You also can’t return your hardware to any physical store (including the physical Google Store locations); however, there’s also no reason to take any hardware to a physical store.
Do I Need to Return My Controllers?
Nope! You’ll get a refund on all the hardware you paid for, and you’ll get to keep the hardware. Well, probably. Google says that “most hardware purchases” will qualify for a refund, and specifically calls out the following packages:
- Stadia Controller
- Founders Edition
- Premiere Edition
- Play and Watch with Google TV
If you bought these kits, you’re safe. If you bought Stadia hardware some other way (again, via the Google Store), you may get a refund.
When and How Do I Get My Refund?
Starting on November 9, Google began sending emails to users who made qualifying purchases via the Stadia store (meaning game purchases and add-ons, but not hardware, more on that below.) Google says most automatic refunds will start going out to the payment method that was used to make these purchases in the 10 to 15 days that follow.
During this time, users who made fewer than 20 purchases should get individual emails for each refund. So, if you bought three games and two DLC packs via Stadia, you should get five separate emails for each refund attempt. However, if you made more than 20 purchases, Google will wait to send one email with a summary of all refund attempts made for that account.
Hardware purchases are still up in the air. Google is still working out the process for refunding users who bought Stadia controllers and bundles through the Google Store. We’ll continue to update this article once Google provides more information on how to get the refund.
Google says its intent is to have “the majority” of refunds sent out by January 18, 2023 (the day Stadia shuts down), though most software refunds should hopefully be processed before the end of November; the process and timing may vary by country.
What If My Payment Info Changed?
It may not feel like it, but Stadia has been out for three years. That’s plenty of time to have had to cancel a stolen credit card, migrate to a new bank, or close an old account. If you’ve had to make any big changes to your payment info since you made Stadia purchases, you might have to put in a little extra legwork to get your refund. Maybe.
According to Google’s FAQ, the company will still try to issue refunds, and some financial institutions may be able to accept them. If you got a new bank account number, for example, your bank probably still knows your old one and can recognize when a refund should go to the new one.
However, if the automatic refund doesn’t work, you may get an email from Google, your financial institution, or both letting you know that the refund failed. Google says it will send an email with instructions on how to proceed if its automatic refund attempt fails, but you may need to contact your bank to figure out how to accept it.