Pokemon GO players request and receive refunds following the removal of the game's tracking system and the forced shutdown of some third party websites.
Pokemon GO remains one of the most popular mobile apps with more than 75 million downloads and counting, but not everyone is happy following some decisions made by developer Niantic over the last 48 hours. First, Niantic released an update that fixed various bugs but also removed Pokemon GO's tracker footprints. To be fair, the feature was not working properly and will likely return at some point if Niantic can figure out a fix. But then, news also broke that Niantic had likely issued cease and desist orders to various third-party tracking sites, forcing them to shut down.
The end result of these actions is that it is now much harder to figure out just how close any given Pokemon is while playing the game, and it's a change that some gamers are angry about. Kotaku reports that some Pokemon GO players are now requesting refunds for their in-app purchases, citing the tracking changes in their complaints. A Reddit thread started earlier today contains many people reporting the results of their attempts to get a refund through either Google Play or iTunes and quite a few gamers appear to have been successful.
Pokemon GO's usage was already declining thanks to the tracking glitch, but Niantic's decision to completely remove the footprints altogether combined with the shutdown of third-party solutions like Pokevision appears to have upset a lot of players. Many of the successful refund requests are simply stating that the player can no longer use the purchased items like Incense as originally intended without a working tracking system.
Both Apple and Google have short time limits for requesting a refund on an in-app purchase, but some players who made purchases weeks ago are reporting success by speaking directly to customer support instead of using an online form. It's unclear if Google and Apple are removing any purchased items from a user's account upon granting a refund, but some gamers in the Reddit thread are claiming to still have all of their PokeCoins even after getting their money back.
Niantic has not yet commented on the refund rush, but the company is surely working hard to fix and reinstall the built-in tracking feature. It's understandable that the company did not like sites like Pokevision accessing the app's data without permission, but forcing these sites to shut down when there are unresolved issues with the app's own tracker seems a bit short-sighted. As of right now, Pokemon GO remains the top "free" and top "grossing" app on iOS, but it will be interesting to see where it ends up if these refunds continue.
Check out our helpful Pokemon GO guides:
- Every Way to Earn Experience Points
- How to Win Battles
- How to Become a Gym Leader
- How to Get Pokecoins
- How to Catch Pikachu as a Starter
- How to Use and Hatch Eggs
- How to Catch Rare Pokemon
- How to Use Pokestops
- How to Control Eevee’s Evolution
- Trainer Rewards at Every Level
- How to Hold Gyms Longer
- Where to Find Specific Pokemon
- How to Trigger Pokemon Spawns
- Every Type’s Strengths and Weaknesses
- Catching Region Exclusive Pokemon
Pokemon GO is out now for Android and iOS devices in select areas.