We’re not sure if it was a bug or a loophole in the iTunes App Store, but in the past, when an app was refunded and the user got their money back, they were still allowed to reinstall the app at a later time and even update it. Essentially this meant that you could technically buy a paid app, download it, install it, and ask for a refund, but continue to use it later anyway. Well it looks like Apple has decided to shut that door for good, although it does seem like Apple did take their time going about it.
It seems strange, but Apple used to allow people who received a refund for a paid app, to continue to reinstall and update it. Obviously, this doesn’t seem to make sense. After all, isn’t that like getting a paid app for free? Apple has finally put an end to this and now those who try to reinstall, or update an app for which they have already received a refund, will see an error message. The error message for an update says that it is not available because the app is owned by another user, or was refunded/canceled. Apple does not have a straightforward way to get a refund on a paid app. But if iOS users “Report a problem” with a purchased app, one of the options is a refund. This opening has now been slammed shut by Apple. There is no word on how much money developers refunded over the years to users of an app, who then reinstalled and updated it as though they never received the refund in the first place.