Last Updated on January 4, 2022 by Laura Ritterman
Gaming is a great hobby, but occasionally, you need to send something back. Maybe you bought a game thinking it would be great, but it didn’t live up to your expectations. In such a case, you would want to get a refund, but that process differs from platform to platform. Today, we’ll be talking about Xbox, and products you bought directly from Microsoft, such as the Xbox Store.
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What is Xbox’s Refund Policy?
Xbox does not have a universal refund policy that applies to all products. Some of their items are eligible for returns and refunds while others aren’t. If you bought physical goods such as packaged software or an Xbox controller, those are usually eligible for returns.
On the other hand, digital products such as games, apps, DLC, or subscriptions are generally not refundable without special circumstances like state law comes into play. The Microsoft Terms of Sale is the place to look for the most detailed information on Microsoft’s return policy.
But if you do have a product that is qualified for a return and refund, Microsoft will credit you the full price of the product, not including the original shipping and handling charges. It usually takes three to five business days after Microsoft receives your returns item for a refund to be processed. If you do get a refund, it is applied to the payment option you originally used.
How to Request a Refund for an Xbox Game
One of the most common products a gamer might want a refund for is an Xbox game itself. Unfortunately, this process is not as easy as most people would like. It depends on whether you bought a physical game from Microsoft or a digital one. A physical game is easy: you would just return it in all of its packaging to Microsoft for a refund.
But most people buy physical games from third-party stores like GameStop or Walmart, and if they buy from Microsoft, it’s usually a digital game. Returning a digital game is not easy, because most of the time, all sales are considered final, with some very rare exceptions.
To even request a refund for a digital Xbox game, you must consider the following requirements:
- You must have a valid reason for requesting a refund
- Refunds are only available for 14 days after the game’s purchase date
- You cannot ask for a refund if you played the game for more than two hours across all of your accounts
- Refunds are only possible at least a day after the game’s release date, and you must have downloaded and launched the game at least once
- DLC and add-on content cannot be refunded
What even counts as a valid reason for a digital refund? Some examples include:
- There’s a mistake in your bill
- You bought the wrong game by mistake
- The game doesn’t work or is heavily malfunctioning
- Someone else bought the game on your account without your knowledge
If your situation meets this criterion, you can go to Microsoft’s Request a Refund Page and find the item you want to be refunded in your order history, then request a refund, which will prompt you to submit relevant info for your refund consideration.
See Also: Walmart return policy
Are There Return Exceptions to These Rules?
There may be unique exceptions to Microsoft’s return policy, but they are generally few and far between. Unless you have extremely niche extenuating circumstances, then no, there are no return exceptions to the aforementioned rules.
Are Xbox Refunds Guaranteed?
As far as digital items are concerned, no. It is entirely possible that Microsoft will deem your request for a refund invalid, for a myriad array of reasons. If you don’t fall into the aforementioned criterion, it’s very likely that Microsoft will refuse to refund your digital purchase.
However, they do guarantee a refund on physical items if those items are returned in the condition your received them in.
Does Xbox Have Free Returns?
Naturally, it doesn’t cost anything to return a digital item like a digitally purchased Xbox game, so that return would be free. For a physical item return, you can get a repair return shipping label when you go to your Microsoft account’s order history and request a return for a physical item, so that’s free too.
How Many Refunds Does Xbox Allow?
There is no limit to how many refunds Xbox allows, as long as all of your refunds are valid. They will not arbitrarily block you from making returns and getting refunds if they meet the valid criteria for getting said refunds.
How Long do Xbox Refunds Take?
Once Microsoft receives your physical item or your ticket for the return of a digital item, it generally takes them 72 hours to reach out to you with an email telling you whether or not your item is eligible for a refund.
You can return most physical products to Microsoft for free and get a refund for the full price, not including initial shipping and handling fees. But if you want to get a refund for a digital item, that’s a different beast.
To qualify for a digital return and refund, you must meet a pretty tight array of selection criteria, including valid reasons for requesting a refund and only playing the game a limited amount.
But if you do qualify for a refund from Microsoft on a digital item, you can expect to get refunded within 72 hours. Refunds are not always guaranteed but there is no limit to the number of refunds you can get.