Refunds on digital content have been troublesome, but the process has slowly been evolving. Valve started allowing refunds on Steam back in 2015, and now, it looks like Microsoft may soon be following suit for the Xbox and Windows Stores. Better late than never.
According to a post on the Xbox One subreddit, a program is in alpha testing right now for Xbox One Insiders that would allow "self-service refunds" for Xbox One and Windows 10 games and apps. Here are the specific guidelines:
- Games and apps are eligible for self-service refunds within 14 days of purchase if you have less than 2 hours of play time across all accounts.
- DLC, season passes, and add-ons are not eligible for self-service refunds.
- The game or app must be downloaded and launched before requesting a self-service refund.
- You must wait for at least 1 day after the game or app’s release before requesting a self-service refund.
- Certain Windows 10 apps may not be eligible for self-service refunds.
- Microsoft reserves the right to block access for users who abuse self-service refunds.
Microsoft's policy differs from Valve's in that Valve does allow refunds on DLC.
The policy is still in testing and it isn't clear when this would be released as an official program. Changes could also happen before it is fully unveiled as well. However, just the fact that Microsoft is seriously considering it is good news and a step forward for digital content in general.
John Keefer posted a new article, Xbox and Windows Stores May Soon Allow Digital Refunds
Really cool. This sort of thing always makes digital purchasing a much better proposition in my eyes, even at the inflated prices compared to some retail box sellers. No risk, no hassle if there any technical issues or you just can't get into it.
I've used the Steam refund system for a few things now and it's been great. I know Microsoft was fairly lenient with manual refund requests on games like Forza Horizon 3 that launched in rough shape for some on PC, but automating that process would definitely be a huge improvement.