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. identicon
    Ingjald, 13 Jun 2011 @ 10:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Brick and mortar

    John85851, Android already has a 15-minute refund window, where you uninstall and delete the app to get your money back. Android most certainly can facilitate refunds that involve returning the goods, though there's nothing preventing you from making a copy before you get your refund. This is no different from many physical goods, though, like books and CDs, which can also be copied before being returned (though sometimes exchange only for CDs).

    The real problem is that 7 days is too long a return period for something as small and often fleeting as a smartphone app, where it's often used to death in the first few days and then forgotten. Such a long return policy would likely discourage developers. I think the best solution would be to go back to the old 24-hour return policy that Android used to have (and force Apple to do it too)--that's a good balance between the buyer not getting screwed by a bad app and the developer not getting screwed by "Super Bowl Sunday TV buyers".

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