Apple / Google Apps Refund Policy under Scrutiny in Korea
Many Korean consumers are growing cautious of apps available from online stores due to constrictive refund policies. Those who find apps to be less than satisfactory are at the mercy of some inconsistent policies (if one exists at all). Apple, who is a dominant app provider has no specific rules regarding app refunds. Buyers are urged to submit a formal complaint. In contrast Google’s policy for the Android market is 15 minutes from time of purchase. This time frame, for many, is unrealistic.
The Fair Trade Commission and The Electronic Commerce Consumer Protection Act state that consumers have one month (30 days) from the time of purchase to claim a refund. With Google and Apple holding almost 85% of the app market it would be nice to see them in compliance with the act however, these are not Korean based companies and are therefore not subject to the regulations of the Act.
While domestic providers such as SK telecom’s T store, LG Uplus’ OZ store, and KT’s Olleh Market have all been compliant with the Act, The FTC is reluctant to take measures to control competitors abroad. Losing the option of purchasing apps from providers like Google and Apple altogether as a result of trying to force compliance could be a realistic fear. Last year, the Taiwanese City of Taipei issued a fine to the Android Market for not complying with their refund policy which resulted in Google removing the services from the Taipei market altogether.[Source: Korean Times]