See, sometimes there is method to my madness! After being a
little lot stupid and buying a crappy $200 Vuvuzela app from the Google Play store on Sunday (see video above), I thought I kissed that money goodbye. I failed to remember you can easily get refunds out of the Googe Play store within 15 minutes of purchase just by going back to the app and tapping the Refund button. D'oh! By the time Phil reminded me about this later in the day, hours had already passed, so we both assumed I was out of luck.
Turns out that's not the case though. While the 15 minute refund is a no-hassle, no-questions asked refund policy, you can actually request an app refund beyond the 15 minute time window. As I type this it's almost 30 hours after I bought the Vuvuzela app, and I just requested the refund and was issued it within minutes. I'm sure many of you out there are familiar with this process already, but for those who are not keep reading for the details!
The Fine Print
Section 3.4 of the Android Developer Distribution agreement authorizes Google to provide returns of apps that cannot be previewed for up to 48 hours after purchase:
3.4 Special Refund Requirements. The Payment Processor's standard terms and conditions regarding refunds will apply except the following terms apply to your distribution of Products on the Market.
Products that can be previewed by the buyer (such as ringtones and wallpapers): No refund is required or allowed.
Products that cannot be previewed by the buyer (such as applications): You authorize Google to give the buyer a full refund of the Product price if the buyer requests the refund within 48 hours after purchase.
So per the rules of engagement, an app refund is obtainable. Now here's how request it.
Getting the App Refund
1. Head to Google Play Account page. Once logged in, the url is https://play.google.com/store/account
2. Under the Options column, click on the Report a problem link for the app you want refunded.
3. From the Select an option drop down menu, select I'd like to request a refund.
4. Fill out the reason you want a refund and hit the Send Report button.
That's all there is to it. Below is what I filled out when requesting the refund on the Vuvuzela app. Google notes that they will be "only able to make exceptions to our refund policy in cases where there are extenuating circumstances." There's no guarantee you'll receive your refund, but in my case I got the confirmation email that it was refunded within minutes.
So there you have it. Mischief managed. And we learned something new. Big upps to ZiggSVO on twitter for pointing me in the right direction on this one.