How to get a refund for apps purchased from the Google Play Store
Have you ever purchased a shiny new app, perhaps with positive reviews, from Google Play Store but came to realize that the app doesn’t deliver on its promises? That feeling just sucks, doesn’t it?
It could also be that you don’t find the app appealing enough to use again. There are also many apps on the Play Store that are simply scams, i.e. they promise X but deliver Y, or sometimes they deliver nothing at all. It could be a fitness tracker app, a new endless runner game, it could practically be any app or game from the vast Play Store library.
The good news is that Google has a refund process built right into the Play Store. The downside is that if you want a hassle-free refund process, you will have to act rather quickly.
Here’s how to get a refund on apps you bought from the Play Store.
Get an easy refund from Google Play Store
The easiest way to get a refund on a recently purchased app or game is to request for a refund directly on the Play Store. The process is extremely simple, with no questions asked about why you want to get a refund, but there’s a catch. You have to act quickly, in fact, you will have to submit a refund request within two hours of purchasing the app or game. To think about it, two hours is plenty long to determine whether you would like to continue using an app, playing a game, etc.
To get an easy refund, you have to first open the Google Play Store app, navigate to the page of the app or game that you’d like to return and get your money back, and then tap on the “REFUND” button. If that button is missing, it means that you’ve already missed the two hour window.
Do keep in mind that you cannot use the “REFUND” option if you purchase an app for the second time. The second-time purchase is permanent, which is a measure taken by Google to prevent abuse of its refund system.
But what if you missed the two-hour Play Store refund window? Read on to find out what to do.
Contact the app or game developers requesting for a refund
In case you’ve missed the two-hour window, don’t begin to pull out your hair just yet. There might still be hope.
Contacting the app or game developers and requesting for a refund doesn’t come with a a 100% guarantee of success. You could write to the developers expressing your discontent with the app or game and request that they refund your purchase. It is then entirely their discretion to process the refund, or not to do so.
Either way, to get the developer’s contact details, head over to the app or game’s landing page on the Google Play Store, expand the description by tapping on ‘Read More’ and pray for the legitimacy of the contact details. Provided anyone checks the contact email, the second half of your struggle would be to convince the developers to return your money.
Get a refund for in-app purchases in apps and games
For apps and games that are free to download and play, developers have to look towards other avenues for monetising their products. In-app purchases is one such avenue for them, and when used well can help developers earn a lot of money.See also: 15 best free Android games with no in app purchases
Getting a refund for an in-app purchase may be difficult, but it isn’t an impossible task for sure. There’s no two-hour magic refund button that would sweep away your problems. Instead, you will have to contact the developers of the concerned app or game and explain why you would like a refund for the in-app purchase that you made recently. It is then entirely up to the developers to decide whether they want to accept your request and give you a refund, or not.
Contact Google’s support team for help with refund
In case the developers don’t reply to your emails or disagree that you should receive a refund but you still feel that you are entitled to getting your money back, there is one last option for you to try. Google’s support page says that you can contact their support team asking for help solving your problem.
Before you go ahead with this route, read the conditions satisfying which Google says you should contact their support team: “If the developer doesn’t have contact information listed, hasn’t responded to your request, or their response was unsatisfactory, contact our support team to see if we can help.”
You can contact Google’s support team for refunds related to both app purchases as well as for in-app purchases. Good luck!
How long does it take to get a refund from Google Play Store?
Refunds from Google Play Store are processed back to your original method of payment. Hence, it might take different amounts of time to receive refunds depending on the payment method used at the time of purchasing the app or game.
For credit cards or PayPal, Google says it takes between 3-5 business days. For Google Play balance (in case you made the purchase using a Gift Card or credit) or Google Wallet balance, refunds usually take just 1 day to appear in your account.
The bottom line is, if you’ve just purchased a new app or game that doesn’t turn out the way the developers promised, or if the app or game doesn’t suit you, you will have to act fast (within 2 hours) for a hassle-free refund process.Read next: How to move apps to SD card from your internal storage