Nothing makes your heart drop down to your stomach like an unexpected charge. Likewise, nothing gets the heart racing faster than a waste of money. No matter the reason — whether it be an accidental purchase, a purchase you regret, or even a purchase that didn’t live up to expectations — a refund is one way to make things better instantly. This is especially true when it comes to apps. But how exactly do you get a refund from the App Store? Luckily, the process is quite easy. Simply follow along with our guide to learn how, complete with photos and step-by-step instructions.
Why Get A Refund From The App Store?
There are a number of reasons why you might want to get a refund from the App Store. Any person who has made a bad purchase can attest to this fact. Officially speaking, however, there are only a select number of reasons that Apple will typically approve for a refund without pushback. (You can always select “Other” and enter your own specific reasoning, but be warned: Deviating from the set list might make a “No” more likely.) Their officially recognized reasons are as follows.
We’ve all been there before. You thought it was free, but, come to find out, it actually costs money. Even something as measly as a $0.99 charge on your billing statement can be an inconvenience when you never meant to make the transaction in the first place. Apple understands this, and that’s why they list it as a reason you can get a refund from the App Store.
Purchased Without Permission
Parents will understand this one. A child takes control of the iPhone or the iPad. They play a bunch of games on it. Before long, there’s a massive bill on your statement. Micro-transactions can mean the death of any well-maintained checking account. Thankfully, Apple lets you refund purchases made without your permission.
Doesn’t Work As Advertised
Who hasn’t seen a deceptive gaming ad before? You know the ones. The game advertised looks incredibly fun. But, when you actually buy and download the thing, it’s nothing like the video made it seem. When this happens, Apple is usually more than happy to give you your money back. False advertisement is no joke, especially when it gets us hook, line, and sinker. Refunds definitely help.
In-App Purchase Never Fulfilled
Sometimes, an app from the App Store just doesn’t deliver like it says it’s going to. If you make an in-app purchase for something that you’re never actually given, then you’re entitled to get your money back. Apple understands that some in-app purchases are never fulfilled on the developer’s end, and for that reason, a refund is available.
Never Meant To Subscribe Or Renew
You can also get a refund from the App Store for accidental subscriptions made through an app. Free trials are nice and all, and the same goes for discounted trial periods. But, it’s always frustrating when that time runs out and you end up getting charged full price. If you never meant to sign up for a paid subscription (or never intended to pay full price after the discounted trial), you can ask for a refund.
How To Get A Refund From The App Store
Now that you know what kind of situations can warrant a refund from the App Store, let’s discuss how to go about getting one in the first place. Because of Apple’s streamlined accessibility across desktop and mobile sites, these instructions will work regardless of device.
iPhone, iPad, Mac… whatever you’re using, it’ll work the same. The same goes for your web browser of choice. But, for the sake of this guide, we’re using Safari on a Mac. Follow along with the steps below to get a refund from the App Store.
Step One: Report A Problem
Firstly, in order to get a refund, you need to let the App Store know there’s a problem. Thankfully, Apple has a handy website for reporting problems: the aptly named reportaproblem.apple.com. Visit the website and sign in using the same Apple ID associated with the App Store purchase.
This step is vital. After all, the App Store links your purchases to your login. As such, the App Store won’t be able to refund you if you’re not signed into the right Apple ID. Luckily, some Apple devices will automatically prompt you to sign into your existing Apple ID (as you can see in the photo above).
Step Two: Request A Refund
Secondly, once signed in, you’ll see a drop-down menu with a number of options to choose from. Here, you can report an issue with quality, report fraud or scams, report any illegal or otherwise offensive content, or — most importantly — request a refund. Select this option from the drop-down menu. You should see it right at the top of the list.
Step Three: Follow The Prompts
For this next step, Apple will ask you to choose a reason why you want a refund. As you might remember from above, there are only a select number of reasons why Apple will refund an App Store purchase. These include accidental purchases, purchases made without your permission, apps that don’t work as they seem, in-app purchases that never came, or subscriptions you never meant to sign up for or renew.
Pick the prompt that best fits your needs, or choose “Other” and enter your own reason. Just remember: As we said previously, deviating from the standard list of refundable problems might result in a “No” compared to the pre-written options. If you can stand to do so, maybe just pick the closest prompt instead of choosing “Other” and getting into the specifics. The choice is ultimately yours.
Step Four: Select What You Want to be Refunded
Lastly, after selecting a reason, you’ll next need to select the app you want to get a refund for. You should see a list of purchases automatically pop up beneath the drop-down menus. From the list, click the one you need to be refunded. Then, click submit. If Apple approves your request, you should get a refund from the App Store in the next 48 hours or less. That’s all there is to it!
For a great walkthrough of the steps covered in this article, you can also watch this video:
The image featured at the top of this post is ©ymgerman/Shutterstock.com.