actions you deem appropriate. I have literally dozens of thank you messages each day from clients who are loving what I do.
I do not respond to threats.
This is my final communication to you. I have already outlined repeatedly what my policies are. You have received PRECISELY what you paid for and what was promised, and those who are IMPLEMENTING it are already seeing results.
YES – my program and delivery is different to what others put out there. WHAT A SHOCK – I’m being me! And, it works. Not just for me, but for the THOUSANDS of clients who love my work.
I get it.
You’re pissed off.
You want to go back on a decision you made.
You feel I should SUPPORT you in your about face.
You’re not happy with my work, and so on and so forth.
None of this changes what I have already outlined.
I wish you all the best!”
I went away, went back to what I was doing, played with the kids a bit, did some dancing with ’em, had lunch, and went to the mall.
Which was freaking boring so I got to thinking –
Why didn’t I just refund her?
What’s the big deal, right?
I know my stuff isn’t for everyone.
But it just didn’t FEEL right, the idea of doing that.
I couldn’t let it go. I mulled and mulled and mulled. Bought a bunch of crappy plastic toys (there’s not much to do in the Bahamas when it’s raining!). Got a coffee. Walked a bit.
And then it hit me –
It’s about BELIEF.
She is asking me to back down from what I BELIEVE in.
She’s assuming – and WHAT an assumption! – that I care more about MONEY then about standing up for what I STAND for.
She’s assuming – by God! – that I would be SCARED of her telling the world that my stuff sucks.
Which means she’s assuming that I would actually be scared of what the typical person in the world THINKS of me and /or she’s assuming that I myself don’t fully believe in myself.
Negative, in both cases.
I realised that the only thing here is for me to be COMPLETELY and perhaps also BRUTALLY honest.
I needed to do this for ME.
I also realised – bring it ON baby! How AWESOME to realise I stand for what I do SO much that even the threat of the FTC coupled with Marie Forleo (eeek!) doesn’t make me back down from my beliefs.
And so I came home, and I opened her email back up again.
“So I changed my mind about writing back again 🙂
Because here’s the thing. And I want to explain this to you even though I’m sure you’ll just take it with some sort of combination of anger / fury / irritation or I guess at best a huff and puff eye roll.
I’m super grateful to you for what you’ve caused me to realise, with your attack on my work, my ethics, and me.
Because it’s made me realise just how deeply I DO believe in what I do, and what I stand for.
I stand by my work. I KNOW it works. I ALSO know that some people don’t LIKE my style. Those people shouldn’t but from me in the first place. My style is pretty clear from my sales page. Couple this with the fact that I didn’t promise anything I didn’t offer. I.e. – worksheets. What I DID promise is to teach you how I successfully launch, and how my clients do.
And that’s what I’m teaching.
So you can huff and puff and jump up and down about it all you like, but I am NOT here to dance to the tune of yours or anybody else’s commands. That wouldn’t be authentic. And to me THAT wouldn’t be professional. I teach success based on (gasp!) WHAT I HAVE LEARNED TO WORK.
So perhaps you think it would be more appropriate, more professional, if I taught success based on what YOU or somebody else EXPECTS it to look like.
But that wouldn’t be very fair now, would it?
After all, if YOU knew what it took to succeed in the precise way I have, you wouldn’t have wanted this program in the first place. You signed up to learn from ME. I’m teaching MY style. Weird? I don’t think so.
Your threats. This is another big reason I have to express my thanks to you.
You make the assumption that money matters more to me than me standing up for what I believe in.
You are, in essence, asking me to back down from my own beliefs and values under the threat of :
a) the “cost” of more than $497
b) negative reviews
c) Marie Forleo (lol)
Here’s how I feel about that, just so you know –
a) the COST of me standing down from my own beliefs, would be a GAZILLION times more to me than the value of $497 or even $497,000. You can take away my money (well, you can try) but you can NOT take away my self-respect. If you choose to expend your energy and time on fighting ME rather than on building your own freaking business, if you choose to focus your emotions on ‘winning’ and proving a point rather than on your own health and wellbeing, so be it. If it makes you feel better, and you truly feel this is what is RIGHT for you, then that’s what you should do. I ENCOURAGE you to do what feels right for you. But I will be DAMNED if you’re going to THREATEN me with God damn MONEY to back down from who I am and what I know to be true.
b) review away. I have zero interest in gaining the business of anybody who would read such vitriol; nor participate in it. In order to help you out in this area, I will be publishing your email as well as my responses to it. I refuse to back down in the face of fear and my business is NOT built on worrying about what ANYBODY thinks of me.
c) see b. I don’t even understand why that’s supposed to be scary.
On a side note, and just for your own information, threatening me to return money to you, even if you feel it is owed to you, is NOT supported by law and could indeed land you in trouble. I assume your attorney would have informed you of this, so I guess that’s your choice to go ahead anyway.
To sum up.
I’m not in business to have people like me … even though the VAST majority of those who follow me do.
I’m not going to apologise for the fact that I don’t have fucking worksheets in all my courses. I also do not SAY I have them!
I’m not going to apologise or back down on the fact that I teach people how to think for THEMSELVES and that I don’t believe success is built in a fricking box or by joining the dots. I didn’t CREATE my success that way so why the hell would I teach it that way?
I’m not going to apologise for not being yours or anybody else’s idea of PROFESSIONAL. I’m not HERE to be professional. I could care LESS what people think of me so long as I’m standing in my TRUTH and making the difference I’m here to make.
And I’m sure as hell not going to fall over myself making the 0.0001% of people – that’s you honey – who aren’t happy with what I do, who get pissed off, who THREATEN me, who assume that MONEY means more to me than my self respect, who aren’t willing to do the fucking work, who want to paint by numbers and who will likely NEVER succeed in their own business and life until they wake the fuck up and actually focus on themselves rather than what someone else supposedly SHOULD be doing.
I’m also not going to apologise for saying fuck, just so we’re clear.
Why would I give a damn, when I know I’m doing REAL work that actually DOES work, that changes people’s LIVES for God’s sakes and makes a TRUE difference?
Why would I give a damn when every DAY I receive email after email of gratitude reminding me I’m on the right path.
Why would I give a damn when I know in my HEART that success doesn’t come by following damn RULES or a WORKSHEET and that you have to FIGURE THAT SHIT OUT YOURSELF.
I am here to SUPPORT you in doing that.
I am here to CONFRONT you if necessary.
I am here to show you that if you want WHATEVER you want you can HAVE it but YOU are going to have to learn how to MAKE it work for you.
So I can teach systems and I can teach what works for me and I can teach the strategies and principles I follow but you will never – NEVER – see me teaching a one size fits all follow this ridiculous PLAN approach to success.
I could go on and on all day here, and in fact I almost WELCOME the opportunity to do so in a more public setting! I WILL fight for what I believe in. I will NEVER back down. I will NEVER allow something like MONEY or the fear of what people THINK to make me turn away from my PRINCIPLES.
And I also WILL publish all this on B School, and everywhere else I can, including what you think of me. Might as well stand by my WORD, right.
And all seriousness.
I wish you the BEST.
That is NOT sarcasm.
You can take it how you like.
I seriously question whether the right thing for you on a soul level is to invest your energy, time and hatred / frustration / whatever it is in trying to prove to the world what a bad person I am.
If I’m wrong and that is TRULY what you need in order to feel like you can move on from this, then far be it from me to try and take that away from you.
But I can tell you this-
MY truth, will prevail for me.
It will prevail for my community.
It will prevail for those who believe what I believe.
It will prevail for those I am born to teach, to lead, and to guide.
And everybody else?
Can go take a long walk off a short cliff. I’m not here to change the world. But I am here to go all out for those who need my message.
Over and out.”
Here’s the thing lovely.
Being in business? Going BIG? Making a ton of money AND a ton of difference? SOME PEOPLE WON’T LIKE YOU.
Some will think you are SCAMMING them even.
I’ve seen this happen – ALWAYS behind the scenes – with MANY of my super successful buddies.
IT’S TIME TO SPEAK OUT ABOUT THIS SHIT.
I will NOT hide and be scared by people threatening me the very IDEA of me changing who I AM and what I BELIEVE because of the threat of MONEY and what people think just makes my blood boil.
So I’m coming OUT.
I’m sharing it ALL.
I will CONTINUE to do so.
In that vein I think I will ALSO begin sharing the many many awesome thank you messages I get each day! Why the hell not?! Not very fun to just share the hater one, right?!
Don’t be afraid.
When you stand in your truth and you know who you are then you stand UP for that truth.
EVEN UNDER FIRE.
EVEN THROUGH TORMENT.
Even though it might make you look like a FOOL.
I’ll be a fool for what I believe in any day of the week, and twice on Sundays.
I hope you’ll join me.
Life is Now. Press Play.