UPDATED 07:15 EDT / DECEMBER 30 2014

Apple now offers 14-day ‘no questions asked’ refunds for digital purchases in Europe

iTunes Store1If you are unhappy with a recent decision to buy a song or app from the App Store or iTunes, then the introduction of Apple Inc.’s 14-day return policy will be good news for you. Mac App Store, iOS App Store, iTunes Store and iBooks Store customers living in the European Union will now have the opportunity to get a full refund up to 14 days after their purchase, no questions asked.

Apple’s prior cancellation policy allowed customers to cancel a transaction, but only until the point of delivery, however, with the instantaneous delivery of songs and apps, the transactions were final as soon as the transaction was approved.

Their new cancellation policy wording states:

“Right of cancellation: If you choose to cancel your order, you may do so within 14 days from when you received your receipt without giving any reason, except iTunes Gifts which cannot be refunded once you have redeemed the code.”

Apple then go on to say that the reimbursement will happen no later than 14 days after they have received the cancellation order from the consumer.

Consumers, however, will forfeit their right of cancellation if they have deliberately chosen to download the media.

Apple’s introduction of a new 14-day return policy is likely due to the EU’s new Consumer Rights Directive. By implementing EU-wide guidelines, the directive, which took effect in June aims to protect consumers buying digital goods. The directive includes the banning of pre-ticked boxes on websites, better refund rights, the elimination of hidden charges and increased price transparency.

In addition, the directive also has penalties for companies who do not properly communicate the withdrawal policy:

“Extra protection for lack of information: When a seller hasn’t clearly informed the customer about the withdrawal right, the return period will be extended to a year.”

For apps and media refunds, Google Inc.’s Play Store offers a two-hour return policy worldwide. However, the Play Store does not seem to have updated their support document to include the new 14-day return policy; however, it does offer EU customers a 14-day refund period for their Google Play Music subscriptions.

Apple’s new 14-day return policy only applies to EU countries, so all other countries, including the U.S., will still have the current Apple policy applied to all their purchases. Apple does provide refunds in certain cases due to technical issues or delivery failure; however, these are handled on a case-by-case base by the relevant support channels.

Image via Apple Inc.

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