Was the change in Google refund policy beneficial towards app developers?

I remember I made an in-app purchase on a certain App Bi *cough* go sometime this year. The transaction went through, but I waited for a full day, the purchased diamond value was not reflected in my app’s account. A week passed, the figure stayed the same. I then made the decision to contact the developer/publisher since the change of the google wallet policy was to contact the developer directly.The most wonderful thing happened to me, I didn’t get a reply from the developer either via email/their facebook page.I then mailed google support for assistance. What was the result? Well you will know the answer of what google support replied after you finish this article.

The Age of Refund Exploit and Policy Change

If you have realized back in 2015, you could easily do a refund regardless of a game purchase or an in-app purchase on your mobile phone. These easy refunds were then made used of by exploiters whom started to cheat their money back from the developers by purchasing In-app purchases and then refunding. Well, everything changed after December 2015, Google edited their purchase refund policy on google wallet and most refunds were then redirected to the app developer/ publisher. Basically you weren’t filing a report in google wallet anymore, instead you are asked to contact the app developer directly for a refund. This policy stopped most of the refunding exploits that were made used of in google wallet. There are of course still ways to exploit however will not be mentioned here.

Now, allow me to break down the whole process in even more details. If you purchase an app (B2P, buy to play). You have a limit of up to 15 minutes from the time you downloaded the app before you are unable to make a refund. If you feel that the application or game does not suit you, do make sure you refund before the time stated in the policy or you might regret spending it.

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Of course for In-app purchases there are other policy such as accidental purchases, or defect purchase which was not what was stated can also be refund, however at a limited time of within 48 hours. For unauthorized purchases the limit is within 65 days. Most of the people who purchase IAPs usually just glance through the policy and click agree before they even read the 20th word of that policy or perhaps doesn’t even know there was such policies.

The magic ‘poof’

As a result, the people fall prey to such unspoken rules. Since the update in 2015 December, the Refund form was removed from the google wallet itself, making people who wants a refund to contact the developer directly. Unfortunately, it was a big loop-hole.

If you have once tried to refund your IAPs via contacting the developer, you would usually find out that the developer does not reply to you at all. And what happens if they do not reply you? Yep you guessed it. You don’t get your money back at all. You can try to e-mail google support. But all they would reply you would probably the generic sentences of “we are unable to refund you”. And poof goes your money into thin air. Like I said before, I did contact the developer, but to no avail. I contacted the google refund support after. Well you can just see what happens below.


Was the change of policy really a good idea? Yes! Definitely for Google Wallet it was. They were not losing money to the exploiters anymore. But no to the consumers, it was a black hole that sucked their precious money into the depths of no return. Well I believe the same problem of being unable to get your refund back is still being faced by a lot of people out there including the avid mobile gamers of course

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