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Blacklisted by Apple?

07-02-2015, 10:35 AM
#1
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 91
Blacklisted by Apple?

Hello,

Wondering if you guys have more info than I do on this, I believe I've been blacklisted by Apple for asking (and receiving) a single game refund!
I've had my iPad Air for over one year now and have spent on average 30 a month on apps. Until the other day I'd never applied for a refund and tbh I didn't even know you could get one until my friend told me.

I bought Sid Meier's Starships for 10.99 but had nothing but problems with it forever crashing and freezing. If it were 2-3 I'd shrug it off and ignore it but my friend said I could get a refund so 3 days ago I deleted the game and applied for a refund which I got yesterday.

But now when I try to buy a game I'm getting a message up "I Acknowledge that if I download this app within 14 days of tapping 'buy' that I'll be no longer eligible to cancel this purchase". Having never seen that message before I hit cancel as I though I was being hacked or something but some googling has now lead me to believe Apple has blacklisted my account because I got a single refund.

Am I wrong in feeling this is unacceptable? If I'd refunded 2-3 games then perhaps I could see the point, but one? Why have have a refund process if people cannot use it? I'm rather unhappy about this I have to say. I feel like I've been judged.
07-02-2015, 10:42 AM
#2
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 1,614
That sounds so Appleish. As much as I love their products I hate their draconian policies. I fear that eventually I'm going to have to move on from them.

Last edited by klink; 07-02-2015 at 12:46 PM.

07-02-2015, 12:07 PM
#3
Joined: Nov 2013
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Posts: 2,336
Weird. I've refunded at least two or three games and received refunds for them. I guess it's all in the reason.
07-02-2015, 12:48 PM
#4
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 11,184
I've gotten three refunds from Apple. No problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickFalk View Post
Squids!?

Worst idea ever!
07-02-2015, 01:15 PM
#5
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Europe, CET
Posts: 3,286
@Oldgamer: are you located in Europe, too, by chance?
I got the same message weeks ago already.
And yes, I also got a few refunds. Specifically under the European(not 100% sure, need to look that up) ruling that made Apple comply with the standard EU "14 days return for goods ordered online, no questions asked" laws.

For Europe, I am not sure (not a lawyer, you see?) if that specific limiting of the 14 day returns would hold up, e.g. in court.
07-02-2015, 04:07 PM
#6
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 946
They brought this in a few months ago when Europe passed a law that gave us more refund rights. I thought they were only adding that message for people who took the piss. Apparently not.
07-02-2015, 07:03 PM
#7
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nullzone View Post
@Oldgamer: are you located in Europe, too, by chance?
I got the same message weeks ago already.
And yes, I also got a few refunds. Specifically under the European(not 100% sure, need to look that up) ruling that made Apple comply with the standard EU "14 days return for goods ordered online, no questions asked" laws.

For Europe, I am not sure (not a lawyer, you see?) if that specific limiting of the 14 day returns would hold up, e.g. in court.
I'm in the UK.

I've emailed Apple support and told them I'm not happy at being singled out like this for only refunding one app and I will not buy any more apps until they at least explain themselves to me.
07-02-2015, 11:56 PM
#8
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,400
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldgamer View Post
I'm in the UK.

I've emailed Apple support and told them I'm not happy at being singled out like this for only refunding one app and I will not buy any more apps until they at least explain themselves to me.
You haven't been "blacklisted", it's simply a notification of your rights under EU law and a gentle reminder not to abuse the right of cancellation policy.
It generally only triggers the notification when someone has gotten a number of refunds. In your case it obviously kicked in too early but hey, stuff happens, what can you do, it's an automated system.
It hasn't single you out, it's not personal and it still doesn't change your rights under EU law as it's still only just a notification of the terms and conditions.

When the refund policy came in first, it was abused up the wazoo so it was a necessary step to make sure people were aware that they simply couldn't get buy something, get a refund, buy something else, get another refund, so and on.
Many people were doing it so maybe the notification trigger threshold has been changed but either way, it still doesn't mean you're blacklisted, it's simply a notification that abuse of the system (which has been an ongoing problem) won't be tolerated.
There is no problem here. You can still download or buy games and it's no different to accepting the terms and conditions that happened at the very beginning or when the terms and conditions change.

The terms and conditions.
Pay particular attention to the right of cancellation section in part A.
http://www.apple.com/legal/internet-.../uk/terms.html

And a couple of articles on the policy that explain it to some degree.
http://9to5mac.com/2014/12/29/app-st...es-refunds-eu/
http://9to5mac.com/2015/01/13/apple-...funds-on-file/

And while, yes, it may have kicked in a bit too early for you personally but let's face it, abuse of the policy has been relatively wide spread and the notification is still just a notification only and not a "blacklist" and a necessary step to ensure fairness for developers, Apple and the customer.
You will still be entitled to refunds in the future a long as you present a valid case for that refund when requesting it.
07-03-2015, 02:54 AM
#9
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: England
Posts: 10,980
It probably kicked in earlier as the app as an expensive one. Sadly due to people mistreating this rule (not you by the way) it makes it harder for legit people to get refunds
07-03-2015, 03:06 AM
#10
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Europe, CET
Posts: 3,286
@Oldgamer: I am very sure you are not "singled out" or anything like that. Come this way, take a look at the Legalese.

@Rip73: Thanks for all that info. I didn't pay attention to this, wasn't aware that this system got abused, and apparently pretty heavily.

Now, the Legalese:
Here is the Guidance Document, clarifying on the relevant EU Directives (listed on page 1):
http://ec.europa.eu/justice/consumer...uidance_en.pdf
Jump to page 65, section 12.2., part 1. It states explicitly (quoting):
In relation to contracts for online digital content, Article 16(m) regulates the right of withdrawal as follows: '[Member States shall not provide for the right of withdrawal in respect of contracts as regards]: (m) the supply of digital content which is not supplied on a tangible medium if the performance has begun with the consumer’s prior express consent and his acknowledgment that he thereby loses his right of withdrawal.' <...>
If a trader provides a web link to launch streaming or downloading, the consumer would only lose the right of withdrawal after activating that link.

So, what Apple does here appears to be perfectly within the legal framework set by the EU. Nothing to complain about regarding Apple.

What I find odd is this article: http://9to5mac.com/2015/01/13/apple-...funds-on-file/
It - and the linked ones - provides only unsubstantiated speculation. I could not find an official statement from Apple about this. So take the part about "user with excessive refunds on file" with a huge grain of salt.
In my case, it was two refunds over a period of at least several weeks, if not months. Not something I'd call "excessive".
Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if Apple just made this standard, i.e. it shows up for everyone for every purchase.

@Rip73: Do you have any sources - ideally from Apple directly - that confirm your explanation about the automated system?

Update:
Here's another link, European Commission press release: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release....htm?locale=en
Pay attention to section "9) Better consumer protection in relation to digital products ", 2nd sentence. Quoting:
Consumers will have a right to withdraw from purchases of digital content, such as music or video downloads, but only up until the moment the actual downloading process begins.

Last edited by Nullzone; 07-03-2015 at 03:16 AM.