How to Get a Refund for an iPhone App

Nov 13, 2010 - 20 Comments

refund app store purchase If you bought an iPhone app and it didn’t work on your device due to technical failures or limitations, you may be eligible for a refund from Apple.

How to Get a Refund for an iPhone App

The process for claiming a refund is easy, here are the steps:

  • Launch iTunes
  • Click on iTunes Store
  • Login to your iTunes account, if you’re already logged in click on your email in the upper right corner of iTunes
  • Click on “Purchase History”
  • Select the app that you want a refund for
  • Click on “Report a Problem”

refund iphone app store

  • Fill out the form detailing the problem with the app purchase and why you want a refund
  • If the iTunes approach fails, you can use Apple’s web form instead.
  • Submit the problem report and wait for a response from Apple

The amount of time you have to wait varies, but it’s usually a pretty quick claims process.

Apple will deny unreasonable refund requests, “I didn’t like the app” is generally not a valid reason for a refund (although I’m sure there are exceptions). Technical problems limiting the functionality of the app or preventing it from launching completely are probably valid claims for an app refund, but all refunds are given at Apple’s discretion.

Here’s the official refund policy, cited from the iTunes Store Terms & Conditions:

All sales and rentals of products are final.

Prices for products offered via the Services may change at any time, and the Services do not provide price protection or refunds in the event of a price reduction or promotional offering.

If a product becomes unavailable following a transaction but prior to download, your sole remedy is a refund. If technical problems prevent or unreasonably delay delivery of your product, your exclusive and sole remedy is either replacement or refund of the price paid, as determined by Apple.

While Apple officially says that all sales are final, in practice this is not always the case, as technical claims have resulted in refunds. Obviously this refund process is the same for an iPad or any other iOS app too.

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Posted by: Manish Patel in iPad, iPhone, Troubleshooting

20 Comments

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  1. Alex says:

    I always wondered about this, good to know

  2. M. Malik says:

    I wish I knew about this 2 weeks ago. My son accidentally purchase a Sonic the Hedgehog game on my iPhone for $2.99. He realized right away and told me, but I didn’t think there was any way I could report something like that. I don’t know if Apple would give me a refund, but at least I know there is somewhere I could report my problem.

    • John Smith says:

      This isn’t Apple’s problem. It’s your problem for giving your son the itunes password if he isn’t supposed to buy things on your phone.

      • Jake Dew says:

        You make a point john, but I think it was rude to say it the way you did. You have trust in your son. Accidents happen, sonic the hedgehog is BEAST, and its only 2.99. Its not the end of the world.

  3. [...] is that even possible? Guess what folks, it sure is.While reading a very informative post over at OSX Daily the other day, I stumbled across a very easy way you can request a refund for that under-developed [...]

  4. [...] all else fails, you can also try to get an iPhone app refund from [...]

  5. [...] is a nice addition and undoubtedly helps to eliminate refund requests, and maybe it’ll even make some people think twice before inadvertently buying an app [...]

  6. SWhibley says:

    This doesn’t work now… if you Report a Problem and say that the app is not working, they just say that it’s not their problem and direct you to the developer’s website. You can now no longer report a problem again on the same app so if the developer doesn’t help, you can’t complain to apple.

  7. [...] are valid claims for an app refund. In this way you can get a refund for a purchased iPhone app. [Via] [...]

  8. cheryl glover says:

    I was charged for two apps I did not receive and would like to be refunded what do I do. Thank you Cheryl Glover

  9. [...] hardware before buying. If you live near an Apple Store, why not? It beats trying to negotiate the App Store refund process, which doesn’t reimburse apps you just don’t like anyway. [...]

  10. I wanted to try an upgrade to software I purchased twice from the same developer. The last time was less than 6 months ago when I bought a new machine. The ‘help’ contact link in the App Store has no way to contact the developer and he no longer answers the email from his old link. I complained to the Apple Store and they said they couldn’t help me. I threatened a small claims law suit which would cost Apple way more than the $9.99 the developer is asking and they gave me the ‘one time refund’. I complained further about this developer but his app is still in the App store (SoundConverter). They need to revisit this policy or people Apple will be in small claims court more and more. Or they won’t show up and I’d get a default judgement, show up with a moving van at Apple’s corporate headquarters with a TV film crew. It worked for one guy who sued a bank somewhere.

  11. Jasem says:

    Before I buy you said that there is a translation of the Arabic language, but after the purchase I did not find the Arabic language
     Thanx
    Jasem

  12. [...] kid-proofing feature before letting a youngster use an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to prevent any accidental charges or [...]

  13. Nello says:

    This doesn’t work any more. The “Report A Problem” feature in iTunes is thoroughly broken.

  14. DEMojica says:

    It’s still doesn’t work. I’m about to sell my iPhone and iPad and get rid of everything Apple related. I been forced to “EAT” a dozen app’s that didn’t work as stated and couldn’t get a refund. The one that is about to become the last straw, is I downloaded the latest issue of Discover magazine and got charged $5.99 for the copy while I have a subscrition good until Sept of 2013 that I paid $19.99 for. Plus the taxes!!! Apple doesn’t care anymore, they could go to you know where!!!

  15. [...] “How to Get a Refund from the Apple App Store” : If your app is selling for a low price, it can often be more economical to offer a refund to a user rather than try to solve their problem. This is especially true if it’s an issue that looks unfixable without a new release or will take a long time for you to reproduce. Users generally respond well to this gesture and are satisfied that you’ve acknowledged their issue and have taken action to compensate them. [...]

  16. [...] buying every single Pokemon item on the Store, you’re either stuck with it or you have to go through an indirect process to basically beg for a return by using the “Report a Problem” feature. Not good. Yes, [...]

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