Apple Cracks Down On 14-Day App Refund Abuse In EU
Well, it wasn't too hard to see something like this coming. Late last month, we reported on an EU decision that would force Apple to be far more accommodating with regards to issuing refunds on apps you no longer want. And just the other day, we talked about odd behavior that allowed you to retain apps you received a refund for. Clearly, Apple isn't too happy about any of this.
Once that EU ruling was made, there was no doubt whatsoever that the mechanics would be exploited to high heaven - and it has been, at least by some. As iDownloadBlog relays, one user interpreted this refund policy as being equivalent to treating the apps as trial software. Ultimately, this is something that came back to bite him.
After spending about $40 on various apps, Apple refunded $25 worth. Afterwards, it introduced a new purchase message that rules out the chance of someone being able to combat a refund refusal: "I acknowledge that if I download this app within fourteen days of tapping 'Buy', I will no longer be eligible to cancel this purchase."
At this point, it's hard to tell if this a widespread message, or one that just targets those who've been taking far too much advantage of the system. For legitimate users, though, I wouldn't consider this ideal. As per this rule, simply downloading the app ruins your chance of a refund - that's a bit harsh. I think the refund ticker should start after the app is loaded, with a far more retrained limit than 14 days (3 hours seems suitable to me).
What I am most interested in seeing come from all this is how other vendors will be affected. Steam, for example, could be forced to issue refunds on purchases (which it rarely does), but again, legitimate consumers might run into the roadblock of not being able to at least run it first (to see if it runs properly).
I think the EU is on the right path with regards to consumer rights, but the rules are not currently ideal.