Microsoft will soon allow self-service refunds for digital purchases on Xbox and Windows 10.
First discovered on Reddit by user gaymerRaver, and since verified by Eurogamer, the new feature is currently in alpha on the Xbox One Preview Programme.
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The impending option will let folks get a full refund on any software that's been used for less than two hours, with the eligibility window expiring 14 days after purchase.
Better yet, these refunds will be self-service. In other words, you won't have to draft an email or communicate with another human being in order to request a refund. Just like Steam.
There are a few exceptions, however. DLC and Season Passes won't be eligible, Microsoft noted that "certain Windows 10 apps may not be eligible", and the tech giant reserves the rights to deny a refund to those it thinks are abusing the system.
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It's not clear what its definition of "abuse" is, and until we get a firm definition it's best to just use common sense. In other words, don't assume this means every game effectively has a two hour demo.
"You've spoken; we've listened," Microsoft said in its Preview Programme update. "In support of offering gamers the freedom of choice, we're making changes to the Microsoft Store purchase experience by offering customers a simple way to instantly return digital products like games and apps through account.microsoft.com."
There's no telling when this option will emerge from the Preview Programme, but it seems likely that it will roll out in the weeks to come.
Here's the full terms of the refund process, as transcribed by Redditor Chickern:
To request a self-service refund:
- Navigate to account.microsoft.com and sign-in.
- From the top menu bar, select Payment & billing > Order history.
- Navigate to a purchased game or app, and select Request a refund.
Please note the below conditions for requesting a self-service refund:
- 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.