Apple and iTunes have opened up a 14 day return window mainly for people who mistakenly bought the wrong item and want a return, or if you dislike the product that you bought. Before you all jump with joy and start buying iTunes songs willy-nilly, do be assured that this is not global, it is only occurring in the EU. So unless you are part of the European Union, you have nothing to jump for joy about.
You do not have to give any reason at all for the return, which helps a lot if you have a child who is using your iPhone and buys 15 apps on it and runs up your credit-card bill, or you bought a game and changed your mind. This is probably due to the EU Directive on Consumer Rights, which was enacted in June of this year. The directive has a set of 14 days in which a consumer can return a product that they don’t like, were misled into buying, or was purchased on accident.
The EU Directive on Comsumer Rights states “The period for consumers to pull out of any distance purchase (e.g. something bought online) or off-premises purchase (such as when a seller visits the consumer’s home) is extended from the previous minimum 7 days, to a uniform 14 days across the EU. These 14 days start counting from the day the consumer receives the goods, and the consumer has the right to cancel the purchase for any reason.”
“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,” says the new iTunes Terms of Service in the UK. But they also note that iTunes Gifts purchases as well as iTunes Match, Season Pass and Multi-Pass are not eligible for a refund.
Many people have speculated that this policy might harm musicians and other developers. In which they are right, if I buy a game and beat it in a week, can I then return the game for a full refund? Or I play a song and get tired of it and get a full refund? It does seem that under the ToS, however, once you have initiated installation, you are no longer eligible for a refund. According to the terms, “Exception to the right of cancellation: You cannot cancel your order for the supply of digital content if the delivery has started upon your request and acknowledgement that you thereby lose your cancellation right.”
Still, I would like to see how this all works out in the end. What do you think about this return policy? Would you like to see it implemented outside the EU?