Apple’s iTunes will now offer a refund for 14 days after purchase, bringing the company in line with European regulations and offering the prospect of de facto “trial periods” on the app store for the first time.
Previously, refunds were made on a case-by-case basis and when accompanied with a good reason, but now customers within the UK will not have to explain the reason for their return via its “report a problem” page.
The terms and conditions on the iTunes website now read: “Right of cancellation: If you choose to cancel your order, you may do so within 14 days from when you received your receipt without giving any reason, except iTunes Gifts which cannot be refunded once you have redeemed the code.
Apple appears to have gone further than European regulations demand, however.
The regulations allow companies to refuse the right of withdrawal once the “performance” of digital content has begun – in other words, once a user has listened to a song or used an App. Apple, on the other hand, appears to be honouring refund requests, even for software which has been used within the 14 day period.
That has led many developers, particularly those who make single-use or short-term apps, to worry that they may see an increase in returns, as people “rent” their applications for no cost.