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Wednesday, 29 June 2011 11:02

Google's revenge on Taiwanese government

Written by Nick Farell


Users suffer
Search outfit Google has been caught by the press doing evil in Taiwan.

The Taiwanese government wanted the various app stores to obey its consumer laws which allowed a product to be returned within seven days if a person is not happy with it. Fair enough, you would think. Even Apple, which has been having a long spat with the EU about its consumer law agreed to it. Not Google. When the outfit refused to obey the law, the Taipei government fined it US$34,550. Google flung its toys out of the pram and shut down the paid application section of the Android Market in Taiwan leaving its customers high and dry.

Clearly the outfit was telling Taiwan that it was not a jelly, nor spongy so don't try to trifle with it. Google Taiwan said it was suspending paid apps in Taiwan while we continue to discuss this issue with the Taipei City Government. However what is there to discuss? Either Google obeys a fairly reasonable consumer law, or it withdraws from doing business in Taiwan. Google believes that 15 minutes is all the time that a user needs to work out if the Application is acceptable or not. It said that this reflects the fact that apps are delivered over-the-air instantly and most users who request a refund could do so within minutes of their purchase.

It claims that this policy helps consumers make educated decisions about the apps they buy, while enabling Taiwanese developers to manage their businesses effectively, a SpokesGoogle said. The Taiwan government said that that Google's suspension of its App store was an attempt to coerce Taiwanese to give up their consumer rights.

It is demanding that Google submit an “improvisation plan” by the end of the week. It is thinking of making a second penalty against the company. HTC told the Taipai Times that it did not expect the row to have “much impact” on the sales of its handsets because users could download free-trial versions of some apps, before finally making a purchase decision.

More here.

 

Nick Farell

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