There was a time when getting a refund for an app or game purchased through the Google Play Store was only 15 minutes. Since then it has bounced back up to 2 hours. Recently it’s climbed to 48 hours, with a slight catch and Google has defined the process in their support documentation.
For most purchases 2 hours is more that enough time to let you evaluate the app and decide if it’s a keeper or not. But what if you got distracted, or downloaded it with every intention of checking it and for whatever reason didn’t get around to it? What if in that situation it just wasn’t the app for you?
According to the latest version of the Google Play help and support page you can now process an application for a refund within 48 hours, and in the majority of cases get a reply within 15 minutes. There are some guidelines around these refunds, according to the help page:
Refunds may be available for purchases on Google Play:
- If something was bought on your account or with your payment method that you didn’t permit, we can usually help.
- If the purchase you made wasn’t delivered, doesn’t work, or isn’t what you expected, we can usually help.
- If you bought something by accident, or bought something then changed your mind, we may be able to help depending on the specific situation.
- If you give your account or payment details to someone else, appear to be abusing our policies, or don’t protect your account with authentication, we usually can’t issue a refund.
For those with less than pure intents, we direct you to the last condition. Even though this is most likely an automated system, don’t think the means no one is watching. Google is after all the self-proclaimed king of Machine learning. If users “appear to be abusing our policies” i.e. constantly, Google will notice and we assume flag your account for more human intervention, making future refund requests more difficult.
App developers work hard to bring you the apps and games you love if you made a genuine mistake it’s good to officially know you avenues for app refund are open a little longer. But for people who would abuse that system, it’s equally good to know Google is watching for them.
Have you ever had issues getting an app refund for a valid reason? What was your experience?