Legal support to victims of “refund extortion”, libel, defamation and insult in Bulgaria
Did you know that victims of refund extortion (as well as libel, defamation and insult) in Bulgaria are getting compensated quite heavily. After proving your point in Court, you can claim damages that can easily surpass the six-digit realms. And in many cases, the one that has tried to squeeze money out of you can end up serving time, for the benefit of the society.
So, what is exactly refund extortion?
Everyone who has been doing business has been confronted with this new (at least for Bulgaria) phenomenon. Basically, a customer is obtaining certain goods or services and then, claiming that the goods or services have not been provided, either partially or in full, requests a refund.
Legitimate refund requests
In many cases such request can be legitimate. It is possible that the goods have not been delivered for example. Or that there are some parts of the delivery, essential for the completeness of the package, that are missing. In these cases, the buyer/client has legal right to request refund if the fulfillment of the contract (delivery) is not possible.
Illegal refund demands
Unfortunately however, there are many more cases recently, where the client is using an extortion technique. The buyer, led by the “principle” that the “customer is always right”, is requesting refund from the seller, even though the goods have been delivered or the service provided. And here is where we provide valuable support to our clients to protect their interests, reputation and money.
So why is refund extortion illegal?
Refund extortion was brought to Bulgaria first by the British who came massively in the country in the early 2000. Many Bulgarian companies were blackmailed by British clients hat they will “report” them if they don’t refund their money. Many tour-operators had to pay millions in compensations to “unhappy customers”, mainly from the Albion. In most of the cases, the services were already provided, but the Bulgarian sellers (or service providers) felt intimidated and preferred refunding rather than fighting back. This is not the case anymore.
We are proud to say that with our support many companies and individuals in Bulgaria understood that the law is protecting not only the client. The law in Bulgaria is the same for everybody. And refund extortion can be a costly, very costly experience for the perpetrator.
The Bulgarian penal code – refund extortion is a crime
Refund extortion almost always comes along with libel and defamation. This is done in order to force the seller or the service provider to make the refund to the “client”. Luckily these are severely punished by the Bulgarian penal code.
For the extortion, the penal conde foresees a sentence from 1 to 6 years. For libel and defamation, as well as for insult, the perpetrators are mostly punishes financially, but the amounts can go over the roof.
Libel, defamation and insult
As stated above, libel and defamation often go hand in hand with refund extortion. One very common case is the so called feedback extortion. This is basically when the client threatens the seller with bad publicity (ie bad reviews or feedback) in order to get a refund. This may be a mere policy violation under eBay rules for example, but is a crime in Bulgaria (and in many other countries).
Another case is when we have to deal with insult. For instance, if the client insults an employee of the company of the seller, it is a crime against an official (or an officer) under the criminal law. And of course, in such cases we strongly advise to immediate seek legal assistance and file a complaint with the Prosecutor’s office.
Financial compensation (apart from eventual criminal proceedings)
Refund extortion, libel, defamation and insult are very serious offences that harm the seller’s reputation and business activities. As such, they are not only punishable by the Penal Code. The seller can claim in the court compensation that he deems reasonable and sufficient to compensate his damages. And these damages can often surpass the six-digit figures.
What to do if you are victim of refund extortion, libel, defamation or insult
We recommend you to immediately seek legal advise and to contact us asap. You deserve it not only for yourself, but to protect the society as well. Refund and feedback extortion don’t have any place in our society. We believe that the perpetrators of these crimes should be held liable under the current laws.
To victims of extortion, libel, defamation, etc. we can offer professional assistance and in many cases we can offer no-win-no-pay arrangements. After all, we also want to protect the society from this malpractices and are ready to pay our share in this “war”.