Android users have had the ability to easily refund apps within a certain period of time, and that capability has arrived for iOS users over in Europe.
Apple has introduced a new 14-day no-questions-asked return policy for purchases made in iTunes, the App Store and iBooks in a handful of European countries. This allows users to purchase an app and if they end up not liking it, they can get a full refund if they return the app within 14 days after the purchase date.
Previously, Apple only allowed users to return an app and get a refund if they went onto Apple’s support website and filed a claim of sorts to get their money back, but the company required that there had to be some sort of issue first, like an app not working properly or the download failed to finish.
Does this mean we’ll see the same 14-day return policy come to the US? We like to say, “never say never,” but it’s highly unlikely that this new policy will make it to other regions of the world any time soon.
This change is apparently to abide to a new consumer rights law in the European Union that requires 14-day return period for both goods and services purchased in some European countries, which means that it Apple is merely doing this to stay on the right side of the law, rather than doing it as a nice gesture for its users.
Then again, it’s possible that Apple could introduce something similar over in the states. Currently, the Google Play store has a two-hour return window where Android users can get a full refund quickly and easily within two hours. That’s enough time to try out the app and give it a spin before determining if it’s a worthy purchase or not.
Google Play used to have a larger return window, and it’s kept that window intact in Europe, but in other regions of the world, that return window was shortened to two hours.
Of course, Apple has taken the “all sales are final” approach 24/7. In fact, it even offered to refund buyers after there was confusion with how the last season of Breaking Bad was named, but not after a group of users filed a class-action lawsuit.
The last season of the show was split up to where the first eight episodes of the fifth season was known as “Season 5″ and the final eight episodes were categorized as “The Final Season.” This meant that users had to essentially pay twice in order to buy the full 16-episode season, whereas it should’ve only been paid for once.
The naming confusion was partially the show’s studio’s fault. AMC was in charge of how the show’s appeared on iTunes, but Apple offered the show for customers to purchase, either a la carte per episode or with a season pass, and there was probably some confusion between the two companies.
Furthermore, Apple offered parents refunds on in-app purchases that were accidentally made by their young children who didn’t necessarily know any better. Of course, that wasn’t the case until a class-action lawsuit was filed and parents could finally get their money back on iTunes purchases that they didn’t make.
Europeans should be happy about the new return policy, and we can only hope that the US gets the same treatment at some point.