Android Market 15-Minute Refund Window is Unlawful in Taiwan, Google Pulls Paid Apps

June 27, 2011
6

I must say this news is some interesting news that is for sure. Apparently more than a few people are upset with Google and their 15-Minute refund policy window in the Android Market (us included). According to the Taipei Times, the Taipei City Government recently learned of Google’s Android Market return policies -- policies that violate Taiwanese consumer protection laws that require any product bought over the internet to have at least a 7-day "trial period." This being a law throughout Taiwan it is causing a few problems for mobile markets like the Android Market and the Apple App Store.

I know this doesn't concern many of us here in the states but it sure is interesting to see how things are playing out and I'll be very interested to see the final verdict. According to sources the Taiwanese government gave Google a 15-day period to revise the policy of the 15-Minute refund window and replace it with the 7 day "trial period", and apparently Google decided not to comply and did not change their policy. After facing a $1 Million dollar fine from the Taiwanese government Google decided to just remove ALL paid apps from the Android Market in Taiwan for the mean time, a decision that many are not to happy about and I don't blame them.

We are suspending paid apps in Taiwan while we continue to discuss this issue with the Taipei City Government, Google Taiwan said in a statement yesterday.

From what I'm reading Apple also got the same wrap from the Taiwanese government yet they chose to comply with the 7 day trial period law. This makes us wonder what Google is planning regarding this entire situation. Google will most likely argue that the 15-minute window allows a user to download an app and try it within a matter of minutes and decide if they wish to keep it or opt for a refund. According to the Taipei Times the Taiwan’s Consumer Protection Act was recently updated but did not include things like app stores because they are a new trend in Taiwan at the moment. Either way this is a very unique situation and I think many will find this to be an interesting read.

For now paid apps will remain unavailable until some sort of decision or agreement can be made. Feel free to check out more on this story at the source below.

[via Android Police]


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  • Knud

    I’m Taiwanese and live in another city HsinChu. I’m so shame at Taipei Government. This policy is guided by some stupid official… Please let my market back to Taiwan. Or please just ban Taipei city…

    • Dave.

      No need to be ashamed…This is fair play. 15mins is far too little to make a decision on a paid App let alone testing it!

      Taipei city government did a good job to check this. Otherwise its a rip off!

      • Sean Su

        Likewise 7 days is too long. Most PC games don’t even have 7 days worth of content, you can’t put the same expectation to Android apps.

        Instead a middle-ground must be found.

  • Bill

    I believe the current 15-min refund policy window is too short to most consumers, and I am so glad to see Taiwanese government has paid attention to this issue.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kai-Chun-Lin/613460634 Kai-Chun Lin

    I am from Taiwan and all my paid apps currently not installed on my handset are completely unavailable to me. Thanks for making it a bloody mistake to actually pay for the apps instead of pirating them, Google, and keep up the good work!

  • Dave

    The longer Google refuse to comply, the more they loose potential customers here in Taiwan.
    I am an Android user currently. If this log ahead continues for long time, then I would switch over to Apple iphone. And ask my friends to come along with me!