EU 14-day digital content refunds potentially allow abuse

Apple has recently introduced a new 14-day refund policy for apps on the App Store, whereby consumers can receive a refund, no questions asked, for up to 14-days after purchase.

The new system is fully automated and is done via a simple option in iTunes:

Whilst this allows peace of mind for the consumer, in that if they don't like an app they can receive a refund and perhaps buy another one, it also allows abuse.

For example, games can be purchased, completed within the two week window and then returned. The issue at the current time is that even after receiving a refund, the app continues to work on the respective device that it is installed on. Granted, you cannot re-download it but if you keep it on the device it continues to work, indefinitely.

On Google Play, an app is uninstalled from an Android device when a refund is received, so it is strange that Apple hasn't followed suit just yet.

This "workaround" to getting free apps would potentially work with other digital content such as music and films too, as the new EU refunds policy also applies to these content types.

Perhaps the solution is for Apple to implement a forced content removal policy so when your device next connects to the internet, all purchases missing in your iTunes purchase history are removed from the device.

Whilst this policy is good for consumers, it needs to be balanced with supporting content producers and right now that doesn't seem to be the case.

Source: 9to5Mac

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