As I recently wrote, Tap! magazine was cancelled. As always with Future Publishing, you get a single-page PDF alongside the final issue, stating that because no more issues are being released, you should seek a refund. I’d not tried this in the past with any publisher, because the amounts had been tiny (I’d been fortunate in mag cancellations almost coinciding with the end of a subscription period), but my Tap! subscription refreshed only a month or so ago.
I duly wrote to iTunes support as follows:
Future Publishing has stated Tap! has ceased publication and no new issues are going to be released. I am therefore writing to get a refund for my outstanding subscription.
A couple of hours later, I got an email from customer support:
Craig, I’m delighted to inform you that under the circumstances, I’ve determined that a refund is appropriate.
Job done. Only then on Twitter, someone mentioned this hadn’t happened for them. Instead, they were told the refund request was carefully considered”; however:
[…] according to the iTunes Store Terms of Sale, all purchases made on the iTunes Store are final. This policy matches Apple’s refund policies and provides protection for copyrighted materials.
So, which is it? Are Newsstand subscriptions ‘final’ purchases where your money vanishes if a publication does? Are you entitled to a refund? Is it all just a crapshoot, depending on which person deals with your support request?
Right now, despite my good experience, I can’t say I’m full of confidence regarding Newsstand beyond monthly subscriptions. I’ll certainly not be taking out another annual one until Apple confirms one way or another what the state of play is. If Apple PR responds to my email, I’ll update this article accordingly.