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July 18, 2011

The World’s Shortest Return Policy

Filed under: Computers,Internet,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:01 am

If you buy an app from the Android Market to put on your cellphone or tablet, you do have return rights in some cases. This is helpful if the app does not work, is not compatible with your device, or it is not what you expected.

There is, however, a very unusual catch.


Returning apps

Refund policy

You have 15 minutes from the time of download to return an application [color highlighting added] purchased through Android Market for a full refund. You may only return a given application once; if you subsequently purchase the same app again, you may not return it a second time.

How to return an app:

From Android Market on your phone, visit the My apps page, and select the application you’d like to return.

•Applications that are eligible for return are marked with a ‘Uninstall & Refund’ button. Please note that after the 15 minute return period has expired, all sales are final.

From a practical standpoint, it is almost impossible to fully test some apps in such a short period of time, so your return rights are for the most part illusory. Even if you could fully test an app in 15 minutes, it might take that long to figure out the procedure to request a refund because you probably never paid attention to that when you first purchased the app.

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  1. That’s nothing, my Harley Davidson here (and others as well) have no return policy at all. You can literally pay for something say “oops, I don’t want it” and they say too bad, it’s yours.

    I’ve seen guys buy a $200 part, walk to bike and see they got the wrong thing and they are stuck with it.

    Comment by Jonathan — July 18, 2011 @ 9:43 am
  2. It’s even worse. The 15 minutes starts when you push the purchase button. Downloading and installing the app occurs during the 15 minute window. It is entirely possible that you wont even have the app open or configured before the return period expires.

    Comment by Robert Coats — July 18, 2011 @ 9:58 am
  3. On the plus side, many App developers will allow you to return an unwanted app over a longer and more generous period of time. I’ve experienced some very gracious developers, who are more than willing to make a customer happy

    Comment by Bill — July 18, 2011 @ 1:47 pm
  4. only 15 minutes!?!?!?!? Are they Nuts…

    Comment by Richard — July 18, 2011 @ 1:57 pm
  5. Honestly 15 minutes is better than nothing. As far as I know outside of Korea you cannot return apple app store purchases. 15 minutes to evaluate an app is at least a start, provided you are on a decent connection you should be able to download it and peek at the app. Think if you are buying a $20 app, would you rather a peek in save five minutes or no peek at all?

    Comment by Iolaire McFadden — July 19, 2011 @ 5:28 pm
  6. I purchased a keyboard for my android. It took forever to download it, restart my phone and open the app. By the time I figured out I couldn’t get the keyboard to open correctly, the 15 minutes was up.

    Comment by JonnieAngel — July 19, 2011 @ 7:54 pm
  7. I think the point of the 15 minutes is that if you accidentally bought it without realizing you were paying or if your kid took your phone and bought something there’s a bit of a grace period before you’re stuck with it. If you don’t like the app, tough, if it doesn’t work properly, wait for an upgrade and warn others.

    This works more like a typo-protection (with the touch screens, I don’t know what the equivalent of a typo is) not customer satisfaction protection. Given that most apps are under $5, a return policy at all is nice.

    Comment by Charli — July 20, 2011 @ 9:33 am
  8. MOST countries i have traveled to in asia, and many parts of europe, have no such thing as a return policy. a *few* may have exchange policies based on item and reason for exchange. in this case, 15 minutes is better than nothing. btw, thx jonathan about harley davidson info. that store sucks. i would never buy a harley for that reason. apple on the other hand has awesome return policies (only 10% restock if opened, otherwise full refund!)

    Comment by scir91onYouTube — July 20, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

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