Google sued over Play Store’s 15-minute return policy

March 17, 2012
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OK, we don’t know if it’s something in the water, but those class action lawsuits against Google just keep popping up like mushrooms in the rainy season. The latest such suite concerns the Google Play Store, previously called Android Market. It’s a classic example of buyer’s remorse (taken to a whole new, crazy, level) — two unsatisfied Android app customers, Dodd J. Harriss and Stephen Sabatino, are suing Google over the company’s 15-minute return policy and alleged misleading information on apps.

The two apps in question are “Learn Chinese Mandarin Pro” and “aBTC”, an Android BitTorrent client. Upon purchasing the apps for $4.83 and $4.99, respectively, the two gents soon realized that they didn’t particularly like them. But of course, the 15-minute policy prevented the two from getting refunds. As for the misleading bit, apparently, it’s Google’s fault for failing to make sure that apps are functioning properly and are compatible with all Android phones.

The two are seeking compensation for the damages they suffered, plus the legal fees and cost of hiring attorneys. Hmm, whatever happened to sending abusive polite e-mails to the developers and asking for refunds?

For your information, Google changed the return window policy for apps bought from the Play Store from 24 hours to 15 minutes,  back in December 2010. At the time, Google justified the move  by saying that the majority of users did their refunds within minutes, anyway. Yes, they got away with this excuse.

Google has some other class-action suits to worry about.  In February, the company found itself in hot water over the alleged circumvention of Safari browser’s privacy features, which forced the browser to accept tracking cookies. And the company is now facing a class-action lawsuit initiated by privacy groups that argue Google has violated several user privacy laws. In case you are worried about yours, check out this awesome guide on Android privacy, right here.

Do you think the 15-minute return policy of the Google Play Store is too short? What would you’ve done in a similar situation?

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