App Store refund policy under fire from Korean game publishers

By , Dec 5, 2016

App Store RED 2016 promotion iPhone screenshot 001

Apple’s app refund policy on the App Store has come under fire from South Korean game developers who are complaining about a loophole that permits ill-minded users to purchase charged content multiple times, request refunds and continue to consume the content without actually paying for it.

The Korea Times is reporting that the issue stems from Apple’s policy of withholding information about those who have been issued a refund.

Apple’s refund policy has forced some Korean game developers to take matters in their own hands, manually tracking and identifying users who are still using the content they’ve already received the refunds for.

Some of the abusers “have organized profitable businesses” to operate the refund process on others’ behalf, says the report. Some of the affected game developers have taken their own measures to counteract Apple.

According to a Korean mobile game development studio Flint:

By analyzing all payment data and logs, we have tracked down about 300 users who are suspected of abusing Appstore’s refund policy. We pledge to root out the abusers by requesting the judicial authorities for an investigation.

Another Korean developer, called Next Floor, says it is now “regulating” people who abuse the App Store’s refund loophole.

“Unlike other app stores, Apple does not provide refund info to the game companies and we’re having difficulties in promptly counteracting the problem,” said the firm.

Game developers have started to block the accounts of abusers.

A source from a mobile game company said:

The company has asked Apple for the lists of users who requested refunds several times already. But Apple did not respond. I cannot understand Apple’s policy in that it does not provide the list of people who abuse the system even when it is already causing problems in the market.

In addition to game, app and media downloads, Apple’s been refunding unwanted In-App Purchases on the App Store since at least March 2014.

TUTORIAL: How to request App Store refund from iPhone

The Cupertino firm has always refrained from sharing information about users who download apps, games and media from its content stores with developers, record labels, book publishers and Hollywood studios. In other words, the company exclusively determines whether to give refunds to consumers.

Google’s Play Store, on the other hand, issues refunds on bought content only once if a user has requested it within two hours after payment.

Source: The Korea Times

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  • Steve Harvey

    There is a lot of crap on the App Store and I would be mad if I payed for some of the crap that gets on there.

    • burge

      It’s not about the crap on the App Store it’s about getting refunds but still using the app that had the refund.

      This is better known as fraud. And anyone or company that has been apart of knowingly or unknowingly been a part of can be accountable for this.

      So basically if Apple does nothing about this they can be held accountable for allowing this to continue.

      • Steve Harvey

        It is about the crap. Cracking down will lead to users getting stuck with crap.

      • burge

        Not at all, you can purchase an app and get the money back. This can be with both good apps and crap apps. And you can still use the app.

        This here is about customers are getting refunds but still using the apps. This issue covers all apps not just crap ones.

      • Steve Harvey

        Well the good ones need to suck it up. We cannot be charged for crap. They have a great policy which benefits users, and it is for the best.

      • burge

        It’s not the crap apps it’s the refunds that are given and the person who is been refunded is still using the app. Ive had a refund but I can still download and use the app in question. And it’s not a crap app.

      • Steve Harvey

        Wrong. If you get a refund for an app you cannot redownload it or update it, but it does not force a delete form your device. If they did force a delete after a refund that would make evryone happy.

      • burge

        That’s that not right in my account as I can uninstall and reinstall the app I had a refund on. Oh and it’s had updates.

        So you agree it’s not just crap apps but all apps and that was your point I believe.