August 21, 2007 11:51 AM PDT

Google reverses itself on video refunds

Google has acknowledged erring in the way it handled refunds last week after shutting down its video download store.

The company angered some Google Video customers who had paid for movies but were locked out when the store was shuttered.

At first, the company offered to refund customers in credit to their Google Checkout accounts. That idea was widely criticized by many as being self-serving. On Monday, Google admitted the "goof" and announced that it would give credit card refunds to anyone who had ever bought a video on the site.

"When your friends and well-intentioned acquaintances tell you that you've made a mistake, it's good to listen," said Bindu Reddy, the store's product manager in a blog post.

In addition to the credit card refunds, those who received Google Checkout credits for videos can keep those as well.

"Think of it as an additional 'We're sorry we goofed' credit," Reddy said in his post.

Google has said that the company wants to concentrate more of its attention on video search and its video-sharing site, YouTube. The company has also not ruled out returning to video-on-demand in the future.

See more CNET content tagged:
Google Checkout, refund, Google Inc., credit card, video


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What's sad is...
I hear that the 20 people that actually bought from the site were all Google employees.
Posted by Bevo4138 (20 comments )
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I'd never heard of the service myself.

This, my friends, is why you want to OWN, not rent, all your media in a format that does not require an internet connection, nor a contact with the mothership to use.
Businesses come and go faster than ever these days. Never buy anything assuming the company will be around long enough to support the product in the future. Not every company will be as accomodating as Google in refunding the money you gave them.
Posted by skeptik (590 comments )
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Shut down of electronic store? Umm this is itnernet!
Umm Sorry folks the internet shut down after 9:30pm please resume downloading after 8am tomorrow morning.

If a consumer paid for something then there should be a reciept with a password login that should be good for 2 days for only that 1 item.

If remote login detects that they never logged in then a reciept of no login should be processed to have a DVD delivered or something.

This is stupid!
Posted by inachu (963 comments )
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My understanding is that these were not "downloads", but DRM infected files which required a player which would "phone home" to verify the validity of a license. Since the license verification server was being shut down, the previously purchased/downloaded files would not be usable without (illegally in the USA) circumventing the DRM.

Giving refunds is the right idea. Then again, anyone who ever purchased any DRM infected content and is forced to only use the hardware/software "authorized" by the content distributor should be given refunds.
Posted by Russell McOrmond (63 comments )
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