Tag Archives: iTunes store

Apple defends against EU 14-day refund abuse with App Store alert for customers with excessive refunds on file

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Last week, we reported on a flaw with the EU’s new no-questions-asked 14-day refund policy that meant customers could effectively get paid apps for free, as refunding the app does not delete it from customers’ devices.

In response, Apple has adjusted its App Store purchases slightly for customers who have an excessive number of refunds on file. This means people with a track record of refunding purchase effectively lose the right to refund their purchase.

As reported by iDownloadBlog and noted by Rosyna Keller, the alert shown above only displays if an individual has refunded a lot of iTunes Store content (apps, music, books, films or TV shows). If a user is presented with this dialog, they must agree to the notice before they are allowed to purchase, surrendering their right to refund the transaction later.

This is because EU law allows companies to remove refund rights for digital content as long as users are made explicitly aware at the time of download. Pressing Cancel stops the transaction completely and the user cannot buy the app until they agree.

Naturally, for normal users, Apple does not want to complicate the 1-click purchase flow of the App Store with this modal alert so it gives users a grace period … as long as they use the refund system sensibly. It is not clear exactly what parameters cause the alert to be shown. In regards to the ‘flaw’ we reported, the change means that whilst individuals can ‘steal’ a few apps, the iTunes Store system will mean that users cannot do this indefinitely. This is a big improvement.

Image via iDownloadBlog


Filed under: AAPL Company, Apps, Developers, iOS, iOS Devices Tagged: App Store, Content, EU, free apps, ITunes Store, paid apps, refunds

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The fundamental flaw with EU 14-day refunds: you keep the app forever

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A week ago, Apple introduced 14-day no-questions-asked refunds in the EU for iTunes Store and App Store content. This means that, without the need for a reason, any Apple customer in Europe can get their money back for (primarily) app purchases in 5-7 days time. That’s how it is described, at least.

This opens up some possibilities for abuse. For instance, if you complete a game within two weeks, then you can get your money back and end up paying nothing. As a developer, I tested this out myself. It turns out there is an even bigger problem. At least, right now, when the refund is processed, the app continues to work. You get the app for free, forever.

What happens is the app gets removed from your ‘Purchased’ account history, so it’s not possible to re-download the app from the store. However, as long the app is already downloaded to a device, the file never gets deleted and never stops working. This means the app is still accessible from the Home Screen and is fully-functioning.

The IPA file is also still in iTunes on my Mac, so theoretically I could delete it from my phone and sync it back via the computer whenever I wanted. Furthermore, even if I do lose the file one day, I can technically just buy the app again and get it refunded … again.

I only tried this with apps but the ‘technique’ (if you can call it that) should also work with music, films and books. This seems like a big problem, for developers at least. Free apps and free content. I’m not sure whether this is intended behavior or not, but I do think it’s stupid and potentially very damaging to the developer community, once the general public catches on that this is possible.

I would expect Apple to track abuse of this feature, but right now I don’t think there’s anything they can do about it, for the time being. They can’t stop people from using the feature — it’s now EU law — and it doesn’t seem like they could change the functionality without a software update (i.e. actually having the app deleted when a refund is processed).

We contacted Apple to get some clarification on the intended behavior of this system for the story, but the company did not respond.


Filed under: AAPL Company, Developers, iOS, iOS Devices, Tech Industry Tagged: App Store, cheat, developers, EU, flaw, free apps, ITunes Store, problems, refunds

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Apple introduces 14-day no questions asked refunds for App Store & iTunes in EU countries

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Apple has recently introduced a new 14-day no questions asked return policy for iTunes, App Store and iBooks purchases in Europe including the UK, Germany, Italy, France, and many other EU countries.

Apple’s terms and conditions for the stores previously stated users had the right to withdraw from a transaction “without charge and without giving any reason until delivery of the product has started.” That meant purchases were all but final apart from some exceptions handled by Apple support.

Now, Apple has updated its terms to include a specific no questions asked 14-day return window that includes all purchases apart from gift cards:

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 states it will refund users within two weeks of receiving notice of cancellation either through its Report a Problem feature (pictured above) or a written statement.

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Refunds for exceptions like failed delivery of content or technical problems were previously handled on a case by case basis through Apple support, which is how Apple continues to handle refunds for software and iTunes content in the US, Canada and most other countries outside the EU. In these locations, Apple states that “all sales and rentals of products are final” and only approves refunds at its discretion for exceptions like those mentioned above.

The changes appear to be related to a new consumer rights directive in the EU that introduced a required 14 calendar day right of cancellation or return period for both goods and services purchased in EAA countries.

In comparison, Google’s Play Store offers a two hour return window for apps, but Google’s support document doesn’t mention the new 14-day return window. It does, however, offer EU customers a longer 14-day cancellation period for music subscriptions compared to just 7 days elsewhere.

The guidelines from the European Commission have been in place since June, but Apple just this month updated most of its terms and conditions documents online. That 14 day period is extended to a year if a business fails to properly inform consumers of the return period, according to the directive.

(via iFun.de)


Filed under: AAPL Company, Apps Tagged: App Store, Apple, consumer rights, EU, France, Germany, Italy, iTunes, iTunes Gifts, ITunes Store, refunds, UK

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Apple launches Boxing Day iTunes sale w/ deals on albums in Canada & UK

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Apple is now offering its annual Boxing Day sale for Canadians with select discounts on albums and songs through the iTunes store.

The sale is accessible through the iTunes store on both iOS devices and on the desktop in Canada and will likely remain available through at least Dec. 26, the day officially recognized in Canada and elsewhere as Boxing Day. Retailers typically hold Black Friday-type event for Boxing Day with many sales lasting the week of Dec. 24 through Jan. 2.

Apple is offering a range of discounts on best-selling albums across various genres including new releases and older best sellers (as pictured above). The albums are listed in the following categories: Hot in 2014, Essential Albums, Discovery Artists, and Musique francophone.

The UK iTunes store is also advertising Hit Albums on sale as it usually does this time of year. Boxing Day is recognized by some UK retailers, but Apple doesn’t typically use the “Boxing Day” branding on the UK store:

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Filed under: iOS Tagged: Apple, Boxing Day, Boxing Day sale, Canada, iTunes, ITunes Store, sale

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Apple’s new ‘Change is in the Air’ ads show novel uses for the iPad Air 2

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Apple released a new iPad Air 2 campaign during Sunday football today showcasing various unique physical and software applications for the iPad Air 2.

Featuring the song “Who Needs You” by The Orwells [iTunes Store, Youtube], the ad is a departure from last year’s iPad Air which were focused on a single user.

iPad Air 2 isn’t just the thinnest and lightest iPad we’ve ever created. It’s the most powerful. From the studio to the classroom, the field to the garage, it’s helping people discover new and better ways to do the things they love. Imagine what you’ll do with it.

Microsite embedded below:

Explore the game-changing apps from the film.

These are just a few of the hundreds of thousands of apps waiting for you in the App Store — apps that makeiPad Air 2 capable of even more amazing things.

Adobe Lightroom

A simple yet powerful way to organize, edit, and enhance all the photos from all your devices.

View in the App Store

Athla Velocity: Ultimate

Turn your iPad into a personal hands-free radar gun and measure the speed of a serve, kick, or pitch.

View in the App Store

Codea

Who says coding is hard or boring? Now you can learn to code by making fun games and simulations.

View in the App Store

HM Tracker Design

Calculate the most effective angle for solar panels to catch even more rays.

View in the App Store

Garden Plan Pro

Design the perfect plan for a garden and track its growth for the best harvest. Green thumb not required.

View in the App Store

iRhino 3D

View or share a 3D design as easily as if you were holding the actual piece in your hands.

View in the App Store

PlanGrid

Bring blueprints to the field or job site, share notes, and keep your crew on the same page.

View in the App Store

Speedometer Speed Box

Gauge your need for speed. Measure the speed of moving cars, motorcycles, and more within a tenth of a mile per hour.

View in the App Store

X32-Mix

Move out from behind the mixing board and control your Behringer X32 console with iPad from any seat in the house.

View in the App Store

WunderStation

Never get caught in the rain again with crowdsourced weather reports and hyperlocal updates.

View in the App Store

Whale Alert

Fatal strikes between ships and whales are being dramatically reduced by this crowdsourced whale notification app.

View in the App Store

Homestyler Interior Design

Visualize how that midcentury modern credenza will look in your pad, from your iPad.

View in the App Store

Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders

Invite your wingman to a dogfight with this immersive, motion-controlled air combat game.

View in the App Store

SketchUp Mobile Viewer

3D sketches are a powerful way to see before you do. Now you can easily view your designs from every angle before making them a reality.

View in the App Store

Touchgrind Skate 2

Land an ollie lip slide with the flick of a finger in this irresistible skateboarding game.

View in the App Store

Traktor DJ

Get the party started with pro DJ tools and effects that let anyone create killer mixes in seconds.

View in the App Store

123D Catch

Capture life, in all its dimensions, and create 3D models of anyone or anything that you can even 3D print.

View in the App Store

Paper by FiftyThree

Learn to love the blank canvas. Sketch, draw, paint, and get creative without tricky settings or distractions.

View in the App Store

The Human Body by Tinybop

See what you’re made of. Study the human body by watching how it works from the inside out.

View in the App Store

Camera

You’ll be amazed at how great a photographer you can be with the redesigned iSight camera and its incredible new features like HD time-lapse, slo-mo, and burst modes.

Learn more


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: App Store (iOS), Apple Inc, IBooks, iPhone, iPod, IPod Nano, IPod Touch, iTunes, ITunes Store, Mac App Store

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You can now sign into the iOS iTunes Connect app with Touch ID

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Apple has released a nice update for the developer-focused iTunes Connect app today. Besides iPhone 6 and 6 Plus support (finally), developers can now login to the app using the Touch ID fingerprint reader on the iPhone and new iPads. This should make it even quicker for developers to check their app submission status and upload new information to their iTunes Store pages. The update is free… on the App Store.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple, iPad, iPhone, iPhone 5, iPhone 6, iTunes, ITunes Store, ShoreTel

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