New European Union rules that entitle residents to a 14-day, no-questions-asked refund for App Store and iTunes purchases have forced Apple to take some steps to prevent abuse of the rules. The problem is that users are able to keep the content they purchased even after receiving a refund.

Refunds can be requested through iTunes’ Report A Problem feature. But the content is not automatically deleted from iOS devices after Apple has paid back the money.

So Apple has amended its App Store purchase rules for those flagged for requesting excessive refunds. Now, when flagged users make a purchase, they get the following dialog box:



To make a purchase, flagged users must agree to the notice and waive their right to a refund. This is allowed under a provision in the EU law which lets companies limit refunds as long as the customer explicitly agrees to it.

Though the EU law governing App Store refunds has been in place since last June, Apple only recently changed its purchase procedures for Europe. Outside of the EU, iTunes and App Store content are deemed final sale, though some users have had luck obtaining refunds on an individual basis through Apple support.