Play Store Balance and Negative Play Points

Some customers see huge Google Play Store credits and negative Play Points balances when receiving refunds from Stadia.

One of the things Google has been crystal clear since the first announced Stadia shutdown is to return all purchases to the original payment method. Meaning, if you make a purchase through PayPal, your PayPal account will receive funds from that transaction.

It’s worth noting that one way you can buy Stadia games – at least on Android – is with Play Store credit, whether it’s earned through redeeming Play Points, answering Opinion Rewards surveys, or buying Google Play gift cards. Like every other payment method, Stadia purchases made using Play Store credit are refunded as a credit.

Unfortunately, it appears that some customers have often stuffed their accounts with Google Play Store gift cards and used that balance to fund many of their Stadia purchases. On Reddit, there are many examples of customers receiving incredible amounts of Google Play Store credit, in the thousands of dollars. It is expected that the Google support team is unable to transfer the newly accumulated Play Store balance to any other payment method.

The current assumption is that any Stadia-related transactions split between Play Store credit and another payment method (bank, credit card, etc.) will follow the same split when refunding. This means that any Play Store credit will be returned as a credit, while the rest will go back to the original payment method.

Another complicating factor here is the Google Opinion Rewards program, which provides Play Store credit that expires for one year after completing each survey. Stadia customers discover that this credit has been returned with its original expiration date still in place, which means that no Opinion Rewards credit spent more than a year ago will be refunded. We have asked Google for clarification on this matter.

One potential solution to the Play Credit issue, suggested by some community members, is to simply delete your Google account completely before processing your Stadia refund. The working theory is that since the original payment method (Play Store credit to your account) is no longer available, Google will be obligated to send the refund in some other way.

While it’s certainly an extreme solution—which could involve losing access to your Gmail account, any Android app purchases, YouTube data, and more—it can potentially be a viable plan for those expecting hundreds or thousands of dollars in cash. Stadia refunded as Play Store credit. However, those who do should not expect to get your replacement money back in time, as you will likely need to manually confirm your Google Account ownership and purchases. It is also a gamble, as it is not confirmed whether deleting your account will actually guarantee a refund of non-credit funds.

Meanwhile, for those enrolled in the Google Play Points system, it appears that the wave of Stadia refunds is also causing Play Points earned to be deducted with every transaction.

In a statement to 9to5GoogleGoogle has confirmed that this issue is unintended and should only affect customers in the United States. The company is studying solutions for those who see Play Points discounts related to their Stadia refund.

We are aware of a Play Points balance issue caused by Stadia redemptions affecting some users in the United States. We are working on a solution to this problem.

– Google Stadia spokesperson

Thanks Tipster!

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