How I Got Two iPhone Apps Refunded.

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Holy Moly, Apple does return and refund iPhone apps!!

I am THE biggest stickler for value:money (ratio), and firmly believe in “You get what you pay for.” Upon recommendation, I forked over cash for Beejive –an IM application, when iPhone OS 3.0 was released; mainly for the push function. (Push is notification of new activity, even when the application is closed).

Long story short, Beejive is still extremely buggy and utterly useless. i.e. super crashy, couldn’t log on with mutiple accounts, server errors galore…I just had all sorts of issues with it.

I felt ripped off.

$10 bucks for an iPhone app is HELLA money in my book. For 10bucks, I can get four iced espressos at Starbucks, eight bags of Swedish Fish, 9 soft serves from McDonald’s, or nine 99cent iPhone apps, etc., etc., you get the picture right? So I spent a few days complaining on Twitter about how much Beejive sucks.

On Saturday, I couldn’t take Beejive’s suckiness anymore so I Tweeted: “Dear Beejive, I would like a refund.”

I assumed iPhone application returns and or refunds were near impossible…iTunes and Apple’s site are clustermesses and for the life of me, I could not figure out how to request a refund. Seriously, try “Search” on both, it works but seriously needs help. People were sharing their personal nightmare experiences with Apple refunds, and Sean even got locked out of his iTunes account.

It looked like a refund wasn’t happening…until FriendFeeders Drew and Kisha linked me to two successful refund stories. I followed the directions and requested refunds for (1) Beejive and (2) Chocolatier –a game I purchased by “accident”. ;) hehehe.

These are the steps I followed to request a refund:

  1. Open iTunes
  2. Log on to your account
  3. Go to purchase history
  4. Report a problem
  5. Fill out form with reason for refund (nicely)
  6. Wait

Apple resolved my issues with a quick turn around time, hassle free, and was really really nice about it, too. And I am not going to lie, it shocked the crap out of me! …It may have helped I was clear and concise: “Beejive is not working out for me because x and x. Therefore, I would like x.” Manners and politeness can be advantageous, too. :)

At any rate, thank you, once again, to the wonderful FriendFeed and Twitter communities for helping me out and offering advice, as well as sharing your own personal experiences. Though it is hard to respond to every single @reply and comment, I read every single one of them and appreciate the insight you guys provide. :)

Reason no. 98273948379823 Social Networks RULE.

*if you are interested, there is discussion on apps and personal experiences with Beejive here. Beejive sucked for me, but there are many who experience no issues.
**Apple’s iTunes help web form’s direct link is here.

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65 comments

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  6. eat a dick cheap ass

    stop being a whiny cheapskate who thinks you deserve to have your asswiped by another for every dollar you spend… iphone developers are trying hard to make a living in a shitty market and most are very diligent in getting updates out for their apps often that add to the functionality and build to the stability of the platform…

    if cheap asses like you keep demanding refunds, developers will soon go broke and you wont get to have any apps on your phone

    • Mona N.

      Developers aren’t the only ones who are working hard to make a living in a shitty market, too. We are spending hard earned money on iPhone applications. It’s a cycle.

      Economics 101. :)

    • George

      Are you kidding? This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard someone say, and I work for “world’s dumbest criminals”!! Dick eater is an idiot who complains about returning apps but pirates all of his software. How is that helping the developers?

  7. Pingback: How I Got Two iPhone Apps Refunded. « Pixel Bits | I AM OSX
  8. dev

    While I agree that there should be quality for apps that cost higher amounts, just so you know Apple doesn’t pay back anything. Apple takes a chunk of the sale but if you ask for the refund 100% comes from the developer. So Apple happily would oblige to send you not their money.

    Asking for a refund for an app even at $10 though that you have used for some time is a bit cheap.

    • Mona N.

      I am from a hard core development background and worked with a lot of B2B apps, as well as B2C mobile content. Given my background, I can empathize but do I need to sympathize? As a consumer, the business and transactional flow should not be my concern.

      Give me something taht works.
      Period.

  9. Henry D'Andrea

    To the first two commenters: How is that being Cheap? If you pay for something, then it should work. No matter how much, it should still work as described. It was very grateful of apple to even give her money back in the first place. I am sure you wouldn’t want to waste $10 dollars down the drain over something that doesn’t work.

    In other words, Wow! I can’t believe apple made it that easy to get a refund! APPLE FTW!! Very cool they even allowed you too.

    Henry

    http://www.thehenry.net

  10. S.O.

    I’m not sure what exactly you’re trying to imply with ‘a game I purchased by “accident”. ;) hehehe’, but it sounds pretty slimy. Honestly, that’s true of the entire post.

  11. Forrester McLeod

    I am so slow on the uptake! Don’t even own a ipod. But my son uses lots of mac stuff, so I’ll pass this info on to him. Thanks!

  12. ixtli

    So now you’re down a unified IM client which you will likely just pay the one time cost for again. Sucks for you; what are you going to do, use IM+? Good luck.

    Way to contribute to development by taking back a one time fee instead of giving developers time make improvements that would have been passed on to the consumers for free.

    If you’d taken the time to check out their support forums, you’d see that they are very active in supporting customer complaints. Empathy in humans usually leads to compassionate action, such as giving people time to work out their problems.

    • Mona N.

      Look, I have no right complaining or asking for a refund if the app was free. But Beejive is close to 20bucks, which is expensive for an iPhone app.

      I’m just going to copy what I wrote up there:
      “I am from a hard core development background and worked with a lot of B2B apps, as well as B2C mobile content. Given my background, I can empathize but do I need to sympathize? As a consumer, the business and transactional flow should not be my concern.

      Give me something taht works.
      Period.”

      …and I have plenty of paid apps on my phone.

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  14. Urbanbounty

    A lot of you people are giving Mona a hard time for returning an app that doesn’t work as advertise. Do you buy a new ar that doesn’t starts from time to time and “wait” for the manufacture to release a fix? Hells no. You return it and ask for your money back. If you want to argue that this app is only $10, you gotta think in relative terms. Yes $10 isn’t much, but it’s bloody expensive for an iPhone app. You people need to stop critizing and start thinking rationally. Jeez.

  15. dani

    Hi, good post. I have been wondering about this issue,so thanks for posting. I’ll definitely be coming back to your site.

  16. Allan

    I think he had a right ot ask for a refund. You do get what you pay for and $10 is $10 so if you are not happy you should ask for your money back.

  17. iPhone Developer

    Apple’s policy is “All Sales are final,” but Apple will provide a refund “if in our opinion
    the customer experience was unsatisfactory (generally application quality issues).”

    For my iphone calculator app (OneCalc), my current policy is to refund the purchase myself if a user emails that they are unsatisfied with it. Even though OneCalc is a very high quality app, it still may not be what a particular user expected, or it may not provide some specific feature that a user needs. I want users to be able to try it out without hassle. I’m willing to do this because I have faith in my app and am confident that it provides huge value compared to other offerings.

    • Mona N.

      Thank you kindly for your comment from a dev’s perspective. I *do* appreciate the abundance of apps out there, your contributions, as well as your hardwork – and I would never ask for a refund ‘just because’.

      But good for you for being so understanding towards users. Just for that, I am purchasing your app to support…and NO I will not ask for a refund. :)

      • iPhone Developer

        Marketing WIN! 8^)

        Hope you find OneCalc to be worth your hard-earned cash. I think it’s pretty good at the moment, and am working every day to make it an even better value. I love hearing from users and have already implemented numerous feature requests. It’s frustrating that the App store approval process takes so long. I’m constantly telling users, that bug is already fixed or that feature is already implemented, but you won’t see it in the app store for a couple more weeks.

      • Mona N.

        I would’ve purchased just for principle (and support) but WOW for 99cents this app is a STEAL. I am blown away by the components, functionality, and the ease of use of the various functions.

        The die calculations are pretty neat too – and because I travel a lot, the currency converter is a definite must have.

        I am unfamiliar with iPhone app development, but this seems like an extremely well thought out, intuitive app WELL worth the 99cents!!

      • Mona N.

        And the cooking unit converter! Soooo ultra helpful. I manually calculate fractions, since I do not even remember the last time I owned a scientific calculator LOL

      • iPhone Developer

        WOOT!

        You can enter fractions in OneCalc pretty easily. Enter the integer portion, press [.], enter the numerator (the [.] key changes to [/] at this point), press [/], and enter the denominator.

        So, one-and-a-half is entered as: 1 dot 1 slash 2

        After that, the [frac] / [dec] button toggles between displaying the value as decimal or as a fraction.

  18. nick

    Pretty cool post. I just came by your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your posts.

    Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon!

  19. iPaulTV

    I just “bought” an app that fails at notice and there is no feedback mail or website, so it’s like a “trap” some might say. I need a refund lol

  20. Pingback: BNOnews iPhone app is no more due to conflict between app developer and BNO News — Sample the Web
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  22. joAnn

    Thanks for this :) I was panicking after I bought something for 7 bucks and it didn’t work that well!! Thanks so much, didn’t know Apple was so great to give back refunds!! (And to all you people who have all that money to give away, send me 10 bucks if it’s “not that much”. LOL. No way am I throwing away my 10 bucks for an app that doesnt work right. That 10 bucks could buy 2 weeks worth of food for a starving dog, for godsakes.)

  23. Julio

    Where do u find “recent downloads” or whatever it’s called? And how long do I have to wait for apple to refund my money?
    Thank you, please anser soon
    Juliocool

  24. Claire

    I’m going to try and get my money back tonight for what I consider to be a ‘bait and switch’ app. I heard about Roadside America. The app is sort of like a GPS that lets you know what roadside attractions are nearby (you know – giant coke bottles or 3 headed chicken exhibits). Cute.

    The app sold for $2.99 (high price when I normally NEVER pay more than $1 an app. But I figured I can used it on any fly/drive vacation country-wide so it should be worth it. I bought the app.

    So, I opened the app, the first thing the app states it does NOT cover the entire U.S., and the app only lets you access one of 6 segments of the U.S. If you want ALL of the U.S. you have to cough up another $5.99 (and it is not clear if that’s for a year, or for all time. That SUCKS! If had had known the app’s true cost was a minimum of $9. I would not have purchased it. I WANT MY $$ BACK!

  25. TV apps

    there is no cool features in Iphone. Iphone software sucks cant do anything with it!! And everything opens a new program, Horrible way to make phone apps.

  26. Peter Koevari

    Nice article Mona, I have got a lot of iPhone apps… and it annoyed me to no end when you fork out dollars to find an app not working/loading.

    I just wondering if there is a time period where they will just refuse?

  27. : )

    Hi, I got a friend who was charged 60 Euro for one applications her son accidentally downloaded. (The game he downloaded is free, but something inside that application costs money.) She was charged two days ago for 60 Euro. But this morning she was charged again for 10 Euro. However, she is pretty sure that her son didn’t touch her iphone ever since that day. She is confused why she is charged again for the same application when no one uses it. She is afraid that apple might keep charging her for that application. Her husband is currently out of employment, so her family really can’t afford it. Now she plans to write a complain letter. Could you please paste your complain letter out so that she might be able to copy it? (She had no experience and is not sure how to complain “nicely.” ) It will be a great help to her.

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  29. Another App Developer

    Just stumbled upon this blog from checking weather it is possible or not.

    I am an application developer myself, for more than 1 platform, in addition I sell server side scripts, etc.

    I purchased an app which is just — terrible, and at $4.00 definitely NOT worth the money.

    It was purchased based on a recommendation from a blog, perhaps that particular user was not looking for the same things I was.

    I am completely unsatisfied with the app — so I do not want to pay for it, I can’t imagine any developer who things they should be paid for the app if the person won’t or CAN’T use it anymore.

    I also provide full refunds for anyone who is not satisfied with my software.

    No matter how you try to explain its functionality people may interpret things differently.

    If you work hard on the app — and it has any kind of problems, i.e. crashing — you should be putting effort into fixing that, rather than wondering why people may not want it.

    Thank you for this informative post.

    Note: I’ve used the app for 20 minute and instantly dislike it, screenshots were misleading.

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  38. Catherine Acevedo

    Hi I recently purchased an app called Doodle Jump. I was wondering, if its possible, if i could get a refund because i accidently purchased the ninety nine cents version when i was actually trying to get the free version. There is nothing wrong with the game i just accidently purchased a 99 cents version that took away 99 cents

    Thankyou very much for yur time and consideration

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