How To Prevent Customers Taking Advantage Of Business Generosity

Written By Alla Levin
February 15, 2024

How To Prevent Customers Taking Advantage Of Business Generosity

You may not associate a for-profit business with generosity, but of course, generosity is not always without motive. For example, a company might offer a one-month free trial for their services, enabling subscribers to check out the value on offer without necessarily being tied to a contract or repeated monthly fee.

Perhaps you also offer an introductory discount code for a user’s first order or waive signup fees where appropriate. You might even give them a discounted first-month sub price if they cancel their free trial, offering the goodwill of giving you another shot.

But what if your customers take your approach for granted, and perhaps even abuse your systems to maximize the free value they gain? It’s not always easy to determine if customers are account hopping if they’ve put in false complaints for compensation by your support system or, as the Federal Trade Commission report shows if they’re engaging in “friendly fraud” through chargebacks.

How should your business respond in these circumstances? In this post, we’ll discuss how to prevent customers from taking advantage of business generosity:

Establish Clear Policies & Guidelines

Ultimately, you can’t direct a certain outcome or action if you’ve failed to clarify these expectations in your policies and customer guidelines. That might involve a free trial only remaining per household or per account, and that abuse of the system can lead to account closure.

You might also ban accounts that process chargebacks or reserve the right to close accounts for abusive people in your discussion forum, after a full refund of their account balance. When you have a clear structure, you can move forward without worry.

Monitor Customer Behavior For Patterns

It’s wise to use automated systems that can help ban fraud. So for example, if too many requests are sent to a specific IP address in your account creation process, or if a bank account is being used too many times for disparate accounts, you can block actions like taking out a free trial or using discount codes.

If you notice an undue number of product returns, complaints, or difficulties (like a customer continually suggesting they’ve lost out on deliveries from different accounts to similar addresses), then this can be a problem. At the very least, it will inspire you to inspect further.

Review Your Generous Approaches

It’s important to review whatever customer-first approach you’re taking from time to time. It’s okay if you make adjustments. Perhaps you’ll alter the length of a former free trial, or if you offer refunds in all cases as opposed to just the most valid depending on the use of the account.

It’s also good to make it clear when you deny certain requests. For example, if someone pays for your service, makes use of a promotion for another company you nestle within that, and then refunds their payment with a request, you’re well within your gates to deny that and review accounts that do this in the future.

With this advice, you’re certain to prevent customers from taking advantage of business generosity and move forward with further clarity as a result.

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