How to Write and Send a Refund Request Letter

Claudia Diaz - Demand Letter - November 15, 2022

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Most businesses have set refund policies that allow people to request a refund within a specific timeframe. However, these days most of us rely on e-commerce websites like Amazon, eBay, etc. The request process may not be so straightforward in situations involving online purchases. Or even if you go to a physical store and ask for a refund sometimes the store refuses to honor its refund policy. If you end up in any of these situations, consider contacting the seller by sending a refund request letter. In this article, we discuss how to write a refund request letter, what to include in the letter, and provide a sample demand letter for a refund.  

Need help writing a refund request letter? Use our free tool

Common Reasons to Send a Refund Request Letter

Unsure of when to send a refund request letter? Here are some common reasons we have seen: 

  • A business billed for an item you never received.

  • You received an item that was damaged or defective. 

  • The item the business sent you was not what you ordered.

  • The service or product the business provided was not satisfactory.

  • You paid a contractor or mechanic for work they never did. 

  • The auto repair shop improperly repaired your car.  

Why is a Refund Request Letter Important?

A refund request letter is a written request for the return of payment for products or services. A well-crafted refund demand letter can be a useful tool if you are having problems with a business. For example, if the business refuses to honor its refund policy even though they have delivered a damaged product you can send them a refund request letter. 

Here are some reasons to first send a refund demand letter to a business before taking legal action:  

  1. Depending on the state you are filing a lawsuit in, you may be required to demand payment from the business before filing. For example, in California, small claims court demanding payment is a requirement. Some small claims courts want to see that you reached out to the business before filing a lawsuit. The easiest way to do this is by sending a refund request demand letter. 

  2. A demand letter signals to the business that you are serious about getting your money back and you are willing to take action. 

  3. Sending a written refund demand letter assures you there is a record of your attempt to seek payment. So while requests for refunds can be made orally, we recommend making any offers in writing. Writing a letter can sometimes be very effective as it is a more formal way of making a request. 

  4. The most important reason to send a demand letter is that it may lead to you getting your money back quickly and efficiently!  

Do I Need to Hire an Attorney to Write a Refund Request Letter?  

Many of our clients ask us if their letter requesting a refund needs to be written by an attorney. There is no formal requirement that states you need an attorney to write your refund demand letter, you can do it on your own. Further, it may be hard to find an attorney to write a refund demand letter for you because an attorney may not be willing to take on a case that might settle easily. Ultimately, the decision to hire an attorney or not is up to you. 

What to Include in Your Refund Request Letter

Unsure of what to include in your letter? Below we have included suggestions on the most important things to include in your refund request letter. Always make sure the letter is addressed to the business that sold you a product or provided a service. For the most part, the letter should include basic details about the transaction, the reason why the refund is sought, and expectations for repayment.

Here are a few suggestions of what to include in your refund request letter:

  • Include details about the transaction. For example, if you paid for services not rendered and are now asking for a refund make sure to include an invoice from the business for the services.   

  • Explain why you are seeking a refund, but make sure that your reason falls within the refund policy. For example, was the product defective and if so does the business’s refund policy allow refunds for defective products? 

  • Include your contact information so that the business can reach you in case they would like to accept your refund request. The best way to communicate with a business is in writing, include an email address along with any other form of communication you are comfortable with. 

  • Include where you would like to receive payment. If you paid for the product or service with a credit card consider asking the business to refund the balance to the credit card you used to make the initial transaction. 

  • Attach other documents that may be necessary and could be used as evidence later in case of legal action. For example, a receipt for the item or an invoice from the business for services rendered. 

  • Include a deadline to respond to you. You may want to consider giving the business 14 days to respond to you and state that if they do not respond within that time, you intend to sue them. 

Once you have sent a refund request letter, keep it in your records. In the event, you do end up filing a small claims lawsuit you can bring it to the hearing and show it to the judge. This is especially handy if the business states they didn't receive the letter.

People Clerk has a free demand letter tool you can use.

Refund Request Letter Sample 

Below is an example of a refund request letter. This sample refund letter involves someone requesting a refund of their initial money payment. When using this sample replace those facts with facts from your situation and insert the relevant information. For example, if you are requesting a refund for services not rendered you can still use this sample letter just make sure to insert the correct corresponding details. 

Looking for a different type of demand letter? Check out our other demand letter articles.

How to Send a Refund Request Letter

We recommend sending your demand letter via email or mail. For letters that you mail, consider the following:

  • Tracking. Make sure to track your demand letter. With tracking, you will know if the letter reached the business or not. 

  • Signature Required. You are not required to add a signature request when sending a demand letter for a refund. When you send a letter with a signature request, the postal carrier must hand-deliver the letter and someone must sign the letter. 

Once the post office attempts delivery 2-3 times, the post office returns the letter to the sender as "undeliverable." A signature-required mailing is a good option when you are sending a refund demand letter to a business that is open during regular delivery hours.

What To Do If the Refund Request Letter Doesn't Work?

If you sent a business a refund request letter and do not receive a response, you may want to consider suing them in small claims court.  Small claims courts handle a variety of cases at a low cost. This is because small claims courts were intended to be affordable and user-friendly. In some small claims courts, attorneys are not even allowed to represent you! Consider filing a small claims lawsuit if a business refuses to provide you with a refund.  


Learn how to file a lawsuit against a business in NYC small claims and California small claims.

Author

Claudia Diaz

Legal Educator @ People Clerk. Claudia is a lawyer and certified mediator in New York and Florida. She has participated in dozens of small claims mediations in New York City courts

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