Apple codifies 14-day refund policy for iTunes purchases in the EU

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2015
European consumers now have two weeks within which to request a refund for most content purchased from the iTunes Store, according to recently-updated Apple support documentation, unifying the company's return policies for both physical and digital goods.

European Commission HQ


The new policies were quietly rolled out in country-specific PDF documents posted to Apple's support portals in the European Union. While Apple has long been lenient when it comes to such refunds in Europe --?which has particularly strong consumer protection laws --?this is the first time they have explicitly defined the process, as noted by German blog iFun.

In the documents, which were prepared in early December, Apple advises consumers that they may request a refund "without giving any reason." The only items not subject to the refund policy are already-redeemed iTunes gift codes.

To receive a refund, buyers can either use Apple's online "Report a Problem" tool or send a physical cancellation form to the company's European headquarters in Luxembourg. Some purchases --?including iTunes Match, Season Pass, Multi-Pass, and unredeemed iTunes gifts --?can be refunded by contacting iTunes Support.

Apple promises that reimbursements will processed no later than 14 days from the date the cancellation notice is received.

The policy shift matches up with the European Union's right of withdrawal rules, which were first instituted for online purchases in 2011. Digital goods are explicitly exempted from those regulations, however, likely signaling that Apple's move is a voluntary one.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    Does that mean download an app, don't like it and you can request a refund? Also,

    "Digital goods are explicitly exempted from those regulations, however, likely signaling that Apple's move is a voluntary one."

    I'm probably missing something in here but everything is delivered digitally from the app store.
  • Reply 2 of 20
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member

    That is a pretty nice policy...

     

    Do certain European consumers have the ability to return video games, movies, DVD's, and physically boxed software once opened for a full refund?

  • Reply 3 of 20
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

     

    That is a pretty nice policy...

     

    Do certain European consumers have the ability to return video games, movies, DVD's, and physically boxed software once opened for a full refund?




    No, when a seal has been broken, a retailer does not have to accept a refund unless it's physical media and does not work correctly (such as a broken DVD).

     

    Software, like product codes Microsoft sell for Office and Office 365, when opened, will be refused refunds by retailers. (Just because there is no way of knowing whether a product number has been written down, resold or used)

  • Reply 4 of 20

    Apple's iTunes has been very responsive to emails, I returned a couple of movies and an app in the past without much fuss, but I'm glad it will be in writing now.

  • Reply 5 of 20

    So, I can download a movie, then watch it for 2 weeks and then request a refund? Doesn't make sense, it's like going to a movie theater and then request a refund at the exit.

  • Reply 6 of 20
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,783member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

     

    That is a pretty nice policy...

     

    Do certain European consumers have the ability to return video games, movies, DVD's, and physically boxed software once opened for a full refund?




    Pirate and fraud heaven. Buy it or rent it, rip it, return it. It’s now called ‘friendly fraud’ by the industry and it’s really big bucks. So easy anyone can (and a lot do) do it. All in the name of justice for the consumer who will steal at the drop of the hat when it’s this easy. But the evil capitalists who sell (I mean exploit) to angelic consumers will get their money back with higher prices for all. It’s a win-win for the thieves.

     

    Since our children are taught in school and from the pulpit that Capitalism is the source of all evil in the world and that business owners and entrepreneurs are the spawn of Satan himself, all you have to do is look at how the younger generation right here on AI justify stealing software, music, and videos because the MPAA and the RIAA are ‘evil.’ When ethical thinking no longer exists it becomes part of the culture to steal with righteous indignation that someone would actually like to get paid for their efforts.

  • Reply 7 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,278member
    plagen wrote: »
    So, I can download a movie, then watch it for 2 weeks and then request a refund? Doesn't make sense, it's like going to a movie theater and then request a refund at the exit.
    No as I read it. I think the AI author may have missed an Apple disclaimer:

    Exception to the right of cancellation
    "You cannot cancel your order for the supply of digital content if the delivery has started upon your request and acknowledgement that you thereby lose your cancellation right."
    http://www.apple.com/legal/internet-services/itunes/uk/rightofwithdrawal-uk.pdf

    In other words you have the right to cancel up until you begin your movie download. After that point "you lose your cancellation right". Note that Apple's disclaimer is exactly in line with the EU rules which stipulate the same thing.

    " Consumers will be able to pull out of purchases of digital content up to the point where downloading or
    streaming of the content begins. "

    http://ec.europa.eu/justice/consumer-marketing/files/crd_arc2014_factsheet-consumer_general_en.pdf

    The AI article is incorrect about Apple voluntarily refunding digital goods once downloaded as far as I can tell. Apple will not refund digital purchases under normal circumstances, nor does the EU require them to.
  • Reply 8 of 20
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,783member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Plagen View Post

     

    So, I can download a movie, then watch it for 2 weeks and then request a refund? Doesn't make sense, it's like going to a movie theater and then request a refund at the exit.




    I personally know a theatre owner (family owned) and yes people do request a refund after watching a movie because of the flimsiest reasons like “it was too cold” or “it was too hot” or “my seat wasn’t comfortable enough” or “I didn’t like the popcorn” or “I like Pepsi but you only have Coke”

     

    Really, they do.

  • Reply 9 of 20
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    No as I read it. I think the AI author may have missed an Apple disclaimer:



    Exception to the right of cancellation

    "You cannot cancel your order for the supply of digital content if the delivery has started upon your request and acknowledgement that you thereby lose your cancellation right."

    http://www.apple.com/legal/internet-services/itunes/uk/rightofwithdrawal-uk.pdf



    In other words you have the right to cancel up until you begin your movie download. After that point "you lose your cancellation right". Note that Apple's disclaimer is exactly in line with the EU rules which stipulate the same thing.



    " Consumers will be able to pull out of purchases of digital content up to the point where downloading or

    streaming of the content begins. "


    http://ec.europa.eu/justice/consumer-marketing/files/crd_arc2014_factsheet-consumer_general_en.pdf



    Then it's even stranger. It implies that there are people who wait for two weeks between pressing the "Pay" button and "Download" button.

  • Reply 10 of 20
    plagen wrote: »

    Then it's even stranger. It implies that there are people who wait for two weeks between pressing the "Pay" button and "Download" button.

    In the US if I buy a movie or a TV show I can choose to download now or later. I assume that is in all stores.

    My guess is that IAP are also excluded, outside of the one time refunds they give for parents not using restrictions.

    Although not required ny current laws I suspect they are doing this to avoid any lawsuits. The EU can be quick to sue Apple in the name of customer protection. I wonder if it will spread to the U.S. etc
  • Reply 11 of 20
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

     

    Since our children are taught in school and from the pulpit that Capitalism is the source of all evil in the world and that business owners and entrepreneurs are the spawn of Satan himself, all you have to do is look at how the younger generation right here on AI justify stealing software, music, and videos because the MPAA and the RIAA are ‘evil.’ When ethical thinking no longer exists it becomes part of the culture to steal with righteous indignation that someone would actually like to get paid for their efforts.


     

    Thank you for replying.  But dude.  You went off on the deep end with this paragraph...

  • Reply 12 of 20
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,771member
    Wish this had been clarified a couple of days ago. On 14th December I accidentally paid for and downloaded a game guide instead of the actual game.
  • Reply 13 of 20
    ddawson100 wrote: »
    Does that mean download an app, don't like it and you can request a refund? Also,

    "Digital goods are explicitly exempted from those regulations, however, likely signaling that Apple's move is a voluntary one."

    I'm probably missing something in here but everything is delivered digitally from the app store.

    I've done that before in the US. They seem to instantly refund your purchase without question. It's a pretty easy process… perhaps too easy.
  • Reply 14 of 20
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Crowley View Post



    Wish this had been clarified a couple of days ago. On 14th December I accidentally paid for and downloaded a game guide instead of the actual game.

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post





    I've done that before in the US. They seem to instantly refund your purchase without question. It's a pretty easy process… perhaps too easy.



    Agreed, I have done it many times in the UK too. Go to iTunes -> Account -> Purchases and click Report a Problem on the item you don't want, reason as it's not what you thought it was, it will get refunded.

  • Reply 15 of 20
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Crowley View Post



    Wish this had been clarified a couple of days ago. On 14th December I accidentally paid for and downloaded a game guide instead of the actual game.

     

     

    Just notify Apple of your mistake and I'm sure they'll put it right.

  • Reply 16 of 20
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    I wonder if these kind of laws will change advertising? There's no point making ads that try to cause an emotional impulse buy if people legally have 14 days to change their mind. Maybe ads will tend more toward being reasoned arguments.

  • Reply 17 of 20
    Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

    You went off on the deep end with this paragraph...


     

    So where’s he wrong?

     

    Originally Posted by ascii View Post

    There's no point making ads that try to cause an emotional impulse buy if people legally have 14 days to change their mind.

     

    Or we’ll see a rash of apps that only unlock their full capabilities after 15 days of ownership. ;)

  • Reply 18 of 20
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

    Or we’ll see a rash of apps that only unlock their full capabilities after 15 days of ownership. ;)


    Lol, developers fight back.

  • Reply 19 of 20
    lkrupp wrote: »

    I personally know a theatre owner (family owned) and yes people do request a refund after watching a movie because of the flimsiest reasons like “it was too cold” or “it was too hot” or “my seat wasn’t comfortable enough” or “I didn’t like the popcorn” or “I like Pepsi but you only have Coke”

    Really, they do.

    People...they're the worst people I know! ????
  • Reply 20 of 20
    hungoverhungover Posts: 602member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Plagen View Post

     



    Then it's even stranger. It implies that there are people who wait for two weeks between pressing the "Pay" button and "Download" button.


     

    Even more odd, on the sample refund form, they ask for both the purchase and delivery date, even though delivery will negate your right to a refund.

Sign In or Register to comment.