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How do I get a Google Play refund?

Google Play refund
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If you’re not happy with a movie, song, game, ebook or app bought via the Google Play store, don’t fret: you may be able to get a refund. Why the doubt? Well, Google doesn’t make it particularly easy to check, making the advice on its website quite confusing. So here, in as simple terms as possible, is how to get a Google Play refund.

First, the bad news. Check the relevant webpage and the first sentence you’ll read is “Google does not give refunds for most Google Play purchases”. However, it’s always worth a try…

Are you eligible?

We’ll run through the different refund policies before showing how to actually make a claim via the Google Play website.

Games, apps and in-app purchases

You can get a full refund for apps or games within two hours, but if you’ve had the app or game for less than 48 hours, you still could be in luck. Skip down to the instructions for requesting a refund at the bottom of this page.

If you’ve had it for over two days, it might be worth contacting the developer (maker of the app) directly for a refund. You’ll find their contact information on the app/game’s Google Play page, usually under “Additional information”.

Movies and TV programmes

If you haven’t started watching a film or TV show bought via Google Play, you can ask for a refund within seven days. Skip to the instructions at the bottom of this page to find out how.

If there’s something wrong with it – such as a dodgy picture – or if it simply doesn’t exist after you’ve forked out, you can ask for a refund within 65 days.

Needless to say, if you’ve watched a film and hated it, you can’t then claim for a refund. I also wouldn’t recommend doing that at your local Odeon…

Music

If you have a Google Play Music subscription, you can’t get refunds. Instead, you’ll have to get rid of your subscription completely. Follow this link to cancel. Now that you’re free, there’s this little-known app called Spotify…

If, on the other hand, you’ve bought an individual song or album from the service, you might be able to get a refund – if you haven’t downloaded or played it yet. Scroll down to the final section to find out how.

Ebooks

Surprise, surprise: you may request a refund for a purchased ebook within seven days. However, unlike music and TV, there doesn’t seem to a restriction on whether you’ve started reading it yet, which is generous.

If the ebook is faulty – which, let’s face it, is going to be a very rare occurrence – you can ask for your money back within 65 days of splashing out.

Audiobooks

No returns, sorry. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out….

…unless you a) live in South Korea, where you can claim for discount within seven days or b) have found a technical problem with the audiobook (there’s no time limit for this).

Magazines

Again, no luck. You can’t get a refund for a single magazine purchase, with the only exceptions being if you can’t access it or there’s a technical problem.

Gift cards

“Play gift cards and other prepaid Play balance, including cash top ups, are not refundable unless required by law.” So that’s a big fat “NO” in nearly every scenario.

How to get a Google Play refund

Now that you’ve run through the slightly depressing list of policies, it’s time to try your luck. Fortunately, Google makes it easy to make a claim.

First, go to your “Order History” page by clicking this link. Note that you’ll have to sign in, if you haven’t already.

This will bring up a list of all of your purchases via the Google Play store. If there are a lot, you can usefully sort them by category. To claim for a refund, find the item and click/tap on the three vertical dots on the far right of the listing.

Google Play order history

This will bring up and option to “Request a refund…”

Google Play request a refund

A box containing a dropdown menu will then appear. Select your reason for asking for a refund.

Google Play refund reasons

But that’s not it. Depending on which option you selected, you’ll have to justify your reasons. Here, for example, is what happens when you select “I no longer want this purchase”…

Google Play describe your issue

Once you’ve “described your issue”, click/tap “Submit” and keep those fingers crossed – your refund is in the lap of the Google gods, who usually take around 15 minutes to make a decision.

READ NEXT: How do I make Google delete my data?

About the author

Max Figgett

Max has written for numerous websites and magazines over the years. Whether it’s about ancient hardware or software secrets, no Big Tech Question is too obscure for him to tackle.

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