How to get a refund on an app

Holly Thomas / 05 March 2015

More than half of UK households own a tablet or smartphone – or both - these days.

Frequent users know that in the time it takes to boil a kettle you can purchase several items online and have already received an email to say your purchases are on their way to you.

It’s just as quick to download an app – which is why many people could end up with unwanted purchases.


Common app mistakes

Common mistakes in the realms of downloads include iPhone users buying an iPad version of the app or vice versa; buying an app with a similar name to the one you wanted – but not the right one or buying the wrong book.

You might select a movie that is too large for the memory of your device, yet cancelling the download doesn’t cancel the charge.

Equally, it could be that during a family visit, your grandchildren are playing with your iPad and suddenly you are the proud new owner of several games – and a hefty bill.


How to get a refund

There are certain circumstances when you will be granted a refund and the flexibility depends on the company. For Apple purchases, launch iTunes and select the iTunes Store to access your purchase history. You can select the item and pick your issue from the dropdown box that will register directly with Apple.

Apple has recently introduced a new 14-day no questions asked return policy for iTunes, App Store and iBooks purchases in Europe.

Google’s Play Store offers just a two-hour return window for apps, but 14 days for music subscriptions.

Those with a Kindle may have bought the wrong book. You may request a refund for books purchased from the Kindle Store within 14 days of purchase by contacting customer services. You can also request a refund yourself via Manage Your Content and Devices.

However, purchases from the Amazon Appstore, the Digital Music Store, and the Amazon Instant Video Store are not returnable after purchase.


How to prevent accidental purchases

You can prevent accidental purchases by setting parental controls which allow you to restrict access to the Amazon Appstore for Android, the Digital Music Store, or the Amazon Instant Video store, or require a password to make purchases.

The same goes with iTunes. Make sure you set it so that you need to enter a password.


Getting refunds on faulty apps

If there is a technical fault, then you could be entitled to a refund.

The process differs with each company, but you will find the route to a refund in the “My Account” section under your purchase list. You may have to add an explanation and it might take some time and effort. But you are entitled to your money back if the purchase is faulty within 14 days – thereafter is at the individual company’s discretion.

However, if you want to keep the app or book or whatever it is, you might be better off with technical support. Where certain songs don’t download from an album, for example. Once registered, this problem can usually be rectified.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.