European users now have a longer cooling-off period to claim Google Play refunds

European Google Play gift card

Google has introduced new policies for its customers living in the European Economic Area. The updated policies allow users longer to apply for a refund on purchases made through the Google Play Store

While most of the world has a 48-hour timeframe to ask for a refund, this has been extended to a full two weeks in the EEA. The policy changes have come into play to comply with EU law which gives customers a 14-day "cooling-off" period during which they are entitled to ask for their money back -- but it doesn't cover everything.

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The new policies cover purchases made in the EEA on or after March 28 2018, and Google says that apps, games, services and subscriptions are covered in different ways. The company explains that it is retaining its "courtesy" two-hour refund window for apps, but there is an extended refund window for what it describes as "digital services".

Its updated policies state:

As a courtesy to our users, Google offers a full refund on apps and games purchased on the Play Store if the purchase is returned within 2 hours. You can only return an app or game once for a courtesy refund. For other refund requests related to apps and games on Google Play, please read below.

Digital content. Under the law, you have an automatic statutory right of withdrawal from contracts for purchases of digital content, such as apps, games, in-app items, or other media like movies or music. The same applies when you purchase a subscription for digital content within an app. However, when you purchase or subscribe to digital content with Google Play, you agree that the digital content will be available to you immediately, and you acknowledge that, as a result, you waive your automatic statutory right of withdrawal. Therefore, you will not be eligible for a refund (or any alternative remedy) unless the digital content is defective, unavailable, or doesn’t perform as stated.

In the case of a subscription for digital content, if you don’t want to subscribe any more, you can cancel your subscription. You will still have access to the subscription until the end of the period you have paid for.

Digital services. Under the law, you have an automatic statutory right of withdrawal from contracts for the purchase of digital services for 14 days after you make the purchase. For example, if you buy file storage services on Google Play, you can cancel the purchase within 14 days for a full refund. You can request a refund here, or   use this form to withdraw. After the first 14 days you will not be eligible for a refund (or any alternative remedy) unless the services are defective, unavailable, or don’t perform as stated. However, you can cancel your subscription, and the cancellation will be effective from the start of the next payment period. You will still have access to the subscription until the end of the period you have paid for.

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