Google Confirms Play Store's 2 Hour Refund Window Is Here To Stay

Google has been in the news quite a lot recently for both good and bad reasons. The good has come in abundance over the last few months with numerous announcements and releases about upcoming Android changes (L), the introduction of Android Wear, TV and Auto and also the rumours circulating around the future of Nexus. However the bad has also been noted with Google very recently agreeing with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to refund a minimum of $19 million back to parents whose children were able to easily download IAPs without their parents' consent through the Play Store

Speaking of the Play Store, back in early August we reported details that the Play Store had seemed to quietly update its refund policy in general. Whether these two factors (FCC and the new refund policy) are related is unclear but we did report that the Play Store seemed to be offering users a two hour window to refund an unwanted app. In short, once you downloaded an app, a refund button would remain on the app page for up to two hours allowing you to instantly return the app and get your money back. In spite of noticing this change, Google did not provide any official announcement and instead the Play Store policy page still claimed that users only had the reduced 15 minute timeframe to automatically refund unwanted apps. Fifteen minutes certainly was not long enough and one theory was Google were not actually changing the timeframe to two hours but instead allowing users an undefined period to refund, allowing for larger files or varying download speeds. Well it now seems that is not the case.

Although there is still no official announcement from Google on the topic it seems today the Play Store's policy page has been updated which is as good as an announcement. The new policy page clearly states the two hour refund window has come into effect and presumably on a permanent basis "After the two-hour return period has passed, an Uninstall button will appear instead of a Refund button. Selecting Uninstall will remove the application from your device, but you won't receive a refund". So there you go. Any apps you now download will come with two hours of free testing with the option to refund. This is good news for users and certainly a massive improvement on the previous 15 minute window. So head over to the Play Store and get downloading. Your two hour countdown has begun.


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About the Author

John Anon

John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]