How to Handle Large, Unexpected Customer Refunds

Justin Rockwell
Jul 2, 2020
How to Handle Large, Unexpected Customer Refunds

You've spent countless hours organizing, promoting and preparing for your event. Hundreds maybe even thousands of people enthusiastically registered and pre-paid for the activity. Maybe it was a little-league baseball, a concert at the state's largest outdoor stadium, summer camp for kiddos or even just a small local fun-run. The planned event was sold out to the max, you've moved onto the next stages of planning with coordinating vendors and suppliers to make sure everyone attending is satisfied. It likely never crossed your mind that you would need to abruptly cancel and shutdown the event.

It's unfortunate, but this exact scenario has been playing out around the world since early 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has brought the world's activities to a very unexpected, and very disappointing grinding halt.

Here in the United States, every day there is another local announcement of yet another event or activity being cancelled. Summer sports camps, running-club, downtown festivals, 4th of July fireworks all cancelled to help stop the spread of the virus. It's unfortunate for everyone involved but very necessary and understandable to do so. The issue to resolve is that customers want their money back, and right away. Issuing a check refund would be the fastest and easiest way to refund customers.

This leaves us business owners and the event coordinators in a pickle. How exactly do you handle the refund checks to thousands of customers? Especially refunds to customers that may have paid many months in advance. You would be forgiven for not taking additional measures to catalog and archive every payment the best way possible, not all hope is lost. Business owners have enough tools at their disposal to easily compile a list of payments received, by whom and how much.

Build The List

To start, get a clear picture of what information you're trying to collect to be able to issue the refund by check, it's only a few things, but finding an address might be tricky.

Start in the most obvious of places to look for the customer refund list. If you used a merchant to collect payment by credit card this can be a very easy process. Search for transactions within a certain date, amount or other identifying notice that makes the transactions unique to the event being refunded. Your business might receive payments for many different types of products finding a way to uniquely identify the transactions related to the event is important.

Here are some unique identifying features that can make it easy to find a transaction in your payment records:

It's possible a combination of all these identifiers will make it easier to build a list of payments that need to be refunded.

Finding Addresses

This part will be easy if record keeping was spot on and more challenging if records are scattered. Pulling a list from a merchant account or bookkeeping application will hopefully have all this information stored. If, however, you didn't do that you have a few other options:

Mailing The Checks 😅

You've got the list! It's accurate and ready to use to issue refund checks with. Now how are you going to mail 4,300 checks?? And what do you even do with the file (likely in CSV or Excel format) now that it's created?

You could try importing all the transactions into your bookkeeping program, at least all the payment records would appear, and if your application allows check printing... well, fire up that printer and hope for the best. Let's be honest, the idea of printing, signing, stamping and mailing a large volume of refund checks just isn't worth your time. That's where we come in!

Checkeeper has perfected the system of check printing in any quantity, and we've made it as simple as "send us the file, we'll do the rest". Seriously! Once your refund information is within a single CSV document, pass it off to Checkeeper and we will make sure every single check is printed and mailed with perfection.

Sounds too good to be true, right? Take a look at this response we just got from a customer that needed to mail 972 refund payments to his youth soccer association located in Asheville, NC (just up the road from us)!

Thinking every minute I spend on something else today I owe to finding you guys. I think I may use you several times over the next few weeks. The number of checks will be smaller, but 100 represents an awful lot of my time."

We would love to offer your organization or business the same relief to mailing refund checks. If this sounds like the service you need for your business, shoot us an email to We're happy to take that mountain of refund checks on! You have us in your corner, we will get through 2020 together.