South Korean game developers are critical of Apple’s App Store mobile app refund policy. The developers say the policy removes them from the process, and allows customers to routinely abuse the system.
Apple controls the App Store payment refund process for paid-for apps and determines whether to give refunds to consumers. According to The Korea Times, because Apple does not provide information about who has been issued a refund, developers have no other choice but to manually track down users and check if they continue to use the charged content they have already received the refunds for.
Apple says it holds back such information as part of a wider effort to protect consumer rights. However, developers say some users abuse the Apple refund policy to purchase charged for content, request a refund, and continue to use the content after receiving their refund. The The Korea Times notes some abusers even run profitable businesses gmaing the refund process on other users’ behalf.
A number of game developers in Korea are taking things into their own hands. Game development house Flint reports it has tracked down 300 users who they say have abused the App Store’s refund policy. They pledge to “root out the abusers” via requests to authorities to investigate the abusing parties.
Apple apparently refuses to supply any information about the users in question:
Mobile game studio Nexon and Longtu Korea said it had asked Apple for the lists of users who requested refunds several times, but the company did not respond. “I cannot understand Apple’s policy in that it does not provide the list of people who abuse the system even when it is already causing problems in the market,” said a source from the studio.
MacRumors notes Apple’s refund policy contrasts with competitor Google, whose own Google Play app store policy states users can receive a refund on paid for mobile content only once, and the request has to be within two hours of payment.