Apple is striking back at users who’ve figured out how to abuse its new refund policy for digital purchases in Europe—by blacklisting them from future reimbursements.
To conform with the EU’s consumer protection laws, Apple rolled out a new policy last month that lets European users who purchase apps, songs, ebooks or other digital media claim refunds within 14 days of purchase. But some customers have discovered they can demand their money back on repeated purchases—apparently even if they keep the downloads.
It may be tough to police everyone, but Apple’s ready to put the kibosh on at least the worst offenders who try to game the system. In other words, ask for too many refunds in a short time period, and the company will flag the behavior and revoke your refund privileges, iDownloadBlog reports.
Apple has already sent messages to users through the App Store, alerting flagged users with the following prompt: “I acknowledge that if I download this app within fourteen days of tapping ‘Buy,’ I will no longer be eligible to cancel this purchase.” The user then has the choice of canceling the download or acknowledging the message to proceed while waiving the right to any refund.
Clearly the company doesn’t want users treating the refund policy like a trial period for paid apps or to let unscrupulous types get away with shady practices. Its latest move seems designed to nip that in the bud.
While the refund policy and its woes remain limited to Europe for now, the company could be eyeing it as a test of sorts for more universal changes down the road. In that way, how Apple handles refunds abroad could influence the way it approaches its App Store policies at home, which can directly affect the developers who stock its digital shelves everywhere.
Photo by Ben Husmann; screenshot courtesy of Twitter user Rosyna