Apple has introduced a new 14-day return window for digital purchases made in several European countries. App Store, iTunes, and iBookstore items purchased in the U.K., Germany, Italy, and France are now eligible for complete refunds, and users are not required to give a reason for returning their order.
“If you choose to cancel your order, you may do so within 14 days from when you received your receipt without giving any reason,” Apple’s terms read, “except iTunes Gifts which cannot be refunded once you have redeemed the code.”
Previously, Apple offered refunds “until delivery of the product [had] started,” which meant as soon as your purchase was added to your account and you were able to gain access to it — either by downloading it to your device or streaming it — you could not get your money back.
Apple Support did provide occasional refunds under certain circumstances, however, and that’s how it will continue to deal with cases in the U.S. and Canada. But those in the four European countries listed above get their money back from accidental digital purchases within 14 days without providing a reason for their return.
Apple says it will process refunds within two weeks of receiving notice of cancellation, which customers can provide either via the “Report a Problem” feature or a written statement. The new policy appears to be a response to a recent consumer rights directive that states customers should get a 14-day right to withdrawal from all goods and services purchases.
Technically, this means you can buy a game from the App Store or a movie from iTunes, enjoy it as much as you like within 14 days, and then return it for a refund claiming you didn’t mean to buy it — but that’s definitely not something we would recommend. It’s unclear whether Apple will look into whether digital content has been used, but presumably there will be a system to prevent this.