I have offered refunds for any reason, no questions asked, for the last 3 years. Just between you and me, the 30 day limit on the website is a little white lie -- I think the most ever was 2 years, 1 month after the initial sale. I also proactively remind my customers about it if they report bugs that I can't fix immediately.
You know how many refunds I've given out, with that absurdly generous policy? About 3% of sales.
Now since I use a payment processor which is well-known for being developer friendly, chuckle Paypal, those refunds never cost me a penny. (+) But even if they did cost 30%, that would be under 1% of gross sales.
You think "bankrupt" might be a little strong?
P.S. There are numerous reasons why the App Store model is a terrible, terrible deal for developers. This isn't one of them.
+ Actually, that isn't true, come to think of it. For the 3 refunds I've given after 90 days passed, I had to refund via check, so Paypal would have kept their $1 in fees then. OK, so this policy has cost me $3 and change. My bad.
Hopefully, they require people who want refunds to jump a hoop or two.
The only extra cost I can conceive of as fair is paying for 70% of the payment processing. Remember, free apps get all the rest of the App Store services at no cost.
90 days is just unreasonable considering the majority of apps in the appstor have really short game play time.
Whoever making these policies changes at Apple needs stop coming up with such policies and think twice about it. I came up with a better resolution in less than 30 secs.
1) Adjudicating reasons requires valuable support time. Refund and move on does not.
2) This causes customer friction. The annoyance of the prospect of having to justify yourself to an uncaring CS grunt in India destroys the value of having the guarantee in the first place, which is to make purchasing from you look like a risk-free endeavor.
3) Any customer can get a refund any time they want by calling up their credit card company and humming a few bars about "Internet merchant did not live up to their claims". This is called a chargeback and it means the merchant just lost $15 to $25 plus the refunded amount.
4) Product quality is much more effective than hoops in decreasing the number of refunds. ("Good relations with the customer" is more important than either. You know how bedside manner is a better predictor of malpractice claims than clinical outcomes? Same story.)
[Edit to add: incidentally, the reason Apple has refunds is to zealously protect their "All interactions with Apple should be mindblowingly awesome for our customers" reputation. This is the same reason that they make it essentially impossible for developers to be anything other than an anonymous cog behind a shiny new icon -- anything else and you're a risk to the True Apple Brand Experience. And that is why I will never, ever develop for any platform that insists that they own the customer relationship.]
Funny you say that, because you can't return Apple hardware without incurring a 10% restocking fee.
(Eh, HN wasn't made for displaying calc, I guess.)
They're starting to show some of the monopolistic tendencies. For example, newish iPods can only connect via iTunes (at least they said they were going to do that), which not only kinda sucks for people who liked using a different program that didn't suck memory, usually even when "not running", but also made it impossible (or at least hard) for Linux users to connect iPods at all.
How do you know?