Let's talk about rune refunds. Again. Most people are either not happy or indifferent and Riot is trying to act like they are the nice guys. I am quite annoyed that Riot is _successfully _ trying to fool us into believing they take losses on this just to please us and they couldn't _possibly_ give us more than what they are and that they are oh so nice for doing this.
Initially it may look like Riot is being nice and just making the game better for new players and still giving us at least something. Let's think about this a bit more carefully.
With the current rune system new Players that want to start playing have to invest tons of time until they are allowed to play "properly". This deters these players (potentially new paying customers!) from playing League. Even worse, it may make them get a similar game without this kind of entry barrier and spend their time (and money) there. Needless to say, this is something Riot does not want to happen. Making runes free is an investment by Riot. One that will pay off.
Of course, Riot also does not want to lose the players that paid for runes, so they refund a little. That makes it fair, right? And there is even a special shop! Now guess what happens with a shop that has highly limited items hardly any player can afford "for free" after these tiny refunds? Money for Riot! Yay!
**TLDR: Free runes gains Riot customers and the special shop will net them money too despite the refunds, so they shouldn't act like they are the poor company that takes losses for us players.**