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Apple ordered to revise App Store refund policy, may make changes global

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
South Korea's Fair Trade Commission on Sunday ordered Apple and Google to make changes to their respective iOS and Android app stores policies in an effort to make post-purchase refunding more consumer-friendly.




Under the new terms, Apple must send out notifications to App Store users each time the company updates its contract terms and conditions, while Google will need to set up a refund system based on developers' individual policies, reports The Korea Herald.

Currently, Apple does not offer "automatic" refunds for past purchases and requires users to seek help through the App Store's "Report a Problem" feature. Each case is sent in for review by an Apple employee, who can then grant or deny the request.

"We expect the measure, aimed at protecting consumers, will have a ripple effect on similar cases throughout the world," the KFTC said in a prepared statement.

Apple may be getting a head start, however, as the company is said to be considering extending the necessary App Store changes beyond Korea's borders.

"While Google will limit its response to the FTC to the domestic market, Apple said it would consider applying the revised contract terms globally," said Hwang Won-chul, head of the KFTC's Adhesion Contract Division.

The ruling also includes "unfair provisions" currently part of the iTunes App Store and the Google Play store, though the the antitrust watchdog concentrated on app refunds in its announcement.

Sunday's order is the first KFTC action against app stores run by an international corporation, though the commission in March ordered a handful of domestic app stores run by KT, SK Planet, LG Electronics and LG Uplus to revise their contracts after repeated requests for action from Korea's Citizens' Coalition for Economic Justice.

Prior to the App Store decision, the KFTC ordered Apple to change its iPhone refund policy, allowing consumers to return or exchange defective units within one month of purchase. As part of revised hardware policy, customers are allowed to choose between a refund, new phone or free repairs.
post #2 of 24
And so say the The Republic of Samsung!
post #3 of 24

Maybe if an app crashes within 24-hours of buying it, the iDevice could automatically pop up a dialog "This app has crashed. Would you like a refund? Y/N" Apple has the level of OS/Store integration to enable that.

 

That would sure encourage proper debugging :)

post #4 of 24
That's bullshit. I have had every app I accidentally bought or was unsatisfied with from Apple. Their process is commendable and I can't think of any other online app store who has this good after service.
post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post
 

Maybe if an app crashes within 24-hours of buying it, the iDevice could automatically pop up a dialog "This app has crashed. Would you like a refund? Y/N" Apple has the level of OS/Store integration to enable that.

 

That would sure encourage proper debugging :)

 

That would be an excellent idea.

post #6 of 24
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
South Korea’s…

 

Just don’t do it. Problem solved.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #7 of 24

"While Google will limit its response to the FTC to the domestic market, Apple said it would consider applying the revised contract terms globally," 

 

Typical of Google but I had to laugh when I read the first paragraph saying South Korea was ordering Apple to do something. I just wish Apple, or the US legal system, would turn around and order South Korea to force Samsung to pay the money it owes Apple. Oh wait, Samsung doesn't have to do anything it doesn't want to because it runs South Korea.

post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

"While Google will limit its response to the FTC to the domestic market, Apple said it would consider applying the revised contract terms globally," 

 

Typical of Google but I had to laugh when I read the first paragraph saying South Korea was ordering Apple to do something. I just wish Apple, or the US legal system, would turn around and order South Korea to force Samsung to pay the money it owes Apple. Oh wait, Samsung doesn't have to do anything it doesn't want to because it runs South Korea.

Don't let your rabid anti - Samsung bias get in the way a a good old rant. Try reading the article cited.
post #9 of 24
Originally Posted by singularity View Post
Don't let your rabid anti - Samsung bias get in the way a a good old rant.

 

What did he say that was wrong?

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #10 of 24

I agree. Since when does South Korea or ANY government agency dictate a companies returns policy? The policy is stated publicly & if you dont like it dont buy the product. Besides only an idiot buys something by mistake anyway & a simple call to customer service IMMEDIATELY would likely solve the issues to the customers satisfaction!

post #11 of 24
Apples general policies is all sales are final. This is a term that has existed for ages. And unless someone like South Korea orders them to allow returns I don't see it happening.

They allow for very limited conditions to request a refund but generally it's a one time per customer thing. Especially if it's due to 'my kids bought crap in some game'.

The most I can see them do is create a clearer link to do a request. One that reminds them that under the terms they agreed to there are no refunds. And then offers "I believe I should get an exception". Let them submit their argument and give a phone number/email. Someone will research and call/email them back within say 72 hours. That way Apple can make sure it's not someone abusing the system and even if it's not and they grant the refund they can make sure the customer agrees to thinks like changing their password to something their kids don't know, using restrictions or whatever.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post
 

Maybe if an app crashes within 24-hours of buying it, the iDevice could automatically pop up a dialog "This app has crashed. Would you like a refund? Y/N" Apple has the level of OS/Store integration to enable that.

 

That would sure encourage proper debugging :)

That's probably not completely fair to developers since complex apps that allow documents to be imported can cause the crash, not the fault of the app per se. Any amount of testing cannot rule out every possible scenario that users through at something without exponential amounts of testing.  Apple would need to lift the limits on beta devices to allow more testers and the cost of apps would go up to pay for perfection.

post #13 of 24

It will be interesting to see how this develops.  The idea you can buy software and return it for refund if you don't like it goes against the entire industry...  Why Apple has not yet implemented a "demo" feature within the iOS framework is beyond me.  

post #14 of 24

As an app developer, this pretty much sucks because it would allow people to download the app and then get a refund. Currently Apple allows you to keep the app but not update. This would need to be changed to force removal of the app and all your data as well. Otherwise developers get short-changed.

post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

It will be interesting to see how this develops.  The idea you can buy software and return it for refund if you don't like it goes against the entire industry...  Why Apple has not yet implemented a "demo" feature within the iOS framework is beyond me.  

While Google used to have a (oft-abused) 24-hour refund window on app purchases they still offer a 15-minute no restrictions refund policy. Beyond that Google offers other refund options they handle directly with their GooglePlay customers rather than sending them to the developer. It's pretty well explained here:
http://www.androidpolice.com/2014/05/16/google-quietly-implemented-automated-refunds-apps-15-minute-window/
melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Originally Posted by singularity View Post
Don't let your rabid anti - Samsung bias get in the way a a good old rant.

 

What did he say that was wrong?

Just the usual mixing two unrelated topics to have a go at Samsung when this has nothing to do with Samsung. This is a consumer protection group getting a decision in their country to benefit consumers they represent. Whether Samsung eventually pay the fines for there misdeeds is dependant on all legal avenues and appeals being exhausted and then and only then they will have to pay up. The same with any company, unless the courts demand a payment bond to be issued in lue of appeal
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrispl0 View Post

And so say the The Republic of Samsung!

Not exactly.
Chaebols like Samsung are powerful special interests in that country, but it is still a democracy. Public sentiment can still turn against the chaebols when corruption or impropriety is unveiled.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #18 of 24
Originally Posted by singularity View Post
...when this has nothing to do with Samsung.

 

South Korea.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Originally Posted by singularity View Post
...when this has nothing to do with Samsung.

 

South Korea.

so everything about the USA is to do with Apple. :what:
post #20 of 24
Originally Posted by singularity View Post
so everything about the USA is to do with Apple. :what:

 

We don’t have documented proof of Apple controlling the United States government...

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #21 of 24
Apple's policy isn't enforced very well at all. Apps that have been approved crash all the time, or don't work. The policy is that apps are to be tested by a review team, and if it crashes during testing, the app is to be rejected. However, I purchased The Oregon Trail two weeks ago, an app that has been on the app store for 2 years, and it crashes every time you open it on a 3rd generation iPad with iOS 7.1.2. Apple receives diagnostics of each application crash, so why are these apps like Oregon Trail still available on the store? To rob money from people that don't know how to find the refund process?

It really is a problem. Apple should have fixed this years ago.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkichline View Post
 

As an app developer, this pretty much sucks because it would allow people to download the app and then get a refund. Currently Apple allows you to keep the app but not update. This would need to be changed to force removal of the app and all your data as well. Otherwise developers get short-changed.


Wait, you want to remove the user's data?  Yeah, that's not going to happen.  The user's data belongs to the user, not the app developer.

post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkichline View Post
 

That's probably not completely fair to developers since complex apps that allow documents to be imported can cause the crash, not the fault of the app per se. Any amount of testing cannot rule out every possible scenario that users through at something without exponential amounts of testing.  Apple would need to lift the limits on beta devices to allow more testers and the cost of apps would go up to pay for perfection.

If someone tries to import a malformed document, the app should pop up a dialog saying "Import failed: Malformed document." It shouldn't crash.

post #24 of 24
Originally Posted by DarkVader View Post
The user's data belongs to the user, not the app developer.

 

Well…

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
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