Microsoft is testing ways to make it easier for you to get your money back for digital games.
The Xbox One Insider App has revealed in an official announcement that “self-service refunds” are coming to the Xbox One and Windows 10 Microsoft Stores. The publisher says this is for any game or app you buy on its digital shops, and you can use it without having to talk to a human customer-service representative.
A Microsoft spokesperson explained in a statement that this is all just a test for now:
“We’re always looking for new ways to improve the customer experience and regularly release new features into the Insider Program to encourage and foster fan feedback, which helps us test and refine features before they reach general availability. 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. Beyond that, we have nothing further to share.”
It sounds like the company is planning to emulate how returns work for Valve’s popular Steam portal for PC games. This should encourage consumers to take a risk on buying games outside of their comfort zones, and it may also insulate Microsoft from any future regulations that could begin requiring companies to offer a way to return digital goods.
“You’ve spoken; we’ve listened,” reads an announcement on the Insider App. “In support of offering gamers the freedom of choise, 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.”
In order to get your money back for a return, you’ll have to meet a number of conditions:
- You must return the unwanted game or app in the first 14 days after purchasing it.
- You must have less than 2 hours of play time on the game across all accounts.
- DLC, season passes, and add-ons are not eligible.
- You must actually download and launch the game or app before you can request a refund.
- Microsoft says that certain, unspecified Windows 10 apps will not work with the self-service return system.
- Finally, “Microsoft reserves the right to block access for users who abuse self-service refunds.”
To get the refund, you’ll need to go through a few simple steps. Just go to account.microsoft.com, sign in, and find the order history option under the “Payment & billing” menu. If should now see a “Request a refund” option.
We’ll have to see if Sony follows suit with its own service to easily return digital games, which is something it does not have for PlayStation 4.