Although Pokemon Go is a free app, thousands of players around the world have lost real money playing it, and they’re now flooding app stores demanding refunds.
In the free-to-play mobile game, users can spend real-life cash to purchase PokeCoins, which in turn are exchanged for items that improve gameplay. All of these items can be obtained for free by visiting Poke Stops, but for some players who don’t live in close proximity to many of these stops, spending a few bucks here and there on Poke Balls or Incense is a worthwhile investment.
However, due to the game’s extreme instability and constant bugs, that money often goes to waste. Take Incense items, for instance. Upon use, they draw Pokemon to the player for a period of 30 minutes. But if the game’s servers crash during that half-hour window, the player is essentially out of luck; when they load the game up again, even if they were only 60 seconds into their session, there’s no way to pick up where they left off, and the item that has real monetary value is gone.
In the past few days, many gamers who have experienced similar problems have demanded refunds for their purchases, and the majority of them have been successful. Here’s what you’ll need to do to get your money back:
For iOS users, visit the “Report a Problem” section of Apple’s website. Log in with your Apple ID and click “report a problem” next to the Pokemon Go app. Under “Choose Problem,” it’s recommended you pick “Item opens but doesn’t function as expected.” Then, simply describe the issue you’ve been having and how you have lost money on items that became useless due to the game’s bugs.
Some users have even received refunds on all the money they’ve spent on the game whether or not they lost items. One Reddit user says they received money back for all of their purchases by complaining that the game had been ruined by the recent updates.
“A game that tracks pokemon, now has no means whether ingame or third party to track the pokemon is a change in game function,” they wrote to Apple. “The update changed how the main game is played in terms of tracking.”
Android users can also request a refund from their account page on the Google Play store, although so far it appears that the Google store has not been quite as responsive to refund requests as Apple.
Both app stores are evidently being flooded with complaints, especially in response to Pokemon Go‘s recent update that removed the ability to track Pokemon and also eliminated battery saver mode. For some gamers, this was the last straw, as the game was becoming increasingly buggy and as Niantic Labs, the app’s developer, seemed unwilling to respond to any complaints. Now, some are hoping that making a statement like this with an influx of refund requests will force the company to listen to fans.
“Maybe this will have enough force to show Niantic that they need to do something about this or people WILL NOT continue to play this game,” one Reddit user wrote on the game’s subreddit, a community which has completely turned on the app’s developer.