Developers being hit with bulk app refunds years after purchase

It appears that some app developers are experiencing a perplexing problem regarding App Store refunds. In particular, Apple seems to be allowing huge numbers of app refunds years after their purchase via educational discounts.

As reported by Mac developer Michael Tsai on his personal blog, at least some refunds appear to be related to copies of apps bought in bulk for educational users. In the case of Air Display 2 developer Dave Howell, for example, 500 copies of the app were refunded without explanation nearly two years after they were sold.

And Howell isn't alone; iOS game developer Little White Bear has also reported seeing bulk refunds occur on educational purchases after two years. Interestingly, Tapbots developer Paul Haddad reports that delayed refunds aren't limited to educational purchases; individual purchases have shown up years down the road as well.

It's unclear how widespread the problem is, but having to issue refunds years down the line without explanation — especially in bulk — would be problematic for any developer.

Are you a developer who has seen this happen with your app? If so, share your experience in the comments below!

Dan Thorp-Lancaster