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Thread: Google doubles app refund period to 48 hours, developers cringe

  1. DF News Team
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    [Update] Android refund period remains at 24 hours



    UPDATE (@12:59PM EST):sorry for any heartburn this may have caused. the story was 100% inaccurate:
    from source (Androinica):
    A reader has pointed out that the 48-hour refund policy has been part of the developer distribution agreement for some time, but it is not the same as the market policy, which remains 24 hours. Customers can request a refund from developers within 48 hours, but the market continues to have a 24-hour return policy it seems. I apologize for any inconvenience or confusion this post may have caused.
    Here’s Roto Meier explaining more on Twitter

    “re: Market Refund. No change to the DDA, it always said 48 to give us a buffer. Actual policy is still (and always was) 24hrs.”

    thanks to @TheRealRiley for helping provide clarification.
    User experience with the Android Market has been, well disappointing, to say the least. But fear not, Google is on a mission to revamp the Android Market, and more change is coming. Just the other day, we reported that Google is to allow wireless providers to charge Android apps to consumers' phone bills. And now, according to the Android Market Developer Distribution Agreement (or the AMDDA for those of you who like acronyms), the refund period for apps has been extended to 48 hours. The previous ADDA gave consumers a 24 hour window to return an app, and now that refund period is doubled. Developers must agree to the new terms by August 23rd, so we expect these changes to take place around that date. This will likely cause an uproar in the development community, which has been complaining about being subject to any refund period at all. Why? According to some developers, up to to 50% of purchased apps are returned. And by doubling the refund period, this may decrease sales for developers even further.

    So, this change will be great for consumers, as they'll have a much longer trial before committing to a purchase. On the other hand, this move clearly will distance Google from both aspiring and current Android developers. Many developers feel there is no incentive to develop for Android, because of its unmonitored, highly-taxed Market, and this could just make matters worse. It is also becoming more of a common practice for developers to publish their apps on third-party markets, as seen with Gameloft, EA, and the upcoming OpenFeint service. Do note, a small subset of applications that provide a preview, like wallpapers and ringtones, will have no refund option, so developers can take solace in that, I guess.

    Thoughts on an extended refund period?

    via Androinica
    Source Android

    Graphic courtesy of AndroidSpin
    Last edited by wuyanks; 07-26-2010 at 11:04 AM.
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  3. Developer Relations
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    #2
    Sometimes 24hrs isn't enough time, things come up and schedules change, plus when really testing the effectivness of an app ie: battery consumption, reliability, and overall performance 24hrs can be a demanding deadline, 48hrs seems like a fair "testing period"

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    Well, I feel bad for the devs, but maybe this will drive them to make better apps, so people don't want to return them.
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    As a consumer, it's obviously nice, as there has been the rare occasion where I've purchased something and didn't try it out for a day or so (which was my fault anyway, as I knew the terms, so I didn't have a problem with it). And, as tparker said, 24 hours isn't really enough time to truly test out a good app.

    I don't know how Apple's system works exactly, but they're very straightforward that anything purchased is non-refundable except at their discretion. The App Store seems to be a good one to compare to as it's the biggest platform of apps out there still. When I turned in my iPhone for my Droid, it took weeks of emailing back and forth and giving them my life story to convince them to refund me for anything at all, and I ended up getting a refund of about 1/3rd of my purchased apps - better than nothing. But I don't know if the devs of those apps got dinged for that or not. Every time I emailed a dev, they just said "sorry, we can't do anything, it all goes through Apple, we don't even see your purchase". Maybe that's a good thing? I don't know...

    I don't believe Android is in a position, yet, to risk taking any steps that add hesitation to developers' reasons for developing for Android - and this could do that. Apple still holds the position of the top app market, whether we like it or not, and newer developers typically think of developing for that first, or at the very least alongside Android. So I don't know if their policy is any better than Android's, but they can do it that way if they want to at this stage, and so far it seems to be working for them. But pragmatism can only go so far if principle is ignored...
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCo352 View Post
    Well, I feel bad for the devs, but maybe this will drive them to make better apps, so people don't want to return them.
    That's a good point as well - it will cut down on those trying to make a quick buck off of consumers who don't pay attention to such rules.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCo352 View Post
    Well, I feel bad for the devs, but maybe this will drive them to make better apps, so people don't want to return them.
    Exactly....I'm not sure 48 hours is even enough for some apps - clearly the more expensive ones are also more complex, and it takes more than 48 hours to use. In fact, one could probably argue with more time to explore a few developers would see increased retention of some customers.

    I don't know why QUALITY developers would be against this. It will only make the good apps further stand out, and to the extent this discourages cons and garbage apps looking to basically steal from you that is good for the entire community.

    The google app store is too restrictive? Really?!? How does that compare with the IPhone store?
  8. DF News Team
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiak799 View Post

    The google app store is too restrictive? Really?!? How does that compare with the IPhone store?
    where did i say anything about it being restrictive? it's quite the opposite, and therein lies a problem for many as well....

    not meant to be a negative question, just curious as to your point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jntowers View Post
    I don't believe Android is in a position, yet, to risk taking any steps that add hesitation to developers' reasons for developing for Android - and this could do that. Apple still holds the position of the top app market, whether we like it or not, and newer developers typically think of developing for that first, or at the very least alongside Android.

    Ehhh, fair point. But a GOOD app stands to make tens of thousands of dollars. The primary motivation - perhaps the only motivation - is market size as a potential for profit. Android still has a ways to go to catch Apple, but as the Android installed base continues to grow the good developers will give it more attention.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wuyanks View Post

    where did i say anything about it being restrictive? it's quite the opposite, and therein lies a problem for many as well....

    not meant to be a negative question, just curious as to your point.
    misread the article....no edit feature in this thread
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    In my experience, I think this may be a good thing in that it will cut down on some quick-buck junk apps or some things we may have paid for and then realize there are blatant copyright infringement issues with them. I think the app store is too convoluted as it is with what seems like millions of soundboards and ringtone apps, and as I mentioned, the copyright rip-offs. Maybe this will cut down on the crap a little, so I can find some really good apps that might be burried in their respective sections. It's one thing to come here and take suggestions on what to buy, but when you are looking at the app store for the first time, its annoying. That is actually how I found droidforums.net , I was looking for app suggestions, because everything I found was junk.
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