Over the past week, a number of reports have arisen regarding Taiwan’s policy on returns. The Taiwanese government has been putting pressure on Apple and Google to modify their app sales policies to comply with a law requiring a one-week return and refund window on all purchases. A recent report from WantChinaTimes goes on to say that Apple has chosen to comply with the Taiwanese government and accept a 1 week return policy on apps.
At the request of Taipei City Hall, Apple agreed to let their phone users have a trial period of seven days, within which a user can return the app for a full refund.
Since the introduction of the App Store, Apple has not allowed any form of trial of full versions of apps, and have only done refunds on a very limited, per-customer basis. Another report from The Economic Times of India confirms that Apple has chosen to comply with the requirement while Google has been fined $34,600 over its continued refusal to offer a 7-day refund period. Other reports from Taipei Times also confirm that Google has pulled it’s paid marketplace from Taiwan and will not comply with the limitations and refund policies set on it’s apps.
For Apple, this may be a winner, without any competition from Google and a bit more trust from customers who will be satisfied with their purchases. At this point, it is unclear whether Apple will offer this 7-Day Refund policy in the US or other countries, but it is also likely that this refund policy is temporary and may undergo some changes. Apple’s Refund Policy is currently a per-request feature and not a widely advertised promotion.
UPDATE: Google has agreed too.