Taipei Orders Google & Apple To Offer 7-Day Free Trials Of All Apps Offered Via App Markets

from the liability-confusion dept

Apparently some regulators in Taiwan's capital city of Taipei have extended some consumer protection laws such that they've ordered Google and Apple to start providing 7-day free trials of every app, in either the Apple App Store or the Google Android Marketplace, or face large fines. The issue is that the consumer protection laws require a grace period for returns, which neither of these services provide to the extent that Taipei regulators would like. Apple and Google, quite reasonably, point out that they should not be liable as third parties, suggesting (implicitly) that it should be developers themselves who are responsible for obeying any sort of consumer protection regulations. However, Taipei regulators aren't buying it:
"Such a claim is an irresponsible business practice," Yeh said.
The two companies have been given 15 days to comply with the law, and if they are unable to do so, they could be facing significant fines. It does make me wonder if either company even has the functionality to offer such things across the board, and how various developers would feel about that.

Filed Under: apps, free, taipei
Companies: apple, google

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  1. icon
    faceless (profile), 9 Jun 2011 @ 12:41pm

    this is a big problem when trying to apply rules for physical goods onto virtual items

    the thing is, people EXPECT to be able to return something for a refund if it doesn't work as advertised. now, seven days is a very long time, but it's much more agreeable than fifteen minutes or one day. ideally, everything should have a demo or trial version, but many things digital may just not be able to stand on their own at a price when their trial or demo is good enough and there aren't enough differences between it and the paid version. there is no simple solution, but a simple solution is what people want. honestly, stores with physical goods have to put up with much more when it comes to returns. they have to restock or sell as open box or in some cases send the item back to the manufacturer for repackaging. with digital goods, there is an infinite supply, so when a developer is against trials or refunds, it looks like money hoarding or a vote of no confidence in their products.

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