Friday, September 13, 2019

Billing Grace Period for App Store Subscriptions

Juli Clover:

Apple today announced a new billing grace period for subscriptions, which will let subscribers who experience unsuccessful auto-renewals continue to use an app’s paid content while Apple attempts to collect payment.

This is a feature that developers can opt into.


What about the opposite problem?!

I would like a grace period when a subscription I forget I even had renews automatically. Even a single day-long grace period would suffice where you can cancel and get a refund on an unwanted periodic subscription.


4 Comments RSS · Twitter

Isn’t “the opposite problem” handled reasonably already, by sending pre-renewal notices by email? There’s plenty of time to act on them.

@VS In theory, yes, but for whatever reason I still hear about lots of unintended renewals.

People get a lot of email and notifications and all kinds of things. It's easy to start ignoring stuff, particularly if it's from a company like Apple, which tends to constantly send emails that are basically irrelevant. Marketing stuff, "how to reset your password" emails from people trying to log in with the wrong credentials, invoices, and so on. Actually getting charged is different, because there's a higher chance that it gets your attention, so it would be reasonable to allow for a period of post-hoc cancellation.

Based on my last experience a few months ago, Apple has become really hard-nosed about issuing refunds for inadvertent app purchases even if you call them immediately. I called them within 10 minutes of purchasing and I never launched the app (I had my thumb on Touch ID and accidentally pressed the Buy button as I was scrolling). I had to be persistent and tell her that I know that they issue refunds because they've done it for me previously, and I had to point out that I had an 7+ year app purchase history of over $1,000 and had only ever asked for refunds on less than $15 total worth of apps. She finally relented, but the whole time I felt like she was scolding me like a stupid child who doesn't know how to use Touch ID.

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