Around two years ago, we published an article saying that despite the claimed existence of a single, 15-minute app refund windows (now 2 hours), Google Play actually had multiple refund windows available to customers that were automated up to around 48 hours after the purchase of an app. Specifically, from a period of 15 minutes (again, now 2 hours) to up to 48 hours after an app or game was purchased, simply submitting a refund request would generally result in a refund being issued automatically, without regard to reason.
At the time, we actually confirmed some of this with Google's PR, though they declined to state that the 48-hour refund windows was fully automated, likely to discourage abuse of the system. Read More
If you've purchased an app or game on the Play Store recently and gone to see if you could return it, you may have noticed something a bit odd: you could still do so outside of the alleged 15 minute return window. In fact, that now seems to be the case for many paid apps and games, despite no published changes in the store's refund policies.
To test this seemingly longer window, three members of the AP team all bought apps on the Play Store. All of us had the same experience while monitoring the availability of the "refund" button. Instead of disappearing after 15 minutes, as it has since December 2010 when Google dropped the refund window for the then-Android Market from 24 hours down to its current 15 minutes, the refund window stayed open a solid 2 hours. Read More