Over on my Xbox One console, which is in the Xbox Insider Alpha Preview Ring, a notice just arrived in the Xbox Insider Hub about a new feature for Xbox One and Windows 10.
The company appears ready to test a Self-Service Refund process that will allows users to initiate an electronic refund for purchases from the Windows Store such as games and apps.
I have screenshots of the notice from my console in this gallery so that you can read them but here is the same information verbatim:
Self-Service Refunds - Now Available on Xbox One and Windows 10!
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 likes 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.
To request a self-service refund:
1. Navigate to account.microsoft.com and sign-in.
2. From the top menu bar, select Payment & billing>Order history
3. Navigate to a purchased game or app, and select Request a refund
Please note the below conditions for requesting a self-service refund:
-- 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.
I have to tell you, after my prediction last year that we needed a digital marketplace with all of the online purchases we make these days, this self-service refund process actually addresses my biggest concerns.
It does not usually take me long to know that a digital item I purchased is not for me. I felt like we needed a digital marketplace for those types of regretful purchases. However, if Microsoft is going to let me request a refund on my own without contacting customer service then my entire premise for a digital marketplace is taken care of.
This is a great move for Microsoft and I hope to see other digital stores adopt a similar service.
Update: The refund functionality appears to be working now so this gallery has been updated with images from that process at account.microsoft.com. I have also included the notice you will see on your console if you attempt to run a game that has been refunded/license revoked.
You can now read the official Returning items you bought from Microsoft for exchange or refund article for more details from Microsoft directly.