Some Apple iPhone users are owed a refund from Google
If you purchased a Google One cloud storage plan for an Apple iPhone or an iPad, you might have received a message from Google. The company said that a mistake led to inaccurate counting of video and image uploads toward your cloud storage quota. The photos bug, which was creating problems for users throughout this year, has been fixed and Google is offering a refund for those who were credited with using more cloud storage than they really did. The Photos team said that the bug affected a limited number of users.
If you're a Google One subscriber, Google might owe you some money
Google is making subscribers understand that the bug has nothing to do with the safety of the content of the uploads in the cloud. The bug only relates to the storage quota that each subscriber has. Everyone gets 15GB of cloud storage for free to share among Google apps like Gmail, Drive, and Photos. A Google One subscription offers 100GB of storage for $1.99 per month. Pay for a full year in advance ($19.99) and save 16%. For $9.99 a month ($99.99 a year with a 17% discount) you can have 2TB of cloud storage.
Getting inaccurate quota figures from Google might have led subscribers to shell out for a larger plan even if they didn't need it. Google explained everything when it communicated with subscribers. The company said, "What happened: Beginning in January 2020, we may have inaccurately counted photo and video uploads towards your storage quota that is shared across Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Photos. These uploads should not have counted against your storage quota. For example, you may have purchased a plan because we mistakenly let you know that you were out of storage space." Google says that it has requested a refund from the App Store on behalf of customers that were impacted by the bug. The refund is for Google One subscription fees from January 8th through October 20th.
Google says that the bug affected only iOS users of Google One; Android subscribers were not affected. Google, for the record, has fixed the problem. The storage counters in Photos and other first party apps are now showing accurate numbers. Google One support can be called if subscribers have additional questions.
Google wrapped things up by including this in its email:"This will not affect your Google One subscription status. No action is needed, but you can change or cancel your subscription if you no longer need additional storage. You can log into your account to view your adjusted quota usage. The affected photos and video uploads will continue to be stored in the quality they were uploaded (our italics), however they will not count toward your storage quota."
Next year, starting on June 1st, 2021 to be exact, Google will no longer be giving away free back up storage. Instead, all backups will count toward the 15GB of free Google cloud storage (no matter the photo quality) that subscribers receive.
If you want to quickly check whether you are eligible for the refund, take a look at your phone or tablet. If the device you're staring at is not an iPhone or an iPad, you are not due to get cash back. Even if you have an iPhone or iPad, you would only be eligible for a refund if you had purchased additional cloud storage space because Google mistakenly showed that your account had no cloud storage space remaining when in reality, you did have additional storage to use. Those are the Google One accounts that Google is contacting first.