July 26, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
A reader has pointed out that the 48-hour refund policy has been part of the developer distribution agreement for some time, but it is not the same as the market policy, which remains 24 hours. Customers can request a refund from developers within 48 hours, but the market continues to have a 24-hour return policy it seems. I apologize for any inconvenience or confusion this post may have caused.
“re: Market Refund. No change to the DDA, it always said 48 to give us a buffer. Actual policy is still (and always was) 24hrs.”
thanks to @TheRealRiley for helping provide clarification.
One of the best things about Android, from a consumer’s perspective at least, has been the ability to test paid applications without fear of wasting money. Anyone unsatisfied with a particular app could decide to uninstall it within 24 hours of purchase and receive a full-refund. Google has extended that new test drive period to 48 hours in its recent market changes.
Late Friday evening, Google sent a notice to Android developers that it revised the Android Market distribution agreement and required that they agree to the new terms by August 23, 2010. The developer of WidgetLocker sent us a tip highlighting that Google has doubled the refund policy from 24 hours to 48 hours. It also states that refunds are not required or allowed for “Products that can be previewed by the buyer (such as ringtones and wallpapers).”
It is unclear when the download time was extended, or if it has gone into effect yet. The Android Market help page still refers to the 24 hour refund rule; and as recently as a month ago, I was denied a refund after attempting to uninstall an app in the 25th hour, so it must be relatively new.
“I understand the logic behind this, but it sends a bad message to developers,” says Kevin TeslaCoil, the developer of WidgetLocker. “It’s making it harder for us to make money …and it makes it easier to make money for people who pirate music to create soundboards.”
Some developers are likely to be displeased by the change in policy, but it could open the door for more people keeping applications because they have adequate time to test an app’s performance over two days rather than having only one to put it through its paces. Perhaps with more time to make an informed decision, more consumers will feel comfortable keeping an app rather than rushing to uninstall to make sure they obtain a refund.