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    Absolutely disgusted by Marketplace refund policy

    Over the last year I have spent many hundreds of euros on the Marketplace. I think its an excellent resource for indie devs like myself. Over that time I have found a use for nearly every asset I bought from the store until last Saturday. I bought a pack, I won't mention which one because thats not the point of this rant and it wouldn't work with the VR project I am working on. I had another similar pack that did so I stuck with that and only a few hours after buying the other pack I requested a refund for the one that wouldn't work for my project. This was the response I got from someone called <removed: violated rules and code of conduct>.

    <removed: violated rules and code of conduct>

    To say that this was a slap across the face is an understatement. After all the money I had spent on the marketplace to be denied a refund for something that was only around €25 made me feel very under valued as a customer. I could care less about the money. This is about the fact that I can not in good conscience spend another penny on the marketplace ever again (which I am sure would have been many more hundreds) if this is how Epic treats its customers.

    Now before you think this is a you will be sorry because I will never spend any more money on your services again post then you couldn't be more wrong. I'm not naive, I know that Epic could not give a flying F*^k if I ever spend another penny on the marketplace ever again. No the only person this is going to hurt is me but as I said there is no way I could support the Marketplace if this is how little Epic care about their customers.
    Last edited by Adam Davis; 06-21-2016, 09:48 AM.

    #2
    Since there is no real form of DRM on the content from the Marketplace, they basically have to stick to this "only if there is an error or it's misrepresented"-policy. Otherwise you would have tons of dishonest people who would purchase an item, copy the contents and then request refunds on the grounds that it wasn't what they wanted.

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      #3
      I agree, that there needs to be some other way for refunds to happen. Or maybe some other way to view content on the Marketplace before we buy. Like for example a packaged product or at least something at all....
      Going on screenshots and text and maybe a video is kinda useless. you're buying blind even with said SS, videos, ect.

      (i have spent hundreds of dollars too) My problem is that, when you buy something and if it won't work for your project you have to "suck it up" and accept that you wasted money. which imo is ********. there is absolutely no reason to deny someone a refund. Especially when it flat-out doesn't work for your project. I mean, im going to be sending in a few plugins to the marketplace myself and i don't want people to own my product because the tos says so. They should own it because they want it.... not because they bought it and now have to own it because they cannot get a refund. It's total ********. and a major reason i have yet to submit anything to epic yet.




      Originally posted by pbarnhardt View Post
      Since there is no real form of DRM on the content from the Marketplace, they basically have to stick to this "only if there is an error or it's misrepresented"-policy. Otherwise you would have tons of dishonest people who would purchase an item, copy the contents and then request refunds on the grounds that it wasn't what they wanted.
      To me this is a non-issue, they will be breaking the law if they do so. Therefore legal action can be taken easily.
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        #4
        It is understandable that you would like to get a refund for an item that does not fit your project needs, just keep in mind that epic have to look after both the buyer and the seller here. The marketplace is more or less a platform maintained and moderated by epic, most of the content is developed by people outside of that, which is why the refund policy is in place.

        Buying and item means that you as a buyer have agreed to purchase a product which you have evaluated prior to the purchase and would come to your own conclusion whether it suits your own project. If you are unsure, then its the sellers responsibility to answer or inform you whether it could meet your requirements. If the product does not meet your needs based off information, descriptions, marketing content, sellers response, etc, then you have more then a right to make ask for a refund and state why and where it fell short.

        From the sellers perspective, they are not selling a demo (maybe some do in other shapes or forms ) and if everyone purchased then asked for a refund it would break the integrity of the marketplace. Like pbarnhardt mentioned, protecting the content from people who can (and probably have) bought the asset then copied, distributed, then asked for a refund on top of all that can be very challenging which is one of the reasons they need to be strict with how the policy works, for everyone.

        Making an exception here and there would not ground Epics policy and would even turn developers off creating marketplace content up if users will constantly ask for a refund. The policy isn't really new or that special. If you go to a grocery shop and buy some food, then get home, open it then realize you dont like the taste, then its unlikely you will be able to get a refund. If you open it up and its moldy, then you have a much higher chance to get a replacement or a refund.

        The difference here is between the quality of the product vs the product information given to the buyer.

        Most of the content is also produced by indie developers, and we all defiantly dont want to buy anything that doesn't meet our needs. What is given to you is mostly on the sellers side, but Epic's marketplace is a means for us all to distribute, share, and support content within the community, like many other platforms with similar policies in place.
        CCG Toolkit | Mutliplayer Card Game Framework: On the Marketplace | Support Thread

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          #5
          As [MENTION=219289]pro[/MENTION]totype6143 said, this is done to protect both sides of the transaction. Epic is merely the shopholder here, whilst the content is made almost entirely by other devs like yourself.

          Without knowing the specific pack, it's hard to really comment the validity of requesting a refund, but if the pack is not labelled as working with VR in the marketplace page, then the seller has done nothing wrong here and that would be why Epic aren't issuing a refund. It's just an unfortunate result of there not really being a 'VR' checkbox when we select platforms. If the seller had clearly stated it works with VR platforms, then you would get a refund more or less instantly, but it's important to remember you aren't dealing with AAA companies or anything here, you are dealing with other indie developers.

          I'm sure if you contact the content creator, they will at least attempt to help you resolve your issue (if they are able - sadly most of us don't have VR headsets yet haha). If not, then someone in this lovely community should be able to point you in the right direction

          Comment


            #6
            If you buy a movie at Target and watch it and don't like it, you don't get a refund.
            If you buy a book on Amazon and read it and don't like it, you don't get a refund.
            Why would the marketplace be any different?
            Some content is ****. To figure that out, you either wait for the reviews to start showing up, or you take a chance.
            It's just like a book with a cover, or a movie with a plot summary: You don't really know what you're getting, and that's part of the bargain!

            Comment


              #7
              The closest apples to apples comparison would be the Unity Asset Store which would also deny you a refund in this instance. As others have mentioned it essentially has to be this way because of DRM and those that would abuse the store in reverse.

              That being said Unity would allow you to contact the seller and if the seller is ok with it then you would be issued a refund (plus that helps a direct conversation that may get the product updated). It doesn't always go the way of the customer but a lot of times it does since obviously if not refunded you can expect the customer to give out a low star review which for much publishers is more important than the small sum of money. I would think if Epic wants to they could do the same.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by tcla75 View Post
                I won't mention which one because thats not the point of this rant and it wouldn't work with the VR project I am working on.
                Is there a support thread for the pack?
                Or a way to contact the vendor directly?

                Originally posted by greggtwep16 View Post
                That being said Unity would allow you to contact the seller and if the seller is ok with it then you would be issued a refund (plus that helps a direct conversation that may get the product updated). It doesn't always go the way of the customer but a lot of times it does since obviously if not refunded you can expect the customer to give out a low star review which for much publishers is more important than the small sum of money. I would think if Epic wants to they could do the same.
                Some vendors do opt to give refunds once they're notified.
                Example here... So would you consider doing a video review?

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by franktech View Post
                  Some vendors do opt to give refunds once they're notified.
                  Example here... So would you consider doing a video review?
                  I'm not the original poster so don't have a stake here, but in general unless I was really upset no, I would simply use the ratings/comments built into the storefront. It's generally more effective since it's seen right before purchase.

                  As far as the link, vendors can obviously always directly refund but there then comes into play the problem of Epic's 30% if you aren't doing it through them. The process I was referring to with Unity is actually through them but requiring the publishers approval so that you don't actually lose money doing the refund. Also, it's generally better to do it officially anyways since you can check the invoice number first.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by SaxonRah View Post

                    To me this is a non-issue, they will be breaking the law if they do so. Therefore legal action can be taken easily.
                    No, [MENTION=30636]pbarnhardt[/MENTION] is absolutely correct this was/is a pretty significant issue. This common occurrence is what led to the existing refund policy because sellers kept noticing multiple refunds for products. Even now though, the marketplace staff isn't consistent in enforcing their current refund policy because we still sometimes have unexplained refunds that pop up without any notification at all. I recently went through a case where a buyer was trying to come up with multiple excuses that changed on every encounter just so they could receive a refund. This sort of behavior only serves to dissuade developers from selling their content here. There is already another loophole that I won't go into for obvious reasons that has caused me to put a halt to submitting any further products myself, as it is being ignored by the staff.

                    Originally posted by apoisonedgift View Post
                    As [MENTION=219289]pro[/MENTION]totype6143 said, this is done to protect both sides of the transaction. Epic is merely the shopholder here, whilst the content is made almost entirely by other devs like yourself.

                    Without knowing the specific pack, it's hard to really comment the validity of requesting a refund, but if the pack is not labelled as working with VR in the marketplace page, then the seller has done nothing wrong here and that would be why Epic aren't issuing a refund. It's just an unfortunate result of there not really being a 'VR' checkbox when we select platforms. If the seller had clearly stated it works with VR platforms, then you would get a refund more or less instantly, but it's important to remember you aren't dealing with AAA companies or anything here, you are dealing with other indie developers.

                    I'm sure if you contact the content creator, they will at least attempt to help you resolve your issue (if they are able - sadly most of us don't have VR headsets yet haha). If not, then someone in this lovely community should be able to point you in the right direction
                    Well said. Many people don't bother to read the description of the products they buy. If the product [MENTION=50701]tcla75[/MENTION] bought didn't explicitly state VR support, then he/she has no grounds for a refund. Epic requires sellers to label which platforms our content was tested on. Even though for example there shouldn't be any reason my content doesn't work on a Mac, I can only list Windows as supported because that was the only platform I have tested my content packs on. The same goes for everyone else submitting to the marketplace. If in doubt, ask the seller. I had someone inquire about VR with my product before and I explained to him just what I did above. Platform support means I tested it on x platform. Just because it isn't listed doesn't mean it won't work, but it hasn't been officially tested so isn't guaranteed to. That buyer ended up getting my product and his integration seemed to work flawlessly. But different products differ.

                    Originally posted by greggtwep16 View Post
                    The closest apples to apples comparison would be the Unity Asset Store which would also deny you a refund in this instance. As others have mentioned it essentially has to be this way because of DRM and those that would abuse the store in reverse.

                    That being said Unity would allow you to contact the seller and if the seller is ok with it then you would be issued a refund (plus that helps a direct conversation that may get the product updated). It doesn't always go the way of the customer but a lot of times it does since obviously if not refunded you can expect the customer to give out a low star review which for much publishers is more important than the small sum of money. I would think if Epic wants to they could do the same.
                    The UE4 marketplace requires a support email address for this very reason. A seller can choose to refund you even if it is outside of the established policy, that is their prerogative. However they aren't required to do so if your refund claim doesn't fall within the parameters of a justifiable refund. Leaving a bad rating/comment because you aren't able to secure a refund isn't allowed at all. That's pretty much extortion. The same individual I spoke of above who kept making up stories in order to get a refund did that with one of my packages, and the staff removed his rating and comment because of it's retaliatory nature.

                    I also think it's important to remember that as others have mentioned, there is no DRM on marketplace products. There has to be something to protect sellers from people who want buy a pack, move it's contents to another folder and then request a refund. As I mentioned before, this was very common before the policy was updated, and still happens to this day (albeit harder to do). Most digital products of any nature deny refunds for this very reason. If you implement a refund policy that is easily exploitable as was the first incarnation, then you will start to see many sellers opt out of using the UE4 marketplace to sell their products. What buyers need to do is read the descriptions of products they're interested in, check around the forums/reviews/elsewhere to see what's being said about it, and if in doubt contact the seller. I can't speak for others, but I am happy to answer any questions people may have about my products. I've even recommended other seller's works when I know mine might not be the best fit for what the potential buyer is asking.
                    Last edited by SE_JonF; 06-20-2016, 11:22 PM.


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                      #11
                      Originally posted by SE_JonF View Post
                      The UE4 marketplace requires a support email address for this very reason. A seller can choose to refund you even if it is outside of the established policy, that is their prerogative. However they aren't required to do so if your refund claim doesn't fall within the parameters of a justifiable refund. Leaving a bad rating/comment because you aren't able to secure a refund isn't allowed at all. That's pretty much extortion. The same individual I spoke of above who kept making up stories in order to get a refund did that with one of my packages, and the staff removed his rating and comment because of it's retaliatory nature.

                      I also think it's important to remember that as others have mentioned, there is no DRM on marketplace products. There has to be something to protect sellers from people who want buy a pack, move it's contents to another folder and then request a refund. As I mentioned before, this was very common before the policy was updated, and still happens to this day (albeit harder to do). Most digital products of any nature deny refunds for this very reason. If you implement a refund policy that is easily exploitable as was the first incarnation, then you will start to see many sellers opt out of using the UE4 marketplace to sell their products. What buyers need to do is read the descriptions of products they're interested in, check around the forums/reviews/elsewhere to see what's being said about it, and if in doubt contact the seller. I can't speak for others, but I am happy to answer any questions people may have about my products. I've even recommended other seller's works when I know mine might not be the best fit for what the potential buyer is asking.
                      As previously mentioned, having the pressure on the publisher to do so outside policy will neglect the 30% Epic cut. There should be a way for the seller to tell Epic to refund the whole thing so a loss doesn't occur, like what Unity does. This of course isn't mandatory for the publisher to do, but most publishers would rather not make a legitimate customer angry as long as abusing the system isn't involved. While I agree that bad apples will use the rating/review system as extortion there isn't a marketplace around that I know of that has solved this automatically, you just have to take the good with the bad. The bad apples are generally pretty easy to report at least in the Unity marketplace just hit the report button and the staff will review what information you have supplied them with. For everyone else that isn't abusing the system, if you aren't satisfied leaving star reviews and specific comments is one of the most critical things in a healthy marketplace.

                      As far as the official policy that doesn't include a publisher volunteering a refund, yes of course anything with source has to have a no refund policy once downloaded. Accidental double purchases, and other out-liers I can understand and it would be nice to have Epic provide a system of invoice checking and a status to see if the user has downloaded and what versions which could help, similar to what Unity does.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by greggtwep16 View Post
                        As previously mentioned, having the pressure on the publisher to do so outside policy will neglect the 30% Epic cut. There should be a way for the seller to tell Epic to refund the whole thing so a loss doesn't occur, like what Unity does. This of course isn't mandatory for the publisher to do, but most publishers would rather not make a legitimate customer angry as long as abusing the system isn't involved. While I agree that bad apples will use the rating/review system as extortion there isn't a marketplace around that I know of that has solved this automatically, you just have to take the good with the bad. The bad apples are generally pretty easy to report at least in the Unity marketplace just hit the report button and the staff will review what information you have supplied them with. For everyone else that isn't abusing the system, if you aren't satisfied leaving star reviews and specific comments is one of the most critical things in a healthy marketplace.

                        As far as the official policy that doesn't include a publisher volunteering a refund, yes of course anything with source has to have a no refund policy once downloaded. Accidental double purchases, and other out-liers I can understand and it would be nice to have Epic provide a system of invoice checking and a status to see if the user has downloaded and what versions which could help, similar to what Unity does.
                        All refunds are handled through the marketplace staff. The method employed for countering the 30% loss is to limit the window in which you can refund an item, IRC it is a week or two after purchase. That way the money earned wasn't paid out, and can be subtracted if necessary. What you're proposing is very little good and a whole lot of bad. It gives zero protection to the seller, and I can tell you without a doubt if the marketplace returns to that policy I will be forced to remove my products and I know I probably wouldn't be the only one. We already have enough with external piracy, we shouldn't have to be subjected to random refunds for reasons that are beyond our control or nonexistent because a buyer wants to get a free package.

                        No one is denying that reviews and ratings are critical to the marketplace experience. However your suggestion that you leave a bad rating/comment if your refund claim isn't justifiable in accordance with the existing policy and is subsequently denied is essentially extortion. Having dealt with that situation personally, I can tell you the marketplace staff takes that very seriously.

                        The official policy doesn't explicitly state a seller can request a refund, but it doesn't mean that we can't. I've seen some sellers who opted to give refunds even though the claims weren't within the policy's parameters. As far as I'm aware Epic does have a system in place which does that, however it is exclusive to them. UE4 Marketplace sellers are given very little information in comparison with other marketplaces.


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                          #13
                          Originally posted by tcla75 View Post
                          Over the last year I have spent many hundreds of euros on the Marketplace. I think its an excellent resource for indie devs like myself. Over that time I have found a use for nearly every asset I bought from the store until last Saturday. I bought a pack, I won't mention which one because thats not the point of this rant and it wouldn't work with the VR project I am working on. I had another similar pack that did so I stuck with that and only a few hours after buying the other pack I requested a refund for the one that wouldn't work for my project. This was the response I got from someone called <removed>.
                          <removed>

                          To say that this was a slap across the face is an understatement. After all the money I had spent on the marketplace to be denied a refund for something that was only around €25 made me feel very under valued as a customer. I could care less about the money. This is about the fact that I can not in good conscience spend another penny on the marketplace ever again (which I am sure would have been many more hundreds) if this is how Epic treats its customers.

                          Now before you think this is a you will be sorry because I will never spend any more money on your services again post then you couldn't be more wrong. I'm not naive, I know that Epic could not give a flying F*^k if I ever spend another penny on the marketplace ever again. No the only person this is going to hurt is me but as I said there is no way I could support the Marketplace if this is how little Epic care about their customers.

                          If the pack said it was VR compatible... then your post is totally valid and they screwed you. If it didn't you messed up. It's the way the policy is and for all the reasons above they stick with it.
                          I went and bought the key remapping BP asset... like literally a week later the quality menu guy went and implemented it into that pack which i already own... should I get a refund... I guess not. Do I want one? .. ya. This stuff happens.
                          If the pack wasn't mis-advertised and it functions as advertised you really dont have a basis for a refund. It sucks but its the truth. I bought a pack last year that just didnt work the way it should and i got a refund without issue.

                          That said, there is something to be had for spending hundreds/thousands on MP assets as a loyal customer. That should be taken into account... if you've spent that much you should be given some consideration. I'd feel entitled to it myself since I've also spent a lot of $$ on the MP. Kinda disappointing to hear that wasn't considered.

                          Side note: if you're trying to load up the demo map of whatever pack in your VR game and its coming up double vision or all wonky, its probably just their lighting/shadow issues. Create a new map and pop in some assets from it and then see if it works for you. You'll need to create your own maps this way but the assets aren't useless... if its a model pack you're talking about.
                          Last edited by Adam Davis; 06-21-2016, 10:05 AM.
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                            #14
                            Originally posted by SE_JonF View Post
                            Well said. Many people don't bother to read the description of the products they buy. If the product [MENTION=50701]tcla75[/MENTION] bought didn't explicitly state VR support, then he/she has no grounds for a refund. Epic requires sellers to label which platforms our content was tested on. Even though for example there shouldn't be any reason my content doesn't work on a Mac, I can only list Windows as supported because that was the only platform I have tested my content packs on.
                            I agree in principle, but I think part of the problem is that the marketplace frontend is still so unsatisfactory when it comes to giving customers the information and tools to make good decisions.

                            Supported Platforms, Intended Platforms and Tested Platforms. Really? And no formal definition anywhere of specifically what the terms mean.
                            Also, VR isn't a platform in the same sense as Windows, Mac, etc. If someone sees a product supports their platform, how are they to know that there even is an icon for VR, the omission of which means it's unsupported? Sure, it might be a good idea to contact the seller and ask, but it would make sense to have more clarity. VR Ready: Yes/No.

                            So many 5 star once-rated products on the marketplace. Seriously, how hard is it to prevent sellers from rating their own product? This has been brought up multiple times over months and months. As has the obvious suggestion of requiring some minimum number of ratings before displaying.

                            There should be an FAQ built into every product page, ideally with anyone being able to submit a question and seller receiving a notification, providing an answer and the FAQ being automatically updated. Currently everything goes in the comments and quickly gets lost among positive feedback and support issues that also shouldn't be in the comments.

                            There are heaps more key pieces of information that should be required of all submissions and presented in a consistent way. Network support for blueprint/code plugins is an obvious one, given how relevant it is to so many potential customers. The fact that, despite the length of time the marketplace has been around for now, product pages are still 90% a wall of unstructured text is hard to understand.

                            Difficulty in searching for the right product doesn't help either. Still no tags, the search only works on product title and brief description. Even the categories are badly thought out - why are Blueprints and Code Plugins categories? Customers want to find "a product that does X", not "a product that was implemented using X". Just mark it on the product page for anyone who might be concerned about future compatibility. Other than that, the distinction is entirely irrelevant.

                            I could go on, but meh.

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by kamrann View Post
                              I agree in principle, but I think part of the problem is that the marketplace frontend is still so unsatisfactory when it comes to giving customers the information and tools to make good decisions.

                              Supported Platforms, Intended Platforms and Tested Platforms. Really? And no formal definition anywhere of specifically what the terms mean.
                              Also, VR isn't a platform in the same sense as Windows, Mac, etc. If someone sees a product supports their platform, how are they to know that there even is an icon for VR, the omission of which means it's unsupported? Sure, it might be a good idea to contact the seller and ask, but it would make sense to have more clarity. VR Ready: Yes/No.

                              So many 5 star once-rated products on the marketplace. Seriously, how hard is it to prevent sellers from rating their own product? This has been brought up multiple times over months and months. As has the obvious suggestion of requiring some minimum number of ratings before displaying.

                              There should be an FAQ built into every product page, ideally with anyone being able to submit a question and seller receiving a notification, providing an answer and the FAQ being automatically updated. Currently everything goes in the comments and quickly gets lost among positive feedback and support issues that also shouldn't be in the comments.

                              There are heaps more key pieces of information that should be required of all submissions and presented in a consistent way. Network support for blueprint/code plugins is an obvious one, given how relevant it is to so many potential customers. The fact that, despite the length of time the marketplace has been around for now, product pages are still 90% a wall of unstructured text is hard to understand.

                              Difficulty in searching for the right product doesn't help either. Still no tags, the search only works on product title and brief description. Even the categories are badly thought out - why are Blueprints and Code Plugins categories? Customers want to find "a product that does X", not "a product that was implemented using X". Just mark it on the product page for anyone who might be concerned about future compatibility. Other than that, the distinction is entirely irrelevant.

                              I could go on, but meh.
                              Easy Input Remapping, a plugin that I have on the marketplace, does not show up when searching 'rebinding'. In the original description, that word was sitting next to a slash (No white space), and was not counted as it's own word... Marketplace still has a ways to go, but I feel like Epic is not giving them what they need...
                              Marketplace Assets

                              Advanced Mobile Input: Marketplace Page | Support Thread ――― Easy Input Remapping: Marketplace Page | Support Thread
                              Multiplayer Blueprint Chat System: Marketplace Page | Support Thread ――― Closing Credits System: Marketplace Page | Support Thread
                              Minesweeper Template: Marketplace Page | Support Thread ――― Maze Creator: Marketplace Page | Support Thread

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