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Apple introduces 14 day return window for digital purchases in Europe

If you buy something online from Apple, the company has now introduced a two week window in some European countries whereby you can “return” your purchase and get your money back.

So you have 14 days to decide whether you’ve made a bad buying decision in the UK, and also Germany, France, and Italy. This applies to purchases from iTunes, iBooks, and the App Store. You don’t even have to provide a reason as to why you’re rejecting the digital goods.

Cult of Mac spotted the change to Apple’s terms and conditions, which now read: “If you choose to cancel your order, you may do so within 14 days from when you received your receipt without giving any reason.”

Apple does, however, note that iTunes Gifts can’t be refunded once the code has been cashed in.

The company further states: "To cancel your order, you must inform us of your decision. To ensure immediate processing we recommend you use Report a Problem (opens in new tab) to cancel all items with the exception of iTunes Match, Season Pass, Multi-Pass and, unless purchased from a third party or redeemed, iTunes Gifts and Allowances, which can be cancelled by contacting iTunes Support."

The policy has been forced in by a European consumer rights directive, which specifies a two week window on mistaken digital purchases.

Presumably Cupertino will have put measures in place to prevent abuse of this system (for example, users buying and watching a movie, then getting a refund). They may be able to look, in the case of a film, and find whether it has been played – and we’d guess if a customer starts performing “returns” on some kind of regular basis, the system will flag obvious abuse, and action can then be taken.

Quite how the law lies in these sort of cases is another thing, of course…

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.