Better act fast if you want a refund for that Android app

April 18, 2011
16

A quick lesson for all those that might not know. Users who purchase apps from the Android Marketplace should make sure they look into the details. According to the Google Publishing agreement, buyers have 48 hours from the time of purchase to request a refund if the app isn't to their liking. Or do they? Looking in Android Market's Return App Support, it says after 15 minutes, All sales are final.

What's critical here is that in the Android Market, users are essentially blind when it comes to determining if the app they buy is right for them. And once they his purchase, the clock is ticking on deciding if it actually does the job or not. Within 15 minutes, users request a refund by contacting the Android Market and selecting the "I'm requesting a refund for an app" option. If approved, the app will be marked with a 'Uninstall & Refund' button. And users can only return apps once. If purchased a second time, there is no refund option.

The notion of the blind purchase is nothing new. Apple's iTunes does that as well. But Amazon's App Store for Android has an added benefit thanks to it's virtual Android handset which can be used to try an app before you buy. This is likely to reduce dissatisfied customers who are out nothing but the time it takes to evaluate the app virtually. But in the end, most apps are priced so low that even if one can't get a refund, are they really out much?

[via Reddit]


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  • Shmoopty

    It’s been 15 minutes since December.

  • Shmoopty

    It’s been 15 minutes since December.

  • Carlos

    Wow….old news….

  • Rcocchiararo

    I am more worried about apps that disappear, like gmail pop-up, an app I bought and can no longer install…

  • dadude

    15 minutes is ridiculous. There are apps you cannot properly download and evaluate in 15 minutes. What is worse is that some of the ones that are the hardest to evaluate in just a few minutes are some of the priciest apps. Now I agree 48 (or even 28 hours) is a bit long but I don’t see why they can’t give people at least and hour or two to decide if the app is what that really want.

    • Anonymous

      15 minutes is enough to figure out if it will run and not crash. The problem with 24 hours is you can buy, use it for what you need and get your money back. And the developer gets nothing. I think 15 minutes stops a lot of the abuse by shady people. Seriously, what’s a couple bucks? If it is a big deal purchase, go read some reviews first.

      • https://openid.org/sirwally sirwally

        It would be nice if the marketplace would simply dictate a minimum and a maximum, and then the developer decides what is a fair amount of time to decide within those parameters. If the app is something you could use then uninstall, simply set the return time accordingly. But saying that all apps can be tested throughly within 15 minutes is bogus. There are numerous reasons why you might not have enough time to see if the apps actually works for your needs. I think 15 minutes to 24 hours would probably be sufficient for most apps. The price of the app should not be relevant to determining the policy, though. While a couple of bucks may not seem like much, money is money, and if people think they are getting screwed then they will be disgruntle, regardless of the cost.

        Regarding the reviews, well, a lot of the time the reviews are packed with a load of utter rubbish. It can be hard to determine whether the app is worthwhile based on the reviews, but it at least better than nothing.

      • Anonymous

        That’s such an awesome idea to let the dev’s set the time. Now if only there was a way to let Google know about the idea.

      • Xpple

        15 minutes is not always enough time to download, install, and test thoroughly. For some large apps you won’t even get it downloaded not to mention if any problems arise during the download or installation.

      • Xpple

        15 minutes is not always enough time to download, install, and test thoroughly. For some large apps you won’t even get it downloaded not to mention if any problems arise during the download or installation.

  • http://twitter.com/mykie242 mykie Gunderson

    Old news is old…

  • Anonymous

    You can’t have seriously just discovered this right??

    • https://openid.org/sirwally sirwally

      I think James is stuck in a 2010 time warp. ;-)

      To be fair, if the Publishing Agreement still states 48 hours but in reality the policy is only 15 minutes, then the agreement should be updated to reflect reality (come on Google!) However, that is a Publishing Agreement, which is not something that consumers read nor should care about.

      It doesn’t hurt to remind users of this discrepancy.

  • Steanne

    Amazon may have the virtual handset, but their refund period is a lot less than fifteen minutes; it’s zero. No refunds.

  • Steanne

    Amazon may have the virtual handset, but their refund period is a lot less than fifteen minutes; it’s zero. No refunds.

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