Welcome to another edition of the Fine Print, which highlights some of the scary wording that’s buried at the bottom of your customer agreements. This week’s feature is truly frightening: the merchant is making a thinly-veiled threat to prosecute you if it thinks that you’re asking for a frivolous refund.
The merchant doesn’t outline any criteria for why you’d receive a refund. Instead, it simply says that it takes the requests “very seriously” and you should contact customer service so your request can be handled on a case-by-case basis.
Lack of criteria (which means lack of accountability) is frustrating enough, but the Fine Print turns downright scary when the merchant notes that an “unnecessary chargeback” is a criminal offense that can be prosecuted.
The merchant continues to emphasize this point, noting that any frivilous refund request is a violation of its website’s terms of service and can be pursued by the Internet Crimes Bureau. If you “choose to claim” that you were the victim of a fraudulent purchase, it says, it will track down your IP address and pursue the claim in a “civil and criminal case against a customer.” Yikes!
Language like that makes me inclined to not bother asking for a refund, out of fear that I might go to jail for making the request. Which, I suppose, is exactly the response that the merchant intended.
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