While the 15-minute refund window for apps and games purchased on the Android Market is fairly short, going to the extreme of calling it unlawful is a bit much. However, that is exactly what the Taiwan Government is saying about it. Google’s response? Don’t have paid apps and games then.
So with that being said, Google has pulled paid apps and games from being accessed in Taiwan. So how is the 15-minute refund period unlawful in Taiwan? Over there, there are laws to protect consumers that purchase items over the internet, stating that there must be a 7-day period in which to return products and get refunds, essentially a trail period. A 15-minute refund period is a lot shorter than a 7-day ‘trial’ period so under Taiwan law, it’s unlawful.
So why would Google not comply while Apple settled for a 5-day return period with their App Store? Because Google says the law does not apply to app stores where goods can be tested out right away. Generally this is true aside from a few exceptions which usually involve games that need secondary content downloads. These games end up taking, once in awhile, more than 15 minutes to download. Apple decided to concede and just settle for a 5-day grace period instead.
Yesterday talks between the two parties broke down and Google has removed access to paid applications and games from Taiwan. The Taiwan Government is trying to fine Google 1 million dollars for non-compliance even after access has been removed. While this will more than likely be temporary (we hope) for Taiwan being without access to paid applications and games, the talks continue between the two regarding the return policy. Hopefully this gets resolved soon.
Website Referenced: Android Police