Apple is making a pretty big change for its return and refund policy related to the Apple Watch.
MacRumors has a report out on Friday, based on Apple internal documentation the publication was able to obtain, that outlines a big shift in return policy for the Apple Watch. Apple is informing its retail stores, along with the Apple Authorized Service Providers in the United States, that the return and refund period for the Apple Watch is extending to 45 days, as long as the reason for the return is related to the heart health features baked into the wearable.
The traditional return and refund period for an Apple Watch purchase is 14 days, just like the majority of other products Apple sells. And that will remain the case for issues not related to the heart health features. It’s also worth noting that these returns will be handled by Apple Support directly, so folks who want to return their Apple Watch for these specific reasons will need to contact them, either by phone, email, or chat on Apple’s website.
As far as which features this covers, it’s the ECG app that will only be available in the Apple Watch Series 4 (which is said to launch with watchOS 5.1.2), and the notifications tied to irregular heart rhythm detection in the Apple Watch Series 1 through Series 4.
“Apple Stores are not required to inspect the Apple Watch if a customer has a heart health-related refund request greater than 14 days after purchase, so it sounds like as long as a customer mentions the ECG app or irregular heart rhythm notifications as the reason for the return, Apple will honor it up to 45 days.”
As for the reasons why Apple is extending the return and refund period for these heart health features, that remains unknown. The documentation does not divulge any of that, and it does not appear that this is tied to any FDA regulations, either.