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Has the Android Market Refund Window Secretly Changed to 30 Minutes? (Updated)


Over the weekend, the folks at KnowMyDroid sent over a tip which suggested that the Android Market’s refund window may have jumped from 15 minutes up to 30 minutes and beyond without any sort of warning. To test their claim, we bought World of Goo within the last hour, installed it, and let it ride out for 31 minutes to be exact. Sure enough, we were able to refund it. I’m not sure if the window has been extended, if the Android Market is allowing me to uninstall beyond 15 minutes since I had not yet opened the app, or what is going on, but it certainly worked.  

We have another couple of apps purchased, will open one of them and not the other, and then see how long we can go before the Refund option goes away on both.

Update:  Purchased two more apps and was able to refund for about an hour. I checked at the 45 minute mark and was still able to; just checked again at the hour and a half mark and now only have the option to “Uninstall.”

Could be a good sign, as many of you have mentioned in the past, 15 minutes is not necessarily a long enough period of time to test out an app to see if you want to keep it or not.

  • Does anyone know of a sure-fire way to uninstall a purchased app *within the refund window* without also getting a refund? It seems like sometimes uninstalling via “Manage Applications” triggers the refund and sometimes it doesn’t.

    I ask because there are a lot of good 10 cent apps right now, and I don’t have space on my current phone, but I’d like to have them later on a new phone. So I’d like to purchase them, but I really would rather not install them on my limited OG DROID.

    So I’d prefer to uninstall them immediately, but that typically generates a refund and then I have to wait several hours before being able to purchase the app again (some market bug seems to prevent me from re-purchasing unless I do it well after uninstalling).

  • Kincaide90

    hi everybody i would like to point out something. it would be nice to see the phones have a small lite were the power plug goes. to see in the dark. you can not find it . it would be so nice….. please make comments so they can hear us…..

  • Fakemail

    You should state whether you opened the app Kleenex, because I believe you were purposefully vague about that and it’s costs readers here money because you said “let it ride out”, which you should update and say you didn’t actually open and use the app. Because who gives a flying shit if they can refund an app they have opened and tried out?!!!!! It could have a refund window of 44 years and it wouldn’t matter if you aren’t testing the app out to see if it works properly on your phone or tablet.

  • Granted

    From the comments it sounds like you’re the only getting a refund Kleenex. It’s this a marketing ploy by Google to fool us into buying crap we can’t return.

  • I bought a game and by the time it finished the download and then finished the EXTRA download outside the market. it was well in to 20 minutes and was basically screwed. Luckily i liked the game but still it was crap.

    I have mix feelings about the refund policy. Part of me wants the delvopers to set the time, since they would know best. But that is just one more thing to have to make sure i know before downloading. So a standard time is nice too. That way i know what the refund policy is all the time. Either way 15 minutes are way to sort no mater what. the min should be an hour if you ask me.

  • We tried clicking the refund button at minute 29, and it took us to uninstall the app without a refund.

  • Eggberet

    I realize that I’m in the minority but I haven’t purchased anything since the time was changed from 24 hrs to 15 min.  Most of the apps I use are free and the majority of the apps I paid for have been uninstalled.  I’ve probably installed and kept on my phone less than 5 apps in the past year.  I don’t know about apple but it seems like the bulk of android apps are $#it.

    • Raven

      Umm, what?  I currently have 529 user apps on my (by today’s standards) pretty old Droid 2 and I still have 4.1 GB free of my internal memory.  Why have so few apps?  Why delete things you have paid for if there is even a slight chance you might use it someday.  I watch running processes pretty close, and as long as there is no running background processes sucking memory or CPU, there is not much reason to remove them from a modern device.  Sure, I probably only use half or so of them in a given month, but at least they are always there when you need them.  I am sure there are at least 50 apps that I use at least once a week not including games.

  • @moelsen8:disqus i really hope they do..my best friend’s mother makes $76 every hour on the internet. She has been fired for 5 months but last month her pay was $8413 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site… http://nutshellurl.com/204h

  • Tferrell7368

    Thats a Bionic, notice how the 4G doesnt turn off when wifi is on …..*sigh* smh

  • Shawn Lasky

    Is the refund time not specified per developer?
    That would make more sense, especially on an app like World of Goo, where it may take you 15 mins just to download on a poor wifi connection.

    • Granted

      No it’s not, it’s fifteen minutes mandated by Google. And the developers are the ones who whined to have it crippled, therefore it only benefits them. I’m a developer and I’m totally against fifteen minutes, and I wouldn’t care if it went back twenty four hours. If your app is good it won’t matter. This helps out the shitty developers who offer mediocre garbage and they know they can scam their customers by making the download larger. The range of fragmented devices in the Google landscape and the lack of proper description and compatibility lists from developers who are shit at selling and having integrity, makes this completely inadequate for the consumer.

  • Go Hawkeyes

    The short return window is what keeps me from buying games that are likely awesome and fully worth the $5 or more asking price yet will require a lengthy download before I can play.  I got burned by a $7 game once.  It required over 700MB download and all I was able to do it over was 3G.  Took a long time.  Once I was able to actually try the game out and realized it sucked monkey nuts it was well over the crappy 15 minute return window.

    I think the return window should be a full 24hrs.  I know there are some games that you could possibly buy, play the entire thing, then get a refund in a 24hr window, but I’d say that is the type of game that shouldn’t be charged for if it is that easy.

  • eleazar

    Please be true!

  • Anonymous

    just check the email that was sent when you purchased the application. it says near the beginning how long you have before you can refund it

  • They should just let the developers determine the refund window within an acceptable range (e.g. 15 minutes to 24 hours).

  • Anonymous

    I think it has something to do with not opening the app. I ordered World of Goo at 9 AM MST and as of right now (10:41 MST) I still have the refund button in the market and have not opened the app yet.

    • Granted

      Well if it has to do with not even opening the app then the new refund time is completely bogus and point is moot. Google lost a big positive mark in my book when they changed the refund window to a measly fifteen minutes. They keep it up and I’ll start to get them and Verizon confused as to who is screwing me over the most.

  • kellex, you’d probably get more exposure on facebook if you don’t use rss grafitti.  it doesn’t share to people’s feeds.

    • bigrob60

      It shows up in mine. Maybe you’re blocking it.

      • Anonymous

        Shows up in mine as well

      • well considering i get more likes on average with a 1,600 person fan base versus his 21,000+ fan base… something’s awry.

  • Anonymous

    Refund time needs to be at least an hour.  How does anyone try out an app properly in under that time? Games are the worst. I purchased madden 2011 on sale. By the time I was able to download and try it, it was already 5 minutes too late for refund.  The game even on sale is crap on tablet or phone.

  • Anonymous

    I was playing a game last night at around 3:30 am for 25 minutes and when I went back to the market it had the refund button but when I click the refund the button turned backed to unistall.

  • Anonymous

    i really hope they do.  15 minutes is ridiculous when a lot of games have huge downloads now.  one app i recently bought had a huge download and it force rebooted my phone in the middle of it, and by the time i got back up and running and downloaded again, it didn’t work and the refund button was gone.

    on the plus side, google’s support on the android market rocks.  i emailed them through the android market website (the problem or refund button next to the app in my apps list), and within minutes they responded with a refund.

  • mons

    I’m pretty sure it’s 48 hours, and has been since mid-November.

    • Anonymous

      that’s false.  that’s the time they have to put the money back after you refund it:

      • Granted

        Yeah it’s still fifteen minutes. Which is a time that only benefits developers. The Google market isn’t like any other business market in that there are so many different phones downloading apps and its impossible to guarantee compatibility and you can’t test an app if the download time takes longer than the refund window. It should be an hour if not more.