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Apple Enacts App Store Returns Policy

Following on from demands from EU authorities to better regulate in app purchases, Apple has enacted a new policy on digital stores which allows users to ‘return’ digital purchases made up to 14 days following the purchase.

After what became quite the scandal for app stores, specifically Apple and Google ones, the move is expected to alleviate stress for parents whose devices have been used by kids to make purchases unauthorised by the owner.

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Stores now allowing returns from Apple include the App Store, iBooks as well as iTunes purchases. Gift card purchases are exempt once the code has been redeemed however.

To initiate a return, users must click on the ‘report a problem’ website link or provide a written statement to the company, who say that returns may take up to two weeks to process.

The ‘Report A Problem’ feature now lets users claim back on inadvertent, or unauthorized, purchases on the app store.


Currently the feature is only available inside the EU in EU countries, no plans as of yet have been announced for a US rollout. The EU were amongst the most adamant for in app purchases to be subject to further regulations, in a well publicised series of events last year.

Google and Apple were made to comply to a refunds scheme in the US, paying out significant amounts in order to rectify these unauthorized purchases.

“If you choose to cancel your order, you may do so within 14 days from when you received your receipt without giving any reason, except iTunes Gifts which cannot be refunded once you have redeemed the code.”

– Apple’s Terms And Conditions, updated to include the refunds option.

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Previously on Apple app stores all sales were final, meaning policy dictated that one a payment was made users were unable to request such a refund. However, the recently implemented EU Consumer RIghts Directive made an informal recommendation that all purchases be allowed this 2 week return window.

Users may be able to abuse this system however, especially in the gaming and movie rental sectors, it does seem like such a system could be abused. Apple may or may not be able to pick up on this via the number of returns applied for over a given period of time, but the company has not yet made any such statement on the feature.

Via: Cult of Mac

Source: Apple’s ‘Report A Problem’ Link