In regards to refunds requested through Google Play, the 15-minute decision was always somewhat of a feature to me. Knowing that you can get your money back quickly if something goes wrong with a paid app or an in-app purchase has always been nice. However, Google has now increased the refund decision wait estimate to four days.
Google's support page recently changed the refund estimate wording from "You'll usually get a decision within 15 minutes" to "It can take up to four business days to get a decision." Technically speaking, that's an increase of roughly 38,000%, and potentially more if those four business days overlap into the weekend or holidays.
As for why exactly the change was implemented, a large number of refund requests have probably been automatically declined without a human even looking at them, so this could be a good thing. Personally, though, I've only had good experiences; I recently purchased a $40 IAP for a coding app for my car off Google Play, found that it barely worked with the crappy OBDII Bluetooth adapter I had, and got a refund in a matter of minutes. Others on the staff haven't been as fortunate, though, so we're hoping this is an indication of better, more thorough reviews of refund requests to come.
It seems that we may have spoken too soon. Google has updated the support page to say, "You’ll usually get [the refund] within 15 minutes, but it can take up to four business days." In other words, Google is basically just covering its ass when customers inevitably complain about not having received their refunds within the allotted quarter of an hour.
- Google Support