I was recently referred by a tweet to this article on Kotaku about a supposed new refund policy that Apple's going to "force" us developers to sign. The short article is intentionally incendiary. It's designed to get us angry.
But, folks, it's just a rumor. Save your energy; don't get mad until and unless you have a reason to be mad. This could have been garbled coming down the grapevine. It could be completely made up, it could be an idea they played with and rejected. We just don't know. The article doesn't give a source; it doesn't even make some vague claim like "somebody who wishes to remain anonymous", or "a reliable source we've heard from before". It just makes a claim with no support. To me, that's not sufficient reason to condemn Apple.
If the rumor is true, we'll know soon enough because we'll be asked to agree to the new agreement. Let me just say this:
Read the damn thing.
Don't just click-through, read it. If you don't understand it, have your lawyer read it.
If the new agreement requires you to reimburse the user 100% on refunds for products you received 70% of the payment for, and there is no limitation on the user's ability to request a refund, then weigh the situation and don't agree if you think it will hurt you in a big picture sense. Although, in the long run, offering refunds will probably increase sales. Some people are hesitant to buy something without the safety blanket of a refund. But while some people do return things, most people don't. That's why Wal-Mart and Best Buy and Target all take refunds pretty much no questions asked, even on products that have been opened and can't be re-sold. For what they lose, they make up in customer loyalty and goodwill. The possibility of a refund may, if implemented fairly, be a very good thing for the App Store, and may allow application prices to start climbing again.
But it's YOUR income, so read the terms, and make the decision that's right for you. If enough developers refuse to agree, they will amend it or give the ability to opt-out or do something. Without developers, there is no App Store, and that's not good for anyone.
But, again, this is all hypothetical, if the terms are what somebody from Kotaku thinks might be the case. If they aren't, then all the anger will have been wasted. Don't be angry, be smart.
Update: Some people are suggesting that this Kotaku article refers not to something coming out soon, but rather something that's already out - section 6.3 of the current store paid agreement that was updated recently. Since I do mostly contract work and writing, I don't have any paid apps in the store and haven't seen that agreement. If I can find a way to get to it, I will give it a read and let you know what I think. As of right now, it would be a moot point because they haven't added a refund policy to the App Store.