How to Get App Refunds

by Sandra Henshaw - , Last Updated on November 9, 2015, App Guides

Apps are integral to owning a smart phone, and chances are that you’ve got a couple of home screens full of your favourite choices. But what happens when you don’t like the app that you’ve just downloaded? If it’s a free one, no probs, you just delete it. However, if you’ve spent some cash, you might not be a happy camper. Fortunately, there are ways that you can get a refund, for both Android and iOS, though it’s not always easy. We’re taking a look at how to get app refunds, so if you’re a frequent downloader, then read on!

Why You Can Get an App Refund

Let’s start out by saying that with one big exception, you’re going to need a good reason to ask for a refund. Simply not liking something isn’t going to be enough. Maybe the app doesn’t do what it promised, maybe it effects the performance of your phone, maybe it takes up more space than advertised. Or maybe (and we’re not telling you to be sneaky here, really, we’re not) your “kid” downloaded the app by mistake. Whatever your reason the point is that you actually need a reason in most cases. But let’s talk about that big exception for a second…

Google Play: Making Things Easy

If you’re an Android user then there’s some good news. Google Play offer you a full, no questions asked, refund for two hours after you’ve downloaded an app. That’s right, download something, check it out, and as long as you decide within two hours you can get a refund.

How does it work? Go into Google Play, go to My Account, then to My Orders. If you’re within the two hour time limit there should be a Refund button next to the app concerned. And that’s it. You’re done. The money will be credited to your account. Do be aware that if you download the SAME app again you will no longer have a refund option.

So, that was the exception. What about all the other cases?

Refunds for Android

Once that two hour window is up for Android users then you’re going to need to appeal to the developer of the app. That’s right, Google have left the decision when it comes to refunds to developers, rather than controlling it themselves. You’ll need to contact the developer and give your reasons for wanting a refund and see if he or she is willing to help you. There’s no hard and fast rule, and a developer is NOT required to help. However, most will, if only to prevent getting bad reviews.

Where can you get developer contact info? Go to Google Play and find the page for the app itself, scroll to the bottom and there should be an email address under the heading “developer email.” Simple.

There is one last avenue of recourse. If the developer does not have contact info listed on the app page, doesn’t answer your email, or gives you an unsatisfactory response, you can then try to contact Google. You MUST contact the developer first if possible. In order to do this go to Google Play, Help, Contact Us, Android Apps & Games, and then finally Request a Refund to start this process. You’ll then be able to choose between a phone call, instant message chat or email to talk with a customer service representative. Again, Google don’t have to help you, but a well reasoned argument may win them around.

Refunds for iOS

Unlike with Android, you’re not going to get a free two hour period for refunds with Apple, and you’re only going to be allowed to request a refund for apps purchased within the last ninety days. Anything older than that and you’re probably stuck with it, unfortunately.

Essentially you’re going to need to go to Apple’s “report a problem” page, and there are various ways to get to that page that we’ll discuss in a second. Once you’re at “report a problem” you’ll be given a list of six possible reasons for wanting a refund (including things like “I didn’t authorise this purchase” and “reason not listed here”). Check a reason, then explain yourself in the small box provided, and leave the rest to Apple. They’ll decide whether or not your problem is reasonable.

How to get to that “report a problem” page? The easiest way is just to go online, head to the Apple page and search for “report a problem.” You’ll need to sign in with your Apple ID, then select Apps, then find the app you wanted refunded and click the “report a problem” button next to it.

If you happen to get emails with receipts for your purchases from Apple you can also find a link to the “report a problem” page for that particular app in the email you received when you bought it. And you can also access this page from inside iTunes, just find your app in your purchases tab and go from there. However, both these options just direct you to the Apple website, so it might be faster to use the first solution.

Will you get a refund from Apple? Maybe. They can be quite tricky. Any technical problems with an app tend to get a response of “contact the developer” from Apple, meaning you’ve got to go back and depend on the mercy of the app developer. But you might be able to talk your way into a refund. If an app is older than ninety days then Apple suggest contacting customer support to discuss options, though it’s very rare that you’ll get a refund for apps that old.

Bottom Line Time

Yes, you can get refunds for apps that you’ve bought either through Google Play or the Apple App Store. But it’s not always easy, meaning you’re going to want to be careful what you purchase in the first place. If a free trial version of an app is offered it’s always worth downloading that first, before committing to buying the premium version. If there’s no trial version, then take your time and read plenty of customer reviews before buying!