Microsoft quietly fixes Windows Phone Store issue for app re-purchases

On November 16th we reported on an anomaly in the Windows Phone Store that was telling users they had to re-purchase apps they had already bought. The issue came into play for mainly people migrating to a new handset but not everyone. The issue was baffling and frustrating if you were setting up a new device because it meant you could not download any apps that you previously purchased (unless you wanted a double charge).

We had contacted Microsoft on the problem but we simply told “We are actively investigating this issue and will provide additional information as it becomes available." That was only after Windows Phone Support was unable to help others or us with our predicament.

Suddenly tonight the problem was resolved as we have been finally able to re-download many all of our apps again without repayment. We can confirm that this was literally just fixed within the last few hours as earlier this afternoon we still had the hindrance. Reader of the site Mark Tepper tipped us that it had started to work again and we were able to confirm.

So what was the issue?

Although Microsoft would not share details with us, one of their tech support agents was a little more revealing with a frustrated customer (Mike B.). We cannot confirm if this information is accurate but it certainly makes sense:

“Ultimately with the migration to Windows Phone 8 for some customers (or even the update to 7.8 that's coming soon for Windows 7 users), some application updates or purchases with the history have exploited a bug in the system. Ultimately causing the devices to crash repeatedly and become unusable.Temporarily, the purchase history is removed until they resolve that issue, then it will be reinstated in full to where you'll have your entire history. We appreciate your patience as it has been nearly a week and a half since the beginning of this outbreak so to speak, but they are working on a fix to get it resolved and reinstated as soon as possible.We'd prefer a minor outage as oppose to a complete crash to the device based on the sources I've read. So rest assured, anything that is compatible/updated with WP8 will be reinstated based on the current statement from the dev team.”

Whether or not that is completely accurate we cannot verify, Seeing as it was from Windows Phone Support staff whom had to have been briefed on the issue (as they were being inundated with complaints) we are leaning on its legitimacy.

Either way, the problem seems to have been resolved and we can finally enjoy our full catalog of Windows Phone applications—which for us, spans nearly 2K apps.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.