A lot of people got burned last month when Megaupload was taken down. Not only did people lose their files, but they also lost the value of their unused Megaupload premium accounts, which is now worth nothing. Following that, Fileserve, Filesonic, Filejungle, Uploadstation and other cyberlocker / filehosters self-mutilated their services in such a way that it destroyed the purpose of having a premium account with any of those file sharing sites. Now, we have tens of thousands of premium account holders, in my inaccurate and unscientific estimates, looking for ways to get refunds for their premium accounts with Fileserve, Filesonic and others.
Because there appears to be a lot of people still looking for a way to get a refund from their premium account purchase, I wanted to put this page together to maybe help a few of you out. I say maybe as the window where a refund is even possible is growing smaller and smaller by the day. I write this as an online vendor who has received many thousands of payments, been the recipient of a small handful of PayPal disputes and two or three credit card chargebacks.
Here's a simple and effective process to follow if you want to attempt getting a refund for unused or unusable premium account services.
Step #1 - Be sure you're eligible for a refund
Before you go to too much trouble trying to obtain a refund or reimbursement for unusable premium account services, you should be sure you are eligible for a refund or a chargeback if it comes to it.
If you paid for a premium account with PayPal, you have 45 days from the date of payment to file a dispute. If you paid for your premium account via PayPal and it was more than 6 weeks ago, you won't be able to get your money back from PayPal. In this case you'll have to rely on the graciousness of the filehoster, and those chances aren't very good.
If you paid for a premium account with a credit card, you'll have to contact your credit card company or bank to find out their policy on the protection period for disputing charges. From what I know, it can vary from 30-90 days depending on the credit card issuer.
Knowing this information in advance can help you avoid spending fruitless time on the rest of the steps.
Step #2 - Ask for a refund from the filehoster
Before you do anything else, you should try and contact the filehoster directly to ask for a refund. While this isn't possible with Megaupload, and Fileserve seems to ignore users more than respond to them, at least based on the amount of negative feedback about unfulfilled Fileserve premium account refund requests, contacting a filehoster is an important first step in the refund process.
If at all possible, you will want to CC (carbon copy) yourself as a recipient of the refund request from a filehoster to use as proof if you need to take additional steps. Alternately, if the only way to contact a filehoster is through an online contact form, you may want to take a screenshot of the message you sent. While not indisputable proof of a refund request, it's something to hand over to PayPal or your credit card company if needed.
Be prepared to wait a couple of days. There's no sense in bombarding a filehoster with refund requests -- there's as good a chance that they received your first request as any of the followup requests. Either they're responding to emails as they can or they're ignoring you -- either way you need to give the filehoster a reasonable amount of time to respond to your refund request.
Step #3 - Compile your proof for a dispute or chargeback
After you've waited a couple of days and either didn't hear back from the filehoster or didn't receive a favorable response, it's time to collect your proof. Email communications can be helpful, and payment receipts or screenshots of the problematic areas (such as Fileserve stopping filesharing, which they did for a bit) may be beneficial for you as well. Your job is to prove that you deserve a refund for the payment you made, and any information that you can collect to support that end result can be very beneficial.
Step #4 - Create a PayPal dispute or file a chargeback claim
Once you've compiled your proof, you need to create a dispute or file a claim with your credit card issuer. For premium accounts paid for via PayPal, you can login to your PayPal account, find the transaction where you paid for your premium account, view the transaction details page and look for this:
Or, if you paid via your PayPal debit card, look for the 'dispute this charge' link right above the 'Return to My Account' button.
For premium account purchases with a credit card, you will need to contact your bank or credit-card issuer and they will have some papers for you to fill out.
Success stories of refunds from Fileserve, Megaupload, Filesonic and other filehosters
People have received refunds from filehosters using the above steps or variations of the above steps. One visitor here filed a dispute and a few days later got their money back from a Fileserve premium account purchase. There are stories online of people getting refunds either by simply asking the filehoster or by creating a dispute or chargeback. So, it is possible. However, with each day that passes, the likelihood of receiving a premium account refund diminishes, so if you feel you deserve a refund, you should get started on this process ASAP.
Feel free to share your success stories (or lack-of-success stories) below.