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Gripe with asset store

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hippocoder, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Hi,

    Found out today that the only way you can get a refund on the asset store is to contact the author directly. This is the same as buying a can of beans that's defective from your local store then being told that you need to contact heinz or the manufacturer instead.

    It's currently the only store I've ever used that has this policy, and I think it's a little absurd, placing pressure on the purchaser to track down the author, argue and in some cases, avoid getting a refund due to fear of confrontation. I will be purchasing very carefully from this point.

    While I don't anticipate many problems, it is a valid gripe in my view.
     
    CharlieSamways likes this.
  2. lmbarns

    lmbarns

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    Where have you been? I bought an empty jar file as an android plugin for $50 and never heard back from the author.

    Same when assets are falsely advertised or it doesn't say "pro required" for a pro only asset, no refunds...

    Unity's own wording:
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  3. drewradley

    drewradley

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    I concur. It's a horrible return policy. So rather than an impartial-ish 3rd party doling out refunds, you need to ask the person who directly loses money. Sure Unity itself may lose a few bucks, quid, whatever, but the person making the decision does not.
     
  4. BrUnO-XaVIeR

    BrUnO-XaVIeR

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    I am still waiting for my 70$ back from that TTF crap that is still there...
     
  5. Amon

    Amon

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    7 Assets that I have bought which were over $70 each are now not available for me to download any more. When contacting the authors I get either no reply or their website and email are no longer online, as if they have disappeared off the face of the earth.

    One pack of models turned out to be an asset from Turbosquid which was free. So I know now that it was removed from the asset store for that reason. I wish they would have told me though, the asset store admins that is.
     
  6. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

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    Also if someone does remove an asset there's not really any way for them to tell their customers except maybe in a forum post that most won't see.
     
  7. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    It's the law in my country that you're entitled to a refund regardless if within a set amount of time if it's not fit for it's purpose. Still hasn't changed anything though...

    In any case I've decided not to bother with the refund. It's wasting more of my time than what the asset cost. It's a good asset - just it doesn't work on my target platform very well. Hardly the author's fault, but did merit a refund.

    So onto the improvements:

    - allow people who sell assets to have contact details of the person who bought it.
    - enforce contact details both ways.
    - take care of product refunds.

    I think that would improve matters. I bet a lot of asset authors cry out to be able to tell their customers the latest news but are unable to.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  8. QFS

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    And thats how slowly a company eventually paves the way to turn to S***. It stems from greed, and being anti-customer in favour of maximizing profits and deferring losses onto someone else except themselves.

    Old humble UT back in the day would never have made a policy like that, the new corporate powerhouse UT would.

    As more time goes by expect to see more and more of that type of thing because they have essentially lost control of the company and now must answer to investors and those demanding return on investment.
     
  9. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    OK hang on this isn't a Hate thread. It's just pointing out places the service can be improved from our points of view, no need to bring the pitchforks...
     
  10. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    It's nothing to do with "greed" or any of that. The reason is because of people selling assets complaining about people abusing refunds. So they changed the policy to what we have currently, which I'm not sure was really the correct solution (in fact I'm pretty sure it's not), but it's not due to wild claims of greed/corruption/etc.

    --Eric
     
  11. LaneFox

    LaneFox

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    Refunds should go through the Authors first, if denied or ignored within 7 days the Purchaser should be able to contest/escalate it to Unity. Unity could then auto-query the Author for an explanation, if no response within 7 days then auto-refund, otherwise the response would trigger a valid case to review for the refund with both parties already having provided a statement to review.

    Thats minimal overhead for Unity, retains the Authors authority and gives the Purchaser his rights.
     
  12. JamesLeeNZ

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    What a stupid comment. So easily you forget how much free stuff Unity gives everyone, including the device licenses which always used to cost money.
     
  13. autoit4you

    autoit4you

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    And there is the problem. The laws of which country applies? The one the seller lives in? The one the buyer lives in? Or the one UT is registered in?
     
  14. BrainMelter

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    Just give them a negative review ...
     
  15. Deleted User

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    Local law of any country applies. I've been stung a few times by the asset store, whilst generally the money in one instance doesn't really matter. But keep getting stung and it adds up, unless it's proven from a well known dev studio I'll not touch the asset store.
     
  16. angrypenguin

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    While it's never been a problem for me, I agree with hippo. Having purchased a fair few things from the store and having also sold a fair few things, it's a potential pain that there's no central management of refunds and it's a bit dodgy from the point of view that, like hippo says, that's typically expected to be a part of a store's responsibility.

    I've only ever had to give one refund, and I've only ever had to ask for one refund from someone else, so I guess it hasn't been a big deal yet.

    I suspect that if you can't contact the author Unity will help you out. Someone once complained to Unity that I couldn't be contacted in regard to an Asset Store sale (even though that wasn't really the case) and Unity contacted me on their behalf immediately. So it's not as if they don't act on these things.

    Well, two things there.

    1. The "as required by law" thing is key. There are circumstances where you're legally entitled to a refund, and it's the default position of most stores that no refunds are given otherwise. So the policy isn't at all unusual, and at least where I live the legal conditions for refunds are pretty fair.

    2. That's the contract position, but the practical position seems to be far more lenient than that. I was once asked to provide a refund by a customer who had no real reason to ask for one, and when asking what Unity's position on the matter was the staff member said it was up to me but suggested that I allow the refund unless I had some strong reason not to. I'm guessing that the contract position is a hard line of no refunds more to cover Unity legally rather than specifically because that's how they intend to run the shop.

    Also, the one refund I've requested is one that neither Unity nor the seller was obligated to allow, but they were both cool with it. I've said it in the past and I'll say it again - the relationship you have with the people you deal with is often the important thing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  17. lilymontoute

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    This is important to note - the policy change was due to evidence of abuse/fraud with the old refund policy. I do think there's a middle ground between the policy right now and what was in place before, though.

    Something like this sounds like a good idea, and I wouldn't be surprised if they were working on the infrastructure to make this possible. I imagine a scenario like this:

    1. User hits a refund link on an Asset they have purchased (this link disappears after X days).
    2. Automated refund request is sent to the publisher - the publisher has X days to respond in order to either A) grant the refund B) contest the refund.
    3. If no response, the refund is granted. If the issue is contested, Unity can either grant or deny the refund based on the information given. This would be the final say.

    Something like this minimizes chances of fraud, and makes the refund process easier (whether or not you are eligible to request a refund becomes obvious by the presence of the refund link).
     
  18. lmbarns

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    I had to whine on the forums for them to remove the $50 asset that was bogus and when I asked for a refund I got the hard line no refunds, then made a forum post and magically they took the asset off the store. It was completely falsely advertised and initially Unity said tough S*** until I made a bit noise about it.

    Had a similar problem with another asset I lose $65 on and the asset seller ignored me until finally I just bought a different one and ate the $65..

    I no longer buy anything that isn't reviewed unless it's a 3d model that I can clearly see.

    Unity doesn't just grant refunds for false advertisement....I can tell you from experience that I've had and others here as well.
     
  19. Dustin-Horne

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    I like the way half.com used to do it (and might still). I purchased some textbooks from them when I was in college and I never received them from the seller. I filed a dispute with Half which is an automated process that contacts the seller. In my case, the seller either never responded or couldn't prove that they sent the books. Half then issued a refund.

    I think that type of system here would be a good compromise. Unity could easily identify those who abuse the system, but it would also allow them to log and identify problem assets. So when you have an asset that doesn't work for a particular platform and it isn't specified, they could issue the refund and delist the asset until the author fixes the issue. This would help promote higher quality assets as well as protecting both the buyer and the seller.
     
  20. angrypenguin

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    Yeah, I like this general concept. At the moment there's a bit of manual running around for three separate people, where really one person raises a query and then two other people can agree or decline.

    Edit: Dustin adds some great points, too.
     
  21. drewradley

    drewradley

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    Even buying models, you can get screwed. I bought one model pack that each "model" was made up of hundreds of little pieces each with their own draw calls.
     
  22. rorakin3

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    Seems like a nice to have. Not sure its worth the implementation effort though. Just write a bad review.
     
  23. QFS

    QFS

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    They had no choice, they had to do it. UDK was about to beat them to the punch, UT heard about it and did a preemptive move. Just like how they all of a sudden released "Unity Free" just before UDK came out.

    Business is business. Nothing is truly free, you must see past it to see whats truly at stake and reasons behind it.


    Just watch, if Unreal unleashes the UDK version of UE4 with more options and features ..... all the currently Unity Pro features will find their way into the free version, again not because the goodness of the heart, but a strictly strategic business move.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
  24. angrypenguin

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    Haha, seriously? Yes they have other agendas because they're a business, that doesn't change that they're giving you stuff for free.
     
  25. chingwa

    chingwa

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    As an asset store seller, I'd much rather have contact from the buyer directly and them explain their situation and why they want a refund, rather than just seeing my monthly sales drop for no given reason... and no feedback whatsoever. It may be a little inconvenient for the buyer... but this IS software we're talking about, and in normal cases one can't expect a blanket refund for something that can't actually be returned. I think most responsible sellers would have no problems granting refunds on a case by case basis, but yeah this requires a little effort from the buyer and the seller.

    Of course, this is all based on best case scenarios with responsible parties on both sides. And of course I'm sure this process could be streamlined a LOT, but in general it's a better way to go than what seemed like "surprise! no questions asked, no feedback given, no communication from unity" method of refunds from earlier last year... I think it was making a lot of sellers very wary of putting their products on the Asset Store so I'm glad Unity has made this change.
     
  26. Photon-Blasting-Service

    Photon-Blasting-Service

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    As others have stated, there was a vocal group of sellers who were complaining about refunds being abused. If you want the system changed back, you should organize a group of purchasers with examples of poor quality assets that you couldn't get refunded.

    I have sold a lot of art assets over two years and have had only one request for a refund, and that person never followed through to collect it (he misunderstood how particles work). I'm not sure what other sellers have experienced.

    I personally would go with whatever system the majority of purchasers, not sellers, favour.
     
  27. Dustin-Horne

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    Out of curiosity... the Asset store does have a "Report Violation" feature for assets. Has anyone tried going through that channel and if so, what was the result?
     
  28. lmbarns

    lmbarns

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    Never got a response.

    There's a FPS Creator pack that costs $19.99 on FPS Creator's website being sold for $60 in the asset store. Reported it and never heard anything, it's still there...maybe it's the original creator, but it's been for sale for several years at $19.99 and still is, so not sure why he'd want 3x that for unity...
     
  29. Dustin-Horne

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    Now that point right there would be a legitimate complaint. Policy is policy as far as refunds... however, they should at least follow up on flags.
     
  30. caitlyn

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    Hi all,

    Hmmm I hope you don't misunderstand our intentions. Sellers own the content, not Unity, so it's not ours to refund. Much like eBay doesn't own the items that people sell there.

    Additionally, sellers hear your feedback (we hope) and provide you the level of support you need. if a seller fails to get back to you, we can step in to assist. If we get constant complaints about a lack of service or poor support from a publisher, or a publisher disappears suddenly we are dedicated to addressing the publisher, removing the offending content if necessary, and stepping in to assist.

    If you're unhappy with something you've purchased, you've requested a refund from the publisher, and they've never gotten back to you, let us know at support@unity3d.com and we'll look into the matter.

    Cheers,


    --
    Caitlyn Meeks-Ferragallo
    Asset Store Manager
     
  31. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Fair enough policy. Although technically it is yours to refund should you so wish if you haven't yet paid the author :)
    But I understand the policy, it's clear enough - just a little unusual vs other e-stores.
     
  32. Dustin-Horne

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    I would actually contest a bit of what Caitlyn says.. The asset store is absolutely nothing like Ebay and there, the whole bidding system aside, there are some important differences.

    First of all, when making purchases through Ebay, the financial transaction is directly between the buyer and seller and Ebay bills the seller separately. Ebay does not act as the financial go-between. You may argue that they do with PayPal but that is a separate and entirely optional service and using it also offers you additional protections.

    Asset Store on the other hand... the transaction is technically between the asset store and the purchaser and the publishers are more like employees... or vendors receiving a 70% royalty from each sale. Now, this actually makes for a fairly clean solution. If someone from my state buys my asset, they don't have to pay sales tax for it, whereas if they purchased directly from me they would have to.

    Unity Asset Store is more comparable to my previous example of Half.com, where Amazon would collect the money and pay the sellers. However, as I also stated, there was a different degree of buyer protection available there.

    I personally don't have an issue with the refund policy, however when you see cases where assets that are violating the rules are flagged and not followed up on, that begins to be a problem. It's absolutely fair for Unity to wash its hands of the refund decisions, however, they need to be much more diligent in the policing of fraudulent assets.
     
  33. lmbarns

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    My only other gripe about the asset store is when a publisher is violating the law and is removed, there's no notification to the customers who bought it.

    Not only that, but there's no history a customer can look through to see how many assets the seller has had removed for violations....

    For example, a long time ago I downloaded an atlas generator script from a seller who is still on the store, and it was removed silently but the seller is still there with other products and I'm wary of buying any of his other products because I know he's had at least 1 removed in the past.
     
  34. scooperof

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    So is the seller supposed to refund the buyer
     
  35. lmbarns

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    Only if they feel like it....
     
  36. imtrobin

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  37. loadexfa

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    Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't Unity handling the payment processing? Doesn't that put the refunding onus on Unity? Paypal wasn't always part of eBay, eBay was originally setup to have separate payment processing so disputes would involve Paypal, not eBay.
     
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