Self-Service Refunds? Hell Yeah!

If you’ve joined the rest of us in purchasing almost entirely all digital games then you may wrestle with buyer’s remorse. Particularly when it’s sale time. After many years of us asking Microsoft have listened and done something awesome. Introducing Self-Service Refunds!

How Does it Work?

When you buy a digital game it currently specifies that there will be no exchanges or refunds. That is about to change. If you buy a game on a whim and suffer buyer’s remorse there is an answer. Providing you have owned the game for less than 14 days and have played for less than 2 hours across all your accounts you may return it for a full refund. No one else need be contacted. It is a simple transaction that is literally a Self-Service Refund.


Season passes will not be included in the refund facility. Neither are add-ons or DLC. You must complete the download and launch the game before you can process a refund. You must also wait at least a day after a game’s launch. Certain Windows 10 apps will also not be included. Finally, and this is a big one, if you abuse the system Microsoft can ban you. This means achievement hunters can not play two hours of everything and return it.

When can I get Self-Service Refunds?

As it stands the story was leaked via Reddit photos of people in the Alpha Preview Program. It has now been confirmed to Polygon by Microsoft that it is all very much true. The full text sent to Alpha Insiders was as follows: “You’ve spoken; we’ve listened. In support of offering gamers the freedom of choice, we’re making changes to the Microsoft Store purchase experience by offering customers a simple way to instantly return digital products like games and apps through“. It is currently in “pilot testing” but one can assume it will arrive with the general public at some point in the next few months.

Text explaining Self-Service Refunds
The original Reddit photo that started the rumour.
Keeping up with the Joneses

When implemented the Microsoft Self-Service Refund system will be similar to other systems put in place in recent times. Steam have used refunds since 2015. The EA Origin platform also allows refunds. As it stands Xbox One would be the first console system to allow refunds although I expect to hear a similar announcement from Sony in the near future.