Taiwan Android Users Cannot Buy Apps From Google

A while back Google changed the refund policy for paid Android apps from 24 hours to 15 minutes. Several people were not happy with the change, but nevertheless Google implemented because app developers wanted the refund policy shortened. While unhappy customers is not good, that is not nearly as bad as running a foul of the law, but apparently that has happened to Google in Taiwan.

Taiwanese law requires a 7 day return policy for all items purchased over the Internet because people cannot touch the item before paying for it. Obviously, Google’s current 15 minute policy is much less than 7 days, but I do find it interesting that the refund policy has become an issue now when the previous 24 hour policy also did not comply to Taiwanese law.

According to the Android Community site, Google initially decided to not comply with the law, but after facing a $1 million fine they opted to remove all paid apps from the Android Market in Taiwan. Removing the paid apps made things right with the Taiwanese government, but no doubt has made Android users unhappy.

Perhaps the Android Market does not support multiple refund policies? According to the Apple Insider web site, Apple has changed the refund policy of the iTunes App Store in Taiwan so that it complies with the law. I expect Google will have better luck changing the Android Market than getting the Taiwanese government to compromise or change the law. For now, Taiwan Android uses will not be able to buy apps for their phones.