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All Google Play refunds to be taken from dev payouts following policy tweaks

All Google Play refunds to be taken from dev payouts following policy tweaks

February 24, 2017 | By Chris Kerr

Google Play developers will now have to fork out for all refunds after some tweaks were made to the digital marketplace's refund policy. 

Previously Google had pledged to absorb the cost of every refund made after 48 hours of purchase, but as reported by 9to5Google, the tech company has now changed its stance.

In an email to Google Play developers, the company explained it will now be subtracting "all refunds from developer payouts, not just those made within 48 hours of purchase."

In short, this means devs will have to reimburse disgruntled consumers from their own pockets, irrespective of whether a refund was granted two hours or two weeks after a purchase was made. 

Google Play's current refund policy lets consumers make a no questions asked refund within two hours. And if they miss that window, there's an easy way to apply for a refund within 48 hours. 

There's also a less-publicized way to get a refund after those two days are up, as shoppers can simply request a refund via email -- a request that will most likely be granted. 

"In order to keep Play fair for users and developers, and bring Play in line with the majority of app and game stores in the industry, we are making a change to our developer policy regarding refunds," reads an email set to developers. 

"We will subtract all refunds from developer payouts, not just those made within 48 hours of purchase. The Google Play Developer Distribution Agreement will be updated to reflect this change in the coming months.

"With the same goal in mind, we've just launched the Voided Purchases API to help you maintain a fair ecosystem in your app or game, [allowing you to] check which users have refunded or charged back in-app purchases in order to claw back those items for that user in your app or game."

Google says these changes will become more apparent in the weeks ahead, and explained it will look to balance its new system by making a futher "tweaks" to its automated refund process.

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