How do they work?
I'm not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice. It's just an overview of the refund policy found in the EULA and Provider Agreement as I have read it.
Publishers have zero ability to send refunds. Unity may decide to issue a refund to you if you bought it less than 2 weeks ago and it's effectively broken in the latest Unity LTS release. EU citizens waive their special 14 day period.
Internally Unity also imposes the restriction that products must also not be downloaded in order to qualify for a refund since digital products cannot effectively be 'returned'.
What is "expressly provided"? Effectively nothing, according to the EULA.
If END-USER is a resident of the European Union and purchases any license to any Asset, the right to withdraw from such purchase within 14 days of the date of purchase ("Cooling Off Period") may be available; however, this right of withdrawal will not apply where performance begins before the end of the Cooling Off Period. Therefore, END-USERS expressly agree and understand that if END-USER orders any license to any Asset, END-USER’s right of withdrawal is forfeited upon acceptance as performance begins immediately on acceptance.
No special refunds for the EU, because that is the agreement you made with Unity.
2.9.2 On acceptance of END-USER orders for licenses to Assets, content will be immediately available for download. END-USERS expressly consent to the making available of that content immediately upon acceptance of orders.
When you order something Unity will make a download available for you. That is acceptance. Performance immediately begins on acceptance, which means as soon as your order goes through, you give up rights to refunds.
2.9.3 You may request a refund from a Provider in the following circumstances:> [reasons, 2 weeks, etcetera]
According to the language of the EULA, the reasons are pointless because the Provider has no obligation to issue a refund, and User has no rights to a refund in the first place. The only reason a Provider has to issue a refund to an end user is if they want to.
Maybe so! Unity clarifies more about this in the Provider Agreement. Which is not even an agreement a User like you will have with them, but nonetheless it does shed some light on how they intend to behave.
4.6.2 Provider authorizes Unity to give the Customer a full refund of the price for a license to any Asset on Provider’s behalf if the Customer requests the refund within 2 weeks after purchase, and Provider has not provided any refund directly to the Customer, in any of the following circumstances:(i) the Asset was not as advertised (including any demo made available);(ii) the Asset is not compatible with the most recent official release of Unity and no information was provided at the Unity Asset Store to indicate that Asset is so incompatible; or(iii) the Asset includes unauthorized intellectual property.
Unity is authorized (not required) to issue a refund if you bought the asset less than 2 weeks ago and basically it doesn't work or is somehow illegal.
This is a tiny window of opportunity, since every decent asset works in the latest Unity version and Unity isn't authorized to throw refunds around for no reason. I hope you found this information useful and enlightening!