A Reddit thread started earlier today is steadily filling with stories of players requesting refunds for their in-app purchases through Google Play or iTunes, citing that Pokémon Go’s latest update broke the functionality they’d made the purchases to take advantage of.
When the game’s tracking was working, nearby Pokémon would be listed on screen, along with a series of steps vaguely denoting how far away they were from the player. Players could then select a Pokémon, tap the compass and follow directions to hopefully capture the creature they were after.
The three-step glitch, which showed all nearby Pokémon the furthest possible distance from the player, made tracking difficult. Yesterday’s game update removed tracking altogether, leaving just a list of nearby Pokémon without distances or the ability to select one and track.
Players had been making due with third-party tracking programs like Pokevision, which used Go developer Niantic’s API data, but as of this morning, many of the more popular apps have been shut down for unspecified (but pretty obvious) reasons.
So now players are requesting refunds, citing that the game’s functionality has been altered to the point where the original plans for those in-app purchases are no longer viable. They purchased Pokémon Go currency to buy items to track and capture Pokémon, and while they can still capture random creatures they come across, it’s not the same thing.
To test the process, I hopped into iTunes, went to my purchase history and reported a problem with my most recent purchase, a $9.99 buy made back on July 9. It went through without a hitch.
Other players report similar success going through the automated process. Meanwhile, Google Play’s automated policy only allows for refunds on purchases made within the past 48 hours, though Redditors are reporting success getting earlier purchases refunded by using the option to have Google support call them.
It remains to be seen how refunds will affect player accounts, or how Pokémon Go developer Niantic will respond.