Refunding payments

When you charge a customer some money and need to return it you'll want to issue a refund.  There are many situations you may want to do this but the most common would be an accidental charge or a charge for the wrong amount.

This article covers refunds that you as gym staff perform.  There are also automatic refunds that can occur if for example you have your gym configured to refund drop-ins on cancel.

Finding the payment to refund

The most common way to find the payment to refund is to head to the customers page, click the Payments tab and then click Details next to the right payment.

You can also find payments find the Finance section in the sidebar but given these are shown in reverse chronological order it is only really of use if you know it was a very recent payment.

The payment page has details on all the invoices that make up the payment and a button to refund the payment.  Press that to go to the refund page.

Note if a payment includes multiple charges for multiple memberships then you will have to first click through to the membership invoice to issue the refund

Refunding a card payment

Card payments are really easy to refund.  On the refund screen enter the amount you'd like to refund.  By default this is the full amount of the payment but you can change it to any amount you like.

The refund screen you see may look different if credit notes were used in the original payment.  See the section below on how to refund those payments.

When you press the Refund button the money is sent back to the customers bank and the amount of the refund recorded in WodBoard so your monthly income figures are correct.

Card refunds take from 3-10 days to appear back at the customers bank depending on their bank and where you are in the world.  Yes that's a long time and no I'm afraid there's nothing we can do about that.  The reason it takes so long is a result of the archaic way the banking system developed many decades ago, so you'll find it the same on any system in the world.  However if you refund the customer the same day as the charge, then depending on their bank, it may process as a reversal instead.  In this case the original charge will disappear from their bank.  This is not supported by all banks however so it's really just a case of letting the customer know it may happen.

Refunding a direct debit payment

Refunding a direct debit payment works the same as a card payment except it is not possible to issue a refund until the payment has cleared.  As a reminder direct debits take from 2 days to 7 days to clear depending on which country you live in.  During this time the money has left the customers but has not arrived at yours yet.  Failures can still happen if, for example, the customer doesn't have enough money in their account.  As such refunds are not possible during the clearing period.

Refunding an offline payment

Offline payments are payments that are handled outside of WodBoard - for example cash or direct bank payments.  An offline payment refund records the amount in WodBoard so your monthly income numbers will be reported correctly.  The one thing to remember with offline payments is you need to give the customer the money back  As the money wasn't taken through WodBoard we obviously can't do that bit for you!

Refunding a payment with credit notes

Sometimes you may want to refund a payment where the original payment had a credit note used in it.  For example a membership cost £175/month but the customer had a £100 credit note so they were only charged £75.

When you refund a payment like this the refund screen looks slightly different as shown below. Notice how it gives you the option to refund the credit note and payment, or just the payment.

By default it shows the amount of the payment and the credit note to refund but if you change it to the payment only option then notice how the amount to refund changes to £75.  That's because the original payment only charged the customer £75 after their credit note.
Of course you can alter these amounts but these are the defaults based on the amounts to refund the whole total.

If you opt for the "credit note and payment" option and alter the amount, note how it shows you the method of the refund.  In this case we've lowered the amount to £125 and it shows the full £100 credit note will be refunded first with just £25 of the payment refunded.  That's because WodBoard will prefer credit notes over payment with this option.  If you wanted to just do a cash refund then you would use the other option of course.

We get asked a lot under what situations you should refund the credit note and under what situations you shouldn't.  If somebody has a credit note on their account then chances are you owe them that money and it should be refunded.  For example if somebody got a £100 credit note for referring some new customers to you and that brought down their membership fee to £75 that month (like the case above), then it would seem like the customer would still be entitled to that £100 referral if you do a refund.  If however that customer is leaving your gym then you may decide they lose out and are only entitled to the payment refund.  Of course the specifics will depend on why the credit note was issued and the reason of the refund, but this gives you some rough guidance.