Meta starts refunding advertisers for overspending glitch

Meta is starting to issue refunds to advertisers impacted by a glitch last month that resulted in overspending and higher than usual CPAs.

Why we care. Meta needs to make this right for all of its advertisers of all sizes. It’s good that the refunds are starting, but it’s been over a month and this still is not resolved.

May 12. Some advertisers got their refunds starting on May 12. However, many smaller advertisers are complaining that the process has been much slower for them, Bloomberg reported:

“Some advertisers did receive refunds from Meta beginning on May 12, although the amounts have been doled out inconsistently and it’s not clear why some businesses received more money back than others. In the past, advertisers that spent a lot on Facebook or had personal connections at the company had better luck getting refunded, according to several agency representatives.”

The glitch. On April 23, Meta spent advertisers’ the daily budgets in a matter of hours. CPAs also tripled. You can read more about it in our story: A catastrophic Meta bug caused overspending, higher-than-average CPAs.

The damage. As one example, the $13,000 budget for one ecommerce advertiser was spent in three hours – with no results, Bloomberg reported. Another business said it “had its worst return on Sunday advertising spending on record, ultimately posting 85% lower sales than the previous Sunday and 76% lower than two weeks prior.”

Making things worse. “Refunds for ad glitches are typically cents on the dollar, and Meta doesn’t tell advertisers how it calculates the payout,” as Bloomberg noted.

What Meta said. In a statement, Meta said:

  • “We identified and resolved a technical issue in our automated systems that caused ad delivery issues like faster campaign spending and more variable costs. We fixed this as quickly as possible and apologize for any inconvenience it may have caused.”

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About the author

Danny Goodwin

Danny Goodwin has been Managing Editor of Search Engine Land & Search Marketing Expo – SMX since 2022. He joined Search Engine Land in 2022 as Senior Editor. In addition to reporting on the latest search marketing news, he manages Search Engine Land’s SME (Subject Matter Expert) program. He also helps program U.S. SMX events.

Goodwin has been editing and writing about the latest developments and trends in search and digital marketing since 2007. He previously was Executive Editor of Search Engine Journal (from 2017 to 2022), managing editor of Momentology (from 2014-2016) and editor of Search Engine Watch (from 2007 to 2014). He has spoken at many major search conferences and virtual events, and has been sourced for his expertise by a wide range of publications and podcasts.

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