Getting a Refund From Apple on Digital Purchases

By: Marawan Alwaraki, April 5, 2013
So I recently published a post on how to disable in-app purchases to avoid huge iTunes bills. I advised people to follow the method so that a young child doesn't waste money on unnecessary purchases. Ironically though, I opened up the App Store next day and noticed roughly $16 disappear from my account. After some panic, resetting the email that receives the iTunes receipt, and asking the whole family if they spent $16 in a couple of days time- I found out the problem. It was in-app purchases. My young brother had spent money on in-app purchases without even knowing what they are! Oh God, the embarrassment of writing a post on avoiding this problem, then finding out next day that you're a victim of it.



Anyway, I decided to reach out to Apple and ask for a refund. After all, I heard many customers share the amazing experiences they had with Apple's customer support. The whole process of getting a refund was thankfully successful. In this post I'll show you how to receive a refund on iTunes (or App Store) purchases as well as share some of the experience I got.So let's get to the point. The first thing you need to do is to contact the Apple Support team. Apple emphasizes its importance of support by keeping it as a main link alongside iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes... when you first open up Apple's website.

You should see a screen like the one below


Click on the product you need help with. I'll go with iTunes for the sake of this post because this is where most people need to contact Apple Support. Please note that iTunes includes the App Store too.

After clicking on the product, you'll find a new page with a screenshot or picture of the product taking up a good bit of space. On the left you'll find a navigation table. The last link at the bottom should say Contact Support. Click on that.


Depending on the product you chose, you'll be asked to narrow down your problem a bit. This will ensure your message will reach the right person in Apple who is best at helping with that specific issue. For the iTunes example, you should be asked if you need support for the iTunes store or the iTunes player. If your problem is unintentional in-app purchases like mine was then you should choose the iTunes store.

This will send you to a page where you narrow down the problem even further. The options are self-explanatory and should be straightforward to follow. If you need further help in narrowing down your choice feel free to add a comment below. For the in-app purchase issue I narrowed down the selection as shown in the screen shot below.


You can add in more details on the issue in this step if you would like to. You'll also need to choose the country for your store. You should add in unintentional in-app purchases in this step. When you click on continue you may be recommended to read an article that solves your issue. If you're asking for a refund then this probably won't help you, so you have the option to email Apple by clicking the email button on the page. The button should be below the link to the recommended article.

In the email to Apple explain your problem in as much detail as possible. A person from the team will be assigned to work with you until your issue is solved. I worked with a very kind man called Joe. Below is part of the first email I received from him. I received the email roughly 24 hours after reaching out to the support team.


So I did exactly as I was asked. I followed the instructions in the linked article. This helped me identify the order numbers for the items I wanted a refund for. I responded with the name of each app, the order number for that app, and how much money was spent in that app.

Less than 24 hours later I received an email from Joe telling me that I will get my money back within 48 hours. Next day I had the money in my account.

After being very grateful to Apple for giving me a refund, and double checking that the iPad was restricted from buying in-app purchases and warning my brother not to mess around with the restrictions menu in the settings- I was all happy about it again. I thanked Joe in an email and received a response where he said that nothing makes Apple happier than hearing that their customers are pleased. I certainly was, and I imagine other customers to be. This is where Apple proved to me that their support team lives up to its expectations. I received similar support from Sony regarding my PS3 before and that made me pleased to. Were your previous experiences with customer support up to their standards, or were they way down the ground? Share your experiences in the comments!

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