Google loses appeal in Taiwan over fine for Android app refunds

Google loses appeal in Taiwan over fine for Android app refunds

Google has lost its appeal against a fine imposed by Taiwanese authorities over its refusal to extend its refund policy on Android apps to seven days.

The search giant was fined Tw$1,000,000 ($33,856) for not adopting a new policy, with Google standing behind Android Market terms that stipulate consumers have up to 15 minutes after downloading an app to claim a refund.

The Taipei City government, which imposed the fine in June 2011, said the economics ministry had ruled in its favour:

“We urge Google to respect Taiwan’s laws and the rights of our consumers to resume sales of its Android Market paid apps,” it said in a statement.

Smartphone users in the city had complained that they were unable to claim a refund when they deemed an app download as unsatisfactory. Taipei’s Law and Regulation Commission informed Google Taiwan, as well as Apple Asia, of the complaints in a formal letter, demanding an explanation and an outline of improvements by a June 23 2011 deadline.

Apple Asia responded before the deadline and amended its refund policy to comply with Taiwan’s by extending its trial period from 15 minutes to a full seven days. Google did not reply.

After receiving the warning from the Taipei City Government earlier in the month, Google then suspended downloads of paid apps on the Android Market after it received the fine. This suspension is stil in place.

Despite the two sides having a “full and extensive exchange of opinions” on the matter, with Google said to be thoroughly understanding of Taiwan’s Consumer Protection Act, the search giant didn’t change its policies by a revised July 14 deadline — resulting in Taiwanese authorities upholding the fine.

Google has not issued a comment on the matter.

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