Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Google Android Market's 15 Minute Refund Window Deemed Illegal In Taiwan

Now here's something unusual that you don't hear everyday and probably didn't expect it either - the Android Market's 15 minute refund policy is actually considered unlawful in Taiwan. You might be wondering why is having a 15 minute refund policy illegal? Well that's because in Taiwan, the consumer protection laws in the country requires that any product bought over the Internet requires a minimum of 7-days trial period.

Some time earlier this month, the Taiwanese government has given Google a 15 day ultimatum to resolve the issue and include the 7-day trial period into the Android Market. Google however failed to comply and since they were faced with a $1 million fine for not complying to the laws, Google, after some negotiations had decided to pull out all the paid apps from the Android Market in Taiwan. This of course ended up with everyone in Taiwan getting upset over the decision.

I believe that most of us here are not in favour of Google's latest 15 minute refund window policy. The original 24 hours refund policy was a lot better, however I believed that the reason Google changed it to a shorter window was due to abuse of the policy where everyone tried a game or application for 24 hours (for instance, for review purposes) and then issued a refund immediately before the refund window was up.

With all the issues that Google is facing right now with the Taiwanese government, it is no wonder the Amazon App store is currently not accessible outside of the US. Most likely this is one of the cases where Amazon is trying to avoid or is still currently finding a way to resolve since the Amazon App Store does not have any refund policy whatsoever just like Apple's own App Store.

Looks like you won't be getting paid apps in the Android Market in Taiwan for now. At least not until Google and the Taiwan Government sorts things out and play nice with each other.

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