Whether you’re using an iPhone, an iPad, or a Mac, Apple has a simple, straightforward system to ask for refunds or return items you didn’t want.
It could be anything from music bought from iTunes (especially if you then saw it on Apple Music) to games, apps, iBooks, and even some Apple services.
Here’s how to get a refund from the Mac or iTunes App Store in the easiest way possible.
Understand Apple’s Refunds Policy
Before we begin the refund process, you need to understand what circumstances entitle you to a refund. You can’t just buy an app, use it for your project, and then return it. There are rules in place and you’ve agreed to some EULA clauses, whether you know it or not.
Things to keep in mind:
- If you buy an app and it goes on discount or has its price slashed, you can’t get a refund to match the new price.
- 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, you’ll can try to get either replacement or refund of the price paid, as determined by Apple.
- Paid in-app purchases or subscriptions are non-refundable.
- The subscription for iTunes Match is non-refundable (except as required by applicable law), and will automatically renew for one-year periods until you cancel.
When a Refund Is Applicable:
- Users in the UK and certain other EU countries have a “No Questions Asked” 14-day App Store refund policy.
- If an item was bought accidentally with Apple’s 1-Click ordering system.
- If an item was bought by your child without your knowledge (but you’ll have to prove this somehow). Remember, to avoid this, it’s best to lock down in-app purchase permissions.
- You purchased an app with the wrong iTunes account.
- You bought the wrong app when choosing between multiple apps with similar names.
- You bought the incorrect version of the app; for example, buying an app’s iPhone version instead of its iPad version.
- The item doesn’t work as advertised. Yup, this can happen, like when a developer pulls a few tricks to avoid bad reviews.
In short, as long as you are behaving honorably, you should get your money back. If you’re trying to get paid apps for free, that’s not going to work through a refund.
One Site to Return Them All
As an Apple user, the iTunes App Store for iOS and the Mac App Store for OS X are tremendously helpful. All the apps and games you might want are safely screened, and you don’t need to make different accounts or pay with different methods. It’s all centralized — one of the benefits when you buy into an ecosystem, not a gadget.
So the good news is that whether you’re asking for a refund for an app on iOS or OS X, you need to head to the same place (reportaproblem.apple.com) and follow the same procedure. Feel free to use a desktop or a mobile browser to do this, because everything works exactly the same way.
1. Head to Report A Problem & Sign In
While there are methods to ask for a return through the Mac App Store, it’s best to use the specialized online site because that’s where the Mac store will take you anyway. As we mentioned above, this one site works for both iOS and OS X, so there’s no reason to try something else.
2. Choose a Category for Your Purchase
Report a Problem shows all your recent purchases and downloads on all your Apple devices. So if you get a lot of stuff, the “All” category will be overwhelming. Instead, to make it easy to find the item you want to return, choose one of the categories: Music, Films, TV Programmes, Apps, and Books.
3. Locate the Item & Click “Report a Problem”
Self-explanatory, isn’t it?
4. Click “Choose a Problem” & Describe It
As you can see, you have a few different possible options here:
- I didn’t authorize this purchase
- Didn’t mean to purchase this item
- Meant to purchase a different item
- Item didn’t download or can’t be found
- Item won’t install or downloads to slowly
- Item opens but doesn’t function as expected
- Problem is not listed here
Pick the one that best applies to your situation, and then in the box, describe what the problem is and why you want a refund.
This step is important! If your app isn’t pre-approved for a refund, Apple reviews this description to decide if you should get a refund or not.
5. Click “Submit”
Once you click the Submit button, you’ll get one of two messages:
- Refund issued: Obviously, this means your payment method has been refunded for this process. You should get an alert accordingly, along with an email from Apple.
- Your payment method will be issued a refund for this purchase: This means Apple Support will be reviewing your request for a refund before approving it. It’s likely that you’ll get it in 5-7 business days. In some cases, Apple Support might follow up with more questions to clarify the situation, sometimes even looping in the app developer.
6. Review Your Request (Optional)
In case you haven’t heard back, you can revisit reportaproblem.apple.com and log in to see the status of your refund request. If Apple is working on it, you’ll see “Pending” instead of “Report a Problem” in the button.
Have You Successfully Got a Refund?
I tried out two apps for the refund process, in which the older one (BetterChat for WhatsApp) was refunded immediately, while the newer purchase (Game of Quotes) was stuck in pending. Overall, the process was smooth and easy — just like getting a refund on the Android Play Store.
Have you successfully returned an app, a downloaded song or movie, or an eBook in the iOS or Mac App Store? What was your experience like?
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