One of the big problems with investing in digital products is just how insecure your purchases can be- consumer protections are minimal, with digital continuity unassured, no returns, no refunds, and no ability to resell your product. On Microsoft’s part, these are all problems they have been attempting to address over the last few years on Xbox, with initiatives like backward compatibility and Play Anywhere. And now, their newest move is likely to win them a lot of fans, even with traditional Xbox skeptics.
Microsoft is apparently going to bring full self service refunds for digital games and goods to its stores on Xbox One and Windows 10 (currently, refunds are an option, but the user has to go through customer service to get it done- this will be far more accessible). The service is apparently being tested with Xbox Insider members currently, and will roll out to all users soon.
The requirements in place are simple- all games on Xbox One, and most products on the Windows 10 store (there may be some third party app exceptions) are refundable, within 14 days of purchase. The user must have downloaded and launched the product at least once, and total time logged with the product must be less than 2 hours. DLC and add ons are not refundable.
This is the same policy that Steam also uses for its digital refunds- it works great there, and it is excellent to see Microsoft use something like it. Returns and consumer protection for digital goods are a great move, and it is so nice to see Microsoft take the initiative on this. Now if only Sony and Nintendo would do this too… but of course, they’re so far behind Microsoft on the online front that it is likely to be a very long time before they get around to offering a service like this.