Apple and Google have been ordered by South Korea's Fair Trade Commission to revise their "no-refund" app store policies in addition to a number of other provisions, reports The Korea Herald. In response to the ruling, Apple reportedly stated that it would consider applying a revised App Store policy worldwide, with Korean officials requiring that Apple send a notice users when its terms and conditions have changed.
Following the FTC orders, the Google Play webstore will design a customer refund system based on Web developers’ refund polices. Apple’s iTunes app store will have to send a notice to users when it changes the terms in its contract.
"We expect the measure, aimed at protecting consumers, will have a ripple effect on similar cases throughout the world," the Korea Fair Trade Commission said in a press release.
In 2011, the Taiwanese government also pressured Apple and Google to modify their app store policies, with Apple enabling a 7-day refund period. However, it was unclear at the time what changes were made by Apple in order to comply with the law, as the company may have simply addressed it by granting refunds upon request.
Under the current policy, Apple does not offer an automatic way to get refunds for apps. However, refunds have been made available on a case by case basis, as users are able to "Report a Problem" on their purchases to go through iTunes Support. In May, Apple began preventing updates and reinstallation of refunded App Store apps, which was also extended to the Mac App Store.