Google to offer full refunds on videos purchased from Google Video Store.

Apparently the hue and cry from folks upset with Google over their decision to shut down GVS and only offer refunds via credit on Google Checkout purchases caught their attention as they’ve announced that they will in fact do full refunds to customers:

When your friends and well-intentioned acquaintances tell you that you’ve made a mistake, it’s good to listen. So we’d like to say thank you to everyone who wrote to let us know that we had made a mistake in the case of Google Video’s Download to Own/Rent Refund Policy vs. Common Sense.

To recap: we decided to end the Google Video download to own/rent (DTO/DTR) program, and are now refocusing our Google Video engineering efforts. The week before last, we wrote to Google Video DTO/DTR program customers to let them know that videos they’d already bought would no longer be playable.

We planned to give these users a full refund or more. And because we weren’t sure if we had all the correct addresses, latest credit card information, and other billing challenges, we thought offering the refund in the form of Google Checkout credits would entail fewer steps and offer a better user experience. We should have anticipated that some users would see a Checkout credit as nothing more than an extra step of a different (and annoyingly self-serving) kind. Our bad. Here’s how we’re hoping to fix things:

  • We’re giving a full refund—as a credit card refund—to everyone who ever bought a video. We’ll need you to make sure we have your most recent credit card information, but once we know where to send the money, you’ll get it.
  • You can still keep the Google Checkout credit that you’ve received already. Think of it as an additional ‘we’re sorry we goofed’ credit.
  • We’re going to continue to support playing your videos for another six months. We won’t be offering the ability to buy additional videos, but what you’ve already downloaded will remain playable on your computer.

We take pride in moving quickly, and we think this philosophy helps to create lots of new and innovative products. But it also leads to errors that—upon reflection and your feedback—we need to rectify. This was one of them. We make mistakes; we do our best not to repeat them—and we really do try to fix the ones we make. That said, the very least that our users should expect from us is that our mistakes be new and innovative, too. wink

We appreciate your responses, and hope our actions convey just how seriously we take everyone’s feedback.

That’s certainly an improvement though you’re still going to lose the ability to watch those videos in the long run which still points out the biggest problem with DRM. Imagine if your DVDs just suddenly stopped working because, say, Disney decided they weren’t going to support that format any longer. I’m sure Disney would LOVE to be able to do that, but I don’t think the average consumer would think it’s all that great.

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