South Korea Orders Apple, Google to Offer Easier App Store Refunds

Apple and Google have been ordered to give customers easier access to refunds for app purchases, at least in South Korea. The country's Fair Trade Commission called the current refund policies unfair to consumers following complaints from the Citizen's Coalition for Economic Justice.

Apple to change App Store refund policy in South KoreaApple to change App Store refund policy in South Korea

Apple has agreed to change how it handles App Store refunds in South Korea from the current system where customers refund requests are reviewed and granted on a case-by-case basis. The iPhone and iPad maker has now promised to set up an automated refund system for its South Korean App Store, and Google will be implementing a similar system, too. 

The Fair Trade Commission saw its order as a game changer for the mobile app market not only in South Korea, but around the world. Hwang Won-chul, FTC Adhesion Contract Division boss, told The Korean Herald, "The FTC's corrective orders will become benchmark cases for other countries, which face growing customer complaints over unfair provisions in contracts of mobile webstore operators." 

He added that Apple will consider making the change for its App Store in other countries based on how the system works in South Korea.

Apple hasn't said how soon it plans to roll out its new App Store refund system in the country, or how long it will wait before considering similar changes in other regions.