The 15-minute return window for paid apps is something that we have been complaining about for a very long time. While most of us are asking for a couple of hours, or a day for testing, Taiwan Government is requesting that Google give people a 7-day trial period for paid apps. Taiwan claims that this 15-minute window is not enough for the consumer to make an adequate judgement of the purchase, hence infringing on their rights as consumers (Wouldn’t we all want a Government that fought for our Android rights?!).
Android Market already provides a 15-minute refund window for all paid apps, which reflects the fact that apps are delivered over-the-air instantly and most users who request a refund (could) do so within minutes of their purchaseGoogleOfficial Statement
After Google was given a 15-day ultimatum by the Taiwanese Government, the search giant was expected to introduce this 7-day trial. Google decided not to give in to said request, a decision that costed them a NT (New Taiwan) $1 million fine, which translates to about $34,550 US dollars.
What did Google do about this? Simple, they suspended paid apps for all of Taiwan! Google does state that this is only a temporary solution, until they can get issues arranged with the Taiwanese Government. This sure is an unexpected move, though, and a huge decision for Google.
The most interesting fact is that Apple actually complied with the same request. While us Android users usually complain about Apple’s ways (which are usually much more locked and restricted), they went ahead and introduced the 7-day trial period for Taiwanese customers. This is simply impressive, since the Apple App Store actually has no return policy at all. One only wonders if the rest of the world will start seeing more refund love from Apple. It seems very doubtful, but then again, so was this.
The Taiwanese Government is taking this action as a form of attack towards their community, claiming that Google is trying to coerce Taiwanese customers into giving up their rights as consumers (basically putting them “between a sword and a wall,” with no option but to comply to Google’s policies).
In the meantime, we have to wait and see what happens with this issue. Google is actually sending officials to Taipei, in order to further discuss this matter with the Taiwanese authorities. It goes without saying that we definitely do not want our fellow Taiwanese Android fans to be left out. If they get that nice 7-day trial period, though, I say we need to get in on the action too! Riot, anyone?
It seems like our source (Taipei Times) made a small mistake in the currency conversion. About a $300,000 US dollar mistake. Our reader Hans has brought to our attention that $1 million New Taiwan dollars is actually about $34,550 US dollars, not $345,500. Sorry about the misunderstanding, and the article has been updated to show the actual amount.