If you’ve ever bought a subscription inside an iOS app and later decided you wanted to cancel, upgrade or downgrade, or ask for a refund, you may have had trouble figuring out how to go about making that request or change. Today, some people still believe that they can stop their subscription charges simply by deleting an app from their iPhone. Others may dig around unsuccessfully inside their iPhone’s Settings or on the App Store to try to find out how to ask for a refund.
With the updates Apple announced in StoreKit 2 during its Worldwide Developers Conference this week, things may start to get a little easier for app customers. StoreKit is Apple’s developer framework for managing in-app purchases — an area that’s become more complex in recent years, as apps have transitioned from offering one-time purchases to ongoing subscriptions with different tiers, lengths, and feature sets.
Currently, users who want to manage or cancel subscriptions can do so from the App Store or their iPhone Settings. But some don’t realize the path to this section from Settings starts by tapping on your Apple ID (your name and profile photo at the top of the screen). They may also get frustrated if they’re not familiar with navigating their Settings or the App Store.
Meanwhile, there are a variety of ways users can request refunds on their in-app subscriptions. They can dig in their inbox for their receipt from Apple, then click the “Report a Problem” link it includes to request a refund when something goes wrong. This could be useful in scenarios where you’ve bought a subscription by mistake (or your kid has!) or where the promised features didn’t work as intended.
Apple also provides a dedicated website where users can directly request refunds for apps or content. (When you Google for something like “request a refund apple” or similar queries, a page that explains the process typically comes up at the top of the search results.)
Still, many users aren’t technically savvy. For them, the easiest way to manage subscriptions or ask for refunds would be to do so from within the app itself. For this reason, many conscientious app developers tend to include links to point customers to Apple’s pages for subscription management or refunds inside their apps.