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How to Get a Refund From the iOS or Mac App Stores

iOS and Mac App Store refunds.jpg

Android users can get an automatic refund for a purchased app, by deleting the app from their devices within 15 minutes of purchasing it. This is a far cry from the 24 hour window that was provided to Android users until recently, but easier than the process in Apple’s iOS store. Shoppers in the iOS store can get refunds, too, albeit through a bit of a convoluted process.

Image from Ben Husmann.

I haven’t actually had to attempt the refund process, but there are numerous articles and posts on the Internet that describe an Apple refund process, and that claim to have had success with it. You have to go into iTunes, sign in, and then find the “Accounts” link on the right side of the screen (or use the dropdown menu to the right of your email address, at the top right of the screen).

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Click that link, and then click the “Purchase History” button. You’ll then see a list of your purchases. At the bottom of the list, you’ll see a “Report a Problem” button.

iTunes Report a Problem.jpg

The screen will then reload. If you look closely next to the list of apps in the top part of the screen (under “Latest Purchases”), you’ll see a column for “Report a Problem.”

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Click the “Report a Problem” link next to the app for which you want to request a refund, and you’ll be taken to a customer service page in your browser. In the left side menu, click on “App Store and iBooks” to expand the menu. If you click on the “Downloading and updating Applications” submenu, you’ll see a screen like the one below. Click the “Email Us” button in the right column.

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You’ll then be taken to a form like the one below.

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Fill it out, paying special attention to the “Specific request” field, but providing as many details as possible. According to Know Your Cell, Apple should reply within a few days. And, as that site points out, use discretion when requesting refunds, as the developers lose their commission if a refund is given.

Although I haven’t tried it, this method likely would work with the Mac App Store as well. In fact, the above screenshots show apps that I purchased for both my MacBook Air and my iPad, in the same list.

Have you ever obtained a refund for an iOS or Mac app, bought through one of Apple’s stores?

A few sites that have reported success with refunds:

Know Your Cell

Pixel Bits