Our goal as a company is to be profitable and although that may seem like something that is out of our control we can all contribute to it.

As agents we can help reach this goal by approaching refunds in a more strategic manner.  

This course will help us learn about our refund guidelines.

Refunds Background

How many refunds do we process?

Below is a chart displaying how many refund requests we did per month in the Summer of 2016. We can see that there was an increase and that refunds peaked in September 2016 with almost 1,000 refund requests. 

How do refund guidelines helped decrease this?

Refund Guidelines

We launched refund guidelines towards the end of November 2016 and we can see a significant and consistent decrease in refund request for the rest of the months after. 

Summer 2016 - Summer 2017 Refunds

The graphs on the previous pages provided us with a visual and below we can see how drastically refund request have decreased after the September 2016 spike.

Refund Request Breakdown

How do I affect this number?

Everyone plays a part in our refunds. If you think about every time you offer to recall an order and provide a refund charging or waiving the restocking fee, those are all refund request. Below is a compiled list of our October 2016 refund request broken down by agents. We are all one team and although we work independently on tickets the amount of refunds we all do add up so it is important that we do our part in reducing refunds. For October 2016 we had a total of 628 refund request combined

Putting Your Knowledge to the Test

  • We had our highest amount of refund request during the month of September
  • Our company goal is to reach profitability & we can all contribute to reach it
  • Tickets are worked on individually so my refund request do not affect the teams numbers
  • The purpose of this course is to learn about our refund guidelines

Refund Guidelines

Guidelines Purpose

The purpose of refund guidelines & when they should be implemented? 

The purpose of guidelines around refunds is to align our team with our company wide goal of profitability. We all take part in this and by creating guidelines it helps us as a team be more in sync and in turn benefits the company as a whole. These guidelines are for all agents to follow when having an interaction with a member, wether it be via chat, email or phone. 

Guidelines Overview

Agents do not have the option to widely offer refunds, there are limited scenarios in which they can be offered and we will go into detail throughout this lesson. Listed below is an overview of our refund guidelines: 

  1. Unwanted Orders 
  2. Lost or Outdated Address Orders Guidelines
  3. Missing or Damaged Bottle(s) 
  4. Exceptions for Refunds that can be Offered
  5. Paypal Canceled Orders 
  6. Chargebacks
  7. Who to Submit Refund Request to

Unwanted Orders Guidelines

Unwanted orders

  • When a customer does not want an order that has shipped out these are the options that can be offered by agents: 
    • keep it as their last order (if canceling)

    • skipping the following month to offset the cost (if intending to keep membership)

    • refuse package  (plus restock fee or waived only if approved by lead) 

      • if they decide to refuse the package for a refund we MUST let them know that a refund is contingent on the wines returning back to our warehouse if delivered & signed for the refund is forfeited

      • We should always leave refusal as the LAST option and prior to a credit card refund we should offer a refund in credits to their winc account (if keeping membership) 

Team Leads will have the ability to approve refunds depending on the situation and it will be up to their discretion

Lost or Outdated Address Orders Guidelines

Lost or Outdated Address Orders

For orders that were delivered to an old address or potentially stolen these are the options that agents can provide the member that do not require a team leads approval:

  • We can offer a reship to their new address/FedEx location/ safer address
  • We can offer a full refund in credits to apply to their next order
  • If a customer request refund to credit card this will have to be approved by a Team Lead prior to confirming that the request can be done

It is important to note that it's the customers responsibility to update their shipping address if they move. If they forget to update their address this does not warrant a full refund to their credit card. 

Missing or Damaged Bottles Guidelines

Missing or Damaged Bottles

For orders that arrive with damaged bottles (broken or corked) or are missing a bottle(s) these are the options agents can provide them with:

  • Credit account for damaged/ missing bottle
  • Refund their credit card on file for damaged/ missing bottle 
    • Only to be offered when they refuse the credit to their Winc account or have a canceled account. 
    • Only to be offered when a bottle arrives broken or if a bottle is missing upon receiving the order. 
    • This does not apply to bottles that they disliked, are “damaged” because missing foil capsule, or if the member broke the bottle themselves

Refund Exception Guidelines

Exceptions for Refund Request that can be submitted 

Refund request can only be submitted without a Team Leads approval if it's any of the following reasons:

  1. Previous agent did not cancel the account and there is a ticket displaying that a cancel was promised and an agent did not complete the account cancellation

    • Case notes must detail the original ticket in which they should have been canceled 

    • We keep a record of which agents are not following through with cancellations 

  2. Order is en route back to our warehouse and member would like refund in Winc credits

  3. Order is en route back to our warehouse and we are refunding them & charging the restocking fee 

In both 2 & 3 above refund request should only be submitted when an order   is shown as “returning to sender”. We should very rarely process RTS's however if that is the case the agent must mention to the customer that it is a request and if failed to refuse no refund will be processed 

Paypal Canceled Orders Guidelines

Paypal Canceled Orders 

What is a paypal canceled order? It is an order with paypal as the payment method, which was successfully canceled via the committed order follow-up sheet and needs a refund (if charge has settled). 

  • committed order follow-up sheet: google doc in which agents add order(s) that a customer is requesting to cancel and a Team Lead follows up in our warehouse system to check if it can still be canceled 
  • If the order can still be canceled it should be fully canceled in 1425, but we need to make sure to always check under that specific orders Histories --> Transaction History to see if the charge was also voided or if it had settled already 
  • If charge appears "settled", but the order was successfully canceled we need to submit a refund request and the case notes should detail that it is a canceled order from the committed order follow-up sheet 

Chargeback Guidelines


A chargeback is essentially when a customer disputes a charge with their bank or paypal. Chargebacks are currently exclusively handled by Jewel, but if you see that an account has been canceled in 1425 and it displays chargeback as the reason this is why. Reasons for chargebacks can range from fraudulent charge to being unaware of subscription and wanting a full refund. We do try and win as many chargebacks as possible however sometimes we do lose the dispute and therefore have to provide the customer with a refund. Chargebacks that require a refund will need a refund request ticket created for it so that it can live in their ZD history. 

Who to Submit Refund Request To

With our new refund guidelines in place refunds will be split amongst Adriana & Leslie as follows. Please make sure to submit all refund request to the appropriate team member and if you have any questions on whom to submit a particular refund request to you can always reach out to your team lead. 


  • Paypal canceled orders 
  • Chargebacks
  • All other request that have been approved by a Team Lead


  • Returned orders 
  • Damaged/ Missing orders 
  • Damaged/ Missing bottles

Winc Credit Guidelines

Winc Credits

What is the purpose of credits?

Credits serve many purposes within a members account, some are for first time order discounts, some are for waived shipping when they buy 4+ bottles and there is also our Satisfaction Guarantee which is the thumbs down on each wine and gives credits.

As agents one can also apply discount credits manually to a members account however this should be kept to a limit and only when necessary. 

Winc Credits Guidelines

When credits should not be offered

  • They are not to be offered as an alternative for receiving an unwanted order
    • ex: if they signed for a order they forgot to skip and do not want it we should not offer credits 
  • Not to be offered as a save tactic, this qualifies as a bad faith save 
    • ex: If a customer wants to cancel we should not be offering credits to keep them
  • Not to be offered when they think wines are good just not for them or not enough variety 

Winc Credits Guidelines

When credits should be offered

  • They can be offered when a customer has experienced a shipping issue & member is upset we can provide 9 credits
    • ex: FedEx not attempting delivery
  • General error caused by either our service or FedEx we can provide anywhere from 9 or 13 credits
    • ex: received a white wine, but in 1425 order displays all reds
  • Form of Satisfaction Guarantee when they mention disliking a specific bottle 
    • ex: dislike Alma Libre so we can thumbs down the bottle in the order

Overall credits should only be offered when there is an error caused on our end wether it be on the warehouse end or within the system. Satisfaction Guarantee is something we do offer to all members, but we should not overly apply credits to accounts. It is important to not overcompensate by offering credits when they should not be offered. This is a metric that we check so only apply them when applicable and use good judgement. 

Winc Credits Question

  • If a member receives an order with an incorrect bottle that is not listed in their 1425 order history we should credit them
  • If a member receives an order because they forgot to skip we should credit their account for the inconvenience
  • If a member finds all the wines good not great they qualify for Satisfaction Guarantee and we should credit them
  • If a member is upset and mentions they were home when FedEx attempted delivery and now have to go pick up the package we should credit them for the shipping

Refund Guidelines Quiz

Unwanted Order Question

We receive the following email from a customer: 

"I just got an email that a $50 order is on the way-but I didn't order it! Please cancel immediately-not only did I not order it, but I'm traveling for the next month and won't be there to receive the package. The next month is okay, but this month needs to get canceled!" 

After pulling up their account we see they have had 3 orders with us and this would have been their 4th. They've never had any returns with us and by the email plan on keeping their account. What solution should we provide?

  • Offer to refund them in full and they can keep the wine
  • offer to recall the package and charge restocking fee
  • offer to recall the package and to waive the restocking fee once it's returned

Unwanted Order Question

  • Member signed for a 4 pack of wines, but they want a refund
    solution: they can return it to us at their own expense and we can process a refund
  • Member signed for a 12 pack of wines, but they want a refund
    solution: We can create a return label for them and refund them minus the restocking fee once it is returned
  • Member's order is in transit and they want us to cancel it as well as their account
    solution: They can keep it as their last order and if that doesn't work they can refuse it upon delivery and be charged the restocking fee once returned

Unwanted Order Question

When a customer wants to refuse an order for a refund (restock fee applied or waived) what following things should be mentioned? Select all that apply. 

  • RTS request are not confirmed
  • Order must be refused upon attempted delivery
  • If the order is not returned to our warehouse we will not be processing any refund

Unwanted Order Question

A member emails us the following message: 

"Hi, I have ordered wine with you in the past, but I did not order another shipment of 3 wines, and did not want to spend that money. I would like to cancel that last order and get a refund please! Thank you!" 

List the steps that should be taken in the correct order. 

  • Locate account in 1425 & check order status (i.e authorized, committed, shipped)
  • If in authorized cancel order and verify that charge has voided
  • If in committed add to the committed follow-up order sheet to see if it can be canceled
  • If order has shipped out we will need to email the member with some solutions
  • We can offer to have them keep it as their last order and/or skip them for the following month
  • We can offer to have them refuse it if they would like a refund minus the restocking fee
  • If order gets delivered they can ship it back to us at their own expense for a refund

Lost or Outdated Address Orders Question

If an order is lost in transit the first thing we should offer the customer is a refund 

  • True
  • False

Lost or Outdated Address Orders Question

If an order is delivered & stolen we should offer to reship the order 

  • True
  • False

Lost or Outdated Address Orders Question

If the customer forgot to update their address and their order was delivered we should offer to refund them 

  • True
  • False

Missing or Damaged Bottles Question

  • If a customer drops their bottle of wine
    solution: credit their account as a courtesy
  • If a bottle is missing in their order & account is canceled
    solution: refund their credit card
  • Customer receives a broken bottle in their order
    solution: credit their account and if they don't agree to that we can refund their credit card

Exceptions for Refund Request Question

If a customer reaches out to us about receiving an order after being canceled out these are the following steps we should take: 

  1. Locate account in both ZenDesk and  
  2. Apologize to the customer for the inconvenience 
  3. Locate in ZenDesk which shows that they did chat or call in to cancel and verify the cancellation date along with the order process date
  4. If the cancellation ticket was prior to the order process date, it is clear that he account was not properly canceled out 
  5. Check the status of the and if it can be RTS or if it has already been delivered and take action
  6. Regardless of the order status we will need to refund that customer for that order since the cancellation ticket was prior to the order going out
  7. This refund will need to  

Exceptions for Refund Request Question

  • If an order shipped out on an account that should have been previously canceled and there is a ZD ticket showing this a refund can be processed regardless if delivered or returned
  • If an order is still in transit to the customer we cannot process any sort of refund until the order is in transit back to us

Paypal Canceled Orders Question

When a paypal order is successfully canceled and in the transaction history you see that the charge settled what do you do?

  • Check with a team lead to see if the charge can be refunded
  • create a refund request ticket & include detailed case notes

Who to Submit Refund Request To Question

Drag and drop the following refunds over the team member the should be assigned to: 

  • 1. Chargebacks
  • 2. Paypal Canceled Orders
  • 3. Refund exceptions approved by a Team Lead
  • 2. Missing / Damaged Bottles
  • 1. Returned orders
  • 3. Missing/ Damaged Orders