Microsoft Testing Digital Refunds for Xbox One and Windows Games

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PC Gaming fans have, for the most part, been able to get refunds for digital content for a couple of years now. Console users have not had that luxury. Until now. Well, providing you are a member of the Xbox One Insider program. This week, Microsoft announced that they are testing out “self-service” refunds for digital content purchased from the Xbox Games Store and Windows Store, according to Polygon.

This functionality is in the current alpha release for the Xbox One Insider program but have some limitations as to what would be eligible for a refund. Here is the policy:

  • Games and apps are eligible for self-service refunds within 14 days of purchase if you have less than 2 hours of play time across all accounts.
  • DLC, season passes, and add-ons are not eligible for self-service refunds.
  • The game or app must be downloaded and launched before requesting a self-service refund.
  • You must wait for at least 1 day after the game or app’s release before requesting a self-service refund.
  • Certain Windows 10 apps may not be eligible for self-service refunds.
  • Microsoft reserves the right to block access for users who abuse self-service refunds.

This makes Microsoft the first gaming console to allow refunds on digital purchases. Currently, all sales are final on the PlayStation Store, for U.S.-based customers – as well as the Nintendo eShop. Microsoft seems to be leveling their refund policy with that of Valve, which has a similar policy on Steam. The only real difference is that Steam allows refunds on DLC. Origin, also, allows refunds on all EA-published games and certain third-party titles.

While Microsoft is stating that DLC is not eligible for refunds, that could only apply to the alpha version being tested. The policy could change and expanded to be more similar to Steam’s refund policy. Although, it is nice to see someone in the console world moving into the modern age. Let’s be honest, physical games can be returned or exchanged, which should have always been an option.