Two Californians Sue Google Inc. Over 15 Minute Return Policy

Discussion in 'Android News' started by cereal killer, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. cereal killer

    cereal killer Administrator
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    Two Android phone users from California who purchased allegedly defective products from Google’s Play Store have filed a lawsuit, saying the company’s 15-minute refund window is unfair. Dodd Harris says he purchased Learn Chinese Mandarin Pro for $4.83 while another, Stephen Sabatino, says he bought a bit-torrent application called aBTC for $4.99. They both claim the phone applications didn’t work and that they were unable to obtain a refund a short time later. The two men are seeking damages for every California resident who purchased a "defective" Android app, claiming it’s wrong for Google to pocket a 30% commission on faulty products. The Play Store, previously the Android Market, had a 48 hour return policy but was changed in 2010.

    Is the 15 minute return window unfair, or should Google just get rid of the policy and follow in Apple's footsteps and make all sales final, thus leaving no leeway for the consumer?

    Via: Paidcontent
     
    #1 cereal killer, Mar 26, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 29, 2012
  2. justin82

    justin82 Super Moderator
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    i would like to see an hour return policy . but i have never bought an app that did not work. seems like a lot of trouble for a 5.00 app
     
  3. jerkwad

    jerkwad Member

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    There should absolutely be a (larger) return window. Without the ability for google to lose money (by not getting a commission) they have no incentive to provide a market that protects the consumer. Imagine bestbuy not having a return policy or a department store. I know digitial media is different, but consumers should have the ability to purchase with confidence. I, personally, have withheld purchasing apps specifically because of this. I also have use other means to backup purchased apps, return them, and test them out for more than 15 minutes. After said time, I either get rid of the app because it sucks OR I buy it. There is no excuse not to support good developers, ESPECIALLY at meager $0.99 and even $4.99 prices. Google's current policy ONLY makes them more money by taking ours without concern for quality, user experience, etc.

    I'm not sure if google was tired of paying the high cost of merchant sales (Visa,MC, PayPal etc taking cuts from each transaction) and perhaps that was part of the REAL reason behind the 48 hour change. They could easily withhold final processing until the "trial" window (48 hours) has expired, thus removing the need to pay the merchant for a transaction that was, ultimately, canceled. Google is smart, they can figure this out - they just have no incentive to make it easier for users to return apps.

    I am not going to comment on Apple's policy, besides to say it is equally stupid.
     
    #3 jerkwad, Mar 26, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  4. lowvolt

    lowvolt Member

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    This is just absurd! People need to use the tools in front of them when looking to purchase anything including apps. There are user reviews a star rating and other such tools available. People are lucky that there is a return policy at all. Much like other digital media that can be copied so can apps. There is no return policy on DVDs or music.: if you can't tell if an app works or not in 15 minutes you have more issues than just loosing $4.99.

    Sent from my DROIDX using DroidForums
     
  5. combatmedic870

    combatmedic870 Senior Member

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    I think if the app will take more then 15mins to upload(game loft games)....then yea...
     
  6. jerkwad

    jerkwad Member

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    I agree things are different with digital media, but the difference is that when an app doesn't work (for whatever reason) you have no recourse to solve the issue, other than a developer that doesn't have to help (and many don't). If you were to buy a PC game, for example, those things go through TONS of product development, testing, etc. Additionally our computers are not locked down like our phones, so addressing issues, applying patches, tweaking system settings, etc etc are much easier (possible) to do. We don't have that luxury on our phones and if it doesn't work, we're screwed.

    There are plenty of examples of two people with the same phone having completely different levels of success running the same application.
     
  7. johnomaz

    johnomaz Silver Member

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    I think its absolutely unfair. 15 minutes is just enough time to get a return on an accidental purchase. Some apps take 15 minutes to download additional data. What if you get sidetracked and don't open it for an hour and then find out it doesn't work. I think 24 hours is more than enough time, but I also understand that since devices can be rooted and the paid apps .apk file can be taken off the phone rather easily, they may say that its to protect devs against piracy.

    I've also e-mailed a few devs about apps that didn't work and they gave me a refund up to two days after purchase. But I still think 15 minutes is BS. That is no time at all to make that decision.
     
  8. jerkwad

    jerkwad Member

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    All valid points. However, with a rooted phone it only takes 30 seconds to backup the .apk and get a refund. The 15 minutes isn't hurting those that choose to circumvent the system. It only hurts those that want to try an app (legitimately) for more than 15 minutes. Try testing out any EA game lol you'll spend 30 minutes just getting the "additional data" packages. It's good to see devs giving refunds outside of the google store, but does google still get to keep their 30% cut? That could be an interesting answer.
     
  9. jack902902

    jack902902 Member

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    You will know once it's installed whether it works or not.
    I know, apps may be buggy or partially working.

    Problem is, many consumers want to use a product for a one time job and then RETURN the product.

    I'm sure the same goes for when someone wants an app to record a conversation between them and their lawyer... THEN RETURN and delete the utility app that they JUST used and "purchased" claiming that it didn't do what they wanted.

    Maybe they will never need a recording app again.

    BUT, it did what you needed it to do!
    Consider that a service, a service worth paying for.

    So, be humble, and respect that 1 use or many uses counts as a purchase.

    Sent from my DROIDX
     
  10. droidbionicmaster

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    People are ridiculous. Its $5.00 they are spending more on a lawyer.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using DroidForums
     
  11. WildcatRudy

    WildcatRudy Active Member

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    I agree 15 minutes is too short, but at most I'd consider 60 minutes to be fair, for the reasons above.

    Then again, if the app does honestly fail, you can file a claim with your credit card company and get it resolved that way. A merchant is not going to want negative strikes against them...even Google. The unknown is how the credit card companies can handle claims for digital items, as they are not traditional physical products.
     
  12. RETG

    RETG Active Member

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    You can test an app in 15 minutes, but can you test that it plays well with other apps on the phone, or even verify it does all it says it will do? I downloaded an app for my X that appeared to work, but after an hour or two of use, I noticed it did not play well with other apps. (App was widget locker, and might have been a problem just for the X, or maybe just for certain apps it was designed to work with.)
    I'm sure there are other cases out there. However, did I consider a lawsuit for a 3 or 4 dollar? Nope. But that is the only app.
     
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