iOS 7 (App Store teaser 004)

Apple typically handles refunds of digital purchases on a case-by-case basis and with an “All Sales Final” provision. But now, Apple’s reportedly switched to a 14-day return policy for movies, TV shows, music, books and apps in most European markets, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and France, German blog iFun.de [Google Translate] reported Monday.

Apple’s updated policy in these countries states that customers can now cancel their digital purchase within fourteen days from when they received their receipt “without giving any reason,” with the exception of iTunes Match, Season Pass, Multi-Pass and iTunes Gift Cards and Allowances that can’t be refunded once you have redeemed the code or activated the service.

Previously, all digital sales and rentals were final unless you withdrew from a transaction before delivery of the product has started, just like in the United States. Speaking of which, Apple’s terms of service in the U.S. remain unchanged.

The new no-questions-asked refund policy could be viewed in light of a new consumer rights directive [PDF document] in the European Union which requires that merchants provide a 14-day return period for both goods and services purchased in EU member states.

“To cancel your order, you must inform us of your decision,” as per Apple’s amended terms of service. People in the aforementioned European markets can ask for a refund by using Apple’s Report a Problem feature available at reportaproblem.apple.com.

You’ll need your Apple ID and password used to initiate the purchase of the item. Find it by right-clicking the purchased app in desktop iTunes and then choose Get Info. The Purchased By section under the Info tab shows an Apple ID used to purchase the item.

As shown below, after describing your reason for a refund using the web tool, just click Submit and Apple will review your case.

iTunes Report Problem web screenshot

“You also have the right to inform us using the model cancellation form or by making any other clear statement,” the amended TOS state. “If you use Report a Problem we will communicate acknowledgement of receipt of your cancellation to you without delay,” adds the document.

The model cancellation form should contain the following:

– To iTunes S.à r.l., 31-33, rue Sainte Zithe, L-2763 Luxembourg:

– I hereby give notice that I withdraw from my contract for the following: [INSERT ORDER ID, ITEM, ARTIST AND TYPE]

– Ordered on [INSERT DATE] / received on [INSERT DATE]

– Name of consumer

– Address of consumer

– Date

Customers must send their communication of cancellation before the 14-day window has closed. The company will reimburse customers asking for a refund no later than 14 days from the day on which it receives the cancellation notice.

“We will use the same means of payment as you used for the transaction, and you will not incur any fees for such reimbursement,” reads the document.

The new policy certainly won’t be music to the ears of developers because some customers might take advantage of the new rules by downloading a game only to finish it within two weeks and then innocently asking for a refund.

On the other hand, there’s likely some limit on refunds imposed to prevent just that. Besides, Apple has your whole purchasing history on file so it’s not like it lacks the means to determine whether you’re trying to game the system by filing bogus refund claims on a regular basis.

[iFun.de]

  • Anmol Malhotra

    Bad news for devs. Really.
    Most of the games are finished within 2 weeks.
    Eg: I completed Monument Valley in almost 1-2hrs. So after playing I can ask for refund without any reason? Wow!
    Stupid Apple!

    • Honestly YOUR (not trying to insult you just making a point) the idiot if you get a refund for a game completed within two weeks. Most games have great re-playability. Usually I’ll delete a game once completed but come back to it weeks or months later…

      • Dani Hayes

        Usually you should check what you have written when criticizing someone. You’re not your. Especially when you write in bold.

      • smh

        He didn’t even use the word your or you’re… wtf? What makes it worse is you used the wrong one….Them rage goggles messin with your brain son.

      • Annie Leonhardt

        Reading his post, he wasn’t pointing out any flaws with your or you’re. He was simply writing a sentence. Remove the parenthesis and read the sentence normal.

        “Honestly YOU’RE the idiot if you get a refund for a game completed within two weeks.”

        is what he was saying in response to the member calling Apple an idiot / stupid.

    • Burge

      So if they look in to your game history they will not see that you have completed the game. On that alone they will not refund. It’s not going to be a instant refund. Your Apple ID is logged with your gamer name.

      • mrgerbik

        I seriously doubt this will happen. You sound as though you know this 100%- where do your get your info?

      • Burge

        You actually think they will refund with out checking. If they can see that you have completed a game do you really think that they will refund. Any game that logs you in the game centre can be checked, your Apple ID is tied in to your game centre.

        This 14 day rule is nothing new it’s just Apple are late to the party.

      • mrgerbik

        Where do you get your info that Apple is going to do this? If it’s conjecture – then its just that.

      • Rob

        It’s less conjecture and more common sense, apple have statistics on everything. If u went into a store and kept returning stuff, they’d get suspicious. Just like it’d be more difficult to return something that you’ve opened and used unless there was a fault that could be verified

      • Rob

        It’s less conjecture and more common sense, apple have statistics on everything. If u went into a store and kept returning stuff, they’d get suspicious. Just like it’d be more difficult to return something that you’ve opened and used unless there was a fault that could be verified

      • Skimp

        They’re not going to look at whether a person has completed a game. That is ridiculous. What they will do is look at a person’s return history. If a person has a nonsensical return history where they’ve returned like 76 apps in 3 months then obviously that is BS.

      • randomGuy

        i’m having different Apple IDs for Game Center and iTunes purchase 🙂

    • Daniel S. Fleming

      Your telling me your willing to ask for a refund for Monument Valley?
      I replay that game all the time, your crazy.

    • Annie Leonhardt

      Developer adds onto the game with more levels… what then? Games not complete anymore.

  • InfinitePlusOne

    Good. I’ve bought a few photo locker app which are absolutely shit. Couldn’t refund them. No support from Dev either. Well can’t refund that now but for future bad apps it’s an option.

    • You could always request a refund just off-the-record via their “Report a Problem” page. You’d then have had a refund at the discretion of Apple. Now though by the looks of things there is an official way to do things…

  • QP

    Great! so all the apps which doesn’t have a demo could be tried and explored deeply before to buy them, or make the purchase definitive. Thanks Apple.

    • George

      Android has been doing that for ages.

      • HanzWorst

        Yes, they are. But with Android you’ll have to return it within 2 hours. That is a mayor difference compared with 2 weeks Apple uses now.

      • George

        And in the u.s apple does what exactly? 2 hours is fine but apple doesn’t offer shit here.

      • HanzWorst

        Yeah well, I don’t live in the US so that doesn’t apply to me. 😉

  • mahe

    Finally …
    no more need to get a “test version” of an app for taking a look if it fits my needs …

    • Dani Hayes

      I’ll still use the try and buy method. I’m in USA.

  • Richard Isabellas-Daddy Grey

    If you can’t download the product then get a refund, why do they have the reason “Item plays but looks or sounds bad.” and as soon as you purchase something it starts to download automatically doesn’t it?

  • MacGuru17

    And yet another reason to move to Europe… I have no desire to cheat a developer out of their hard-earnt money; sometimes I just make an honest mistake with something I purchase.

    • HanzWorst

      Be careful what you wish for. 😉 Apple products in general are way more expensive over here compared to the US.

      • MacGuru17

        Meh. 🙂
        The countless other benefits that I’ve found far outweigh that for me.