With the purge of verified legacy checkmarks, Twitter CEO Elon Musk’s attempt to strong-arm users into buying Twitter Blue has mostly fallen flat, likely placing Musk’s goal of profitability further and further out of reach. And users have now discovered another apparent attempt by Musk to not bleed any more money: Twitter’s terms and conditions include a harsh no refunds policy for businesses that apply for Verified Organizations status.As pointed out by Chris Boyd (@papperghost), users who spent $1,000 in the hopes of earning a Verified Organizations checkmark and were rejected found that they could not get their money back. On Twitter’s help center website(opens in a new tab) for Verified Organizations under “How to Apply,” the site states in bold: “Any account that is not approved will not be refunded.“
Based on the language used by Twitter in the Verified Organizations’ terms and conditions, the initial $1,000 for the gold checkmark must be paid up-front and is more akin to a non-refundable application fee than an actual guarantee.
Some users, such as @CovfefeChan, have already claimed to have been rejected and had Twitter attempt to keep their $1,000.
@CovfefeChan later claimed to have received a refund after getting attorneys involved(opens in a new tab) and further claimed(opens in a new tab) that the details they had been shown prior to their verification attempt did not properly warn them about the policy against refunds.
This process for Verified Organizations is completely different(opens in a new tab) from how Twitter Blue is handled. Twitter Blue is also non-refundable, but those who pay $8 automatically get the checkmark upon payment and confirmation of their phone number.
It’s unclear how new this change to the rules for Verified Organizations is. Based on an archived snapshot(opens in a new tab) of Twitter’s Verified Organizations page from March 24, the change happened within at least the last month.Twitter’s new paid-for verification system under Elon Musk has been a confusing process during the couple of times major changes have been rolled out. Before Musk, all verified accounts shared the same blue checkmark, but now that anyone with a Twitter Blue subscription can be verified, the platform has been in turmoil.
The business model gets even more questionable in light of a report from TechCrunch found that Twitter is now requiring advertisers to be verified(opens in a new tab) if they want to continue running ads on the app. This means potential advertisers might pay the $1,000 fee, have their bid to advertise rejected, and have Twitter keep their money.
It’ll be interesting to see how companies respond to this change in the coming days, but at least for now, it’s clear that Musk’s Twitter is looking for any possible way to turn the platform into a cash cow.