Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Updated to the Kotaku / Refund Clause Issue

I posted this as an update to my last blog posting, but wanted to put it here so it was more likely to be seen:

Update: Some people dispute my reading of this contract clause. That's fine, and that's exactly why I suggest you get a lawyer rather than rely on my word. However, I believe those interpretations are wrong because they are based on the lay definition of the terms "claim" and "notice". Legally speaking, a claim isn't just somebody saying "give me my money back". Here's what a claim is:

To demand or assert as a right. Facts that combine to give rise to a legally enforceable right or judicial action.

To demand or assert a right. Rights are established by law or by other obligation, such as those established in a contract or warranty. You simply can't read legal documents based on the common usage of terms. That's why you should have a lawyer read any contract you sign. And even that's not foolproof. Not all lawyers will interpret this the same, nor will all judges.

So, don't take my word for it, but don't take Kotaku's, and if you haven't had legal training, don't take your own advice either.


Michael said...

That makes a bit more sense. I remember seeing refund for one of my apps a while back. No info as to why the refund was made though. I think the problem will be if this becomes such common knowledge that people buy apps to try (as Apple provide no mechanism for us to provide demos ourselves) and then request a refund with some nefarious reason, then yes if will start to cost developers money.

Jeff LaMarche said...

Whenever you enter into an agreement, there's always a possibility of some part of that agreement being abused. If Apple starts to abuse this clause, then that's a different story, but I haven't seen any evidence of rampant refund granting. The mere existence of this clause is simply not the cause for alarm that some people think it is.

Non DePlume said...

No kidding, great advice, period.

Why someone wouldn't read a document that will affect their ability to pay their bills, put food on their table, and roof over their head is beyond my comprehension.

If blog comments in science and technology forums have shown me anything, its that Harlon Ellison was right when he said "The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and Stupidity.".

As far as I can tell, it only gets worse when Internal Revenue Code or Uniform Commercial Code is thrown into the mix.

Cyril said...

These terms were there from the beginning and have been applied by Apple. I have already had 2 (two) refunds that I know of from people who had absolutely not read the description, or watched the videos.

The thing is :
did you try to get a refund from apple fo something you bought? It is hard as in "there is no refund button" and no way to contact Apple very easily.