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The latest patch to Pokemon GO has left some of its millions of players with a bad taste in their mouth. With the removal of tracking features, and third party apps meant to support that feature now disabled, some users have decided to protest by forgoing in-app purchases, and refunding ones they haven’t used. As reported on the /r/PokemonGO subreddit though, this is trickier than it seems. If a refund is past 48 hours (the window in which Google will honor the refund themselves, normally reserved for accidental or unauthorized purchases), users must contact Niantic directly. The email provided in the app details however only redirects users to their Support page, and there is no option or instructions for Refunds, so many seeking them are confused. Unfortunately, the reason for this is simple. Niantic doesn’t refund for in-app purchases, so they don’t need an option for it. 

Players seeking refunds past 48 hours used the email provided on the Pokemon GO app page on the Apple Store and Google Play. Rather than receiving help, however, the player is sent an automated message from Niantic, stating that email is not monitored and directing them to their Support Page. 

Thanks for your interest in Pokémon GO. Your email (to [email protected]) has gone to an unmonitored inbox.

To reach the Niantic operations team and get support for Pokémon GO, please visit our help center (https://support.pokemongo.nianticlabs.com/hc/) and select one of the contact options under “Submit a request’ in the upper righthand corner.

Automated Response from Niantic

The Support Page is primarily a standard FAQ page, but users can (as indicated) use the “Submit a Request” button for support issues. However, no option exists for refunds. That’s because if you have to request a refund through Niantic, they won’t get one. Niantic’s Terms of Service states that they do not offer refunds for any reason. Whatsmore, the response does not (as some believe) violate Google’s Terms of Service (Section 3.6), since the email does offer correct information and clear instructions on how to submit a report form. Nor does it violate Google’s Terms (Section 3.7) by not offering refunds, since after 48 hours only the developer’s Terms apply. 

You agree that all sales by us to you of Virtual Money and Virtual Goods are final and that we will not permit exchanges or refunds for any unused Virtual Money or Virtual Goods once the transaction has been made

Requests regarding Pokemon GO have hit Google hard as well, to the point that now some of their Support pages explicitly tell people to contact Niantic Support for help. 

pokemon go google play

Users with other Support issues should use the “Submit a Request” rather than trying to go through Google Support. Some are still putting reports in through Google hoping for the email to be changed. Niantic’s Terms of Service have been called out before for their odd litigation terms. 

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Kindra Pring

Staff Writer

Teacher's aid by day. Gamer by night. And by day, because I play my DS on my lunch break. Ask me about how bad my aim is.



  • giygas

    Not surprising. F2P games are about as anti-consumer as it gets.

  • Michele

    If you are not willing to refund money spend on something that was not used and that in this case doesn’t also cost money to your company, you are nothing less than dishonest.
    Anyway, this should be enforced: if you don’t provide an at least semi-automatic way of getting support for any matter including refund, you should not be allowed to publish your product on any store. The money should go in and out with the same difficulty.

  • Bitterbear

    So.. Credit card chargeback?

  • Timothy Riggs ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

    Google takes a chunk of that in-app purchase, not sure what the % is, but probably around 30% (like Apple with iOS), plus if done on a credit card there would have been merchant fees (between 2-4%), add also, depending on location, VATs or other taxes on digital goods. It’s not as simple as I paid 5 bucks and don’t want this anymore. They don’t have the full amount of the purchase to refund. They would take a not insignificant loss (35%-50%) on the purchase by refunding directly. This is one major reason refunds are handled through google’s store.

  • Michele

    That’s a good point actually. Make more sense. But all the more so Google or Apple (that handle the store in this case) should enforce it providing an easy way for the app author to refund its users. The amount spent by the user is not used and that include the store share.