It looks like Microsoft is following in Steam’s footsteps and is putting together an automated refund system for the Windows 10 and Xbox stores. This means those buying games digitally will be able to get their money back if needed, as long as they meet the criteria. The newly implemented policy comes around just as the Windows 10 Creators Update begins its rollout.
The refund program is being pushed out to Windows Insiders first in order to double check everything is working as it should. It will then be placed into the regular Windows 10 build a little later on. Here is the message Windows Insiders received regarding this automated refund scheme:
“You’ve spoken; we’ve listened. 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. When a game or app leaves you wanting more, we’re here to help. Self-service refunds on Xbox One and Windows 10 provide a quick, simple way of returning a digital product.”
Later on, Microsoft representatives offered the following statement to press: “Earlier today, we enabled self-serve refund pilot testing for digital content via the Xbox and Windows Insider Programs and this testing is presently limited to select Insider members. Insiders can learn more about the criteria for claiming digital refunds via the Insider Hub.”
The process sounds easy to work with. All you need to do is go into the payment and billing section of your Microsoft account, check your order history and hit refund on whatever it is you would like to return. Restrictions are in place though, otherwise this system would be abused. Refunds can only be granted on purchases less than 14 days old and similarly to Steam, less than two hours of play time is also a requirement. DLC packs and season passes can’t be refunded.
We don’t know when this system goes live for everyone, but it should be some time soon. Windows Insiders should have access already.
KitGuru Says: Steam’s refund system has saved me on more than a few occasions, so it’s nice to see similar systems being implemented on other stores. This is especially important for the Windows Store, as UWP apps can be an absolute pain to get working at times. I’ve had trouble simply trying to get Gears of War 4 reinstalled recently, so these issues don’t seem to be going anywhere.