12-16-2010 12:32 AM
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  1. TheBigCheese's Avatar
    Speaking from a developer point of view, I think this is a perfect move. It's the reason why so many game developers ignore Android. Take GameLoft, for instance. People would buy their games for 24 hours, and then after playing through the majority, would refund their money.

    Why does everyone think they are entitled to their money back simply because the app was not as good as they thought? Do you ask the manager at a fine restaurant for your money back if the meal "was not worth buying"? 15 minutes is plenty to see if you just download a spam application.

    Seriously, you're talking $2-3 here, it's not like you wasted a month's salary.
    12-14-2010 03:42 PM
  2. Bravozero's Avatar
    Speaking from a developer point of view, I think this is a perfect move. It's the reason why so many game developers ignore Android. Take GameLoft, for instance. People would buy their games for 24 hours, and then after playing through the majority, would refund their money.

    Why does everyone think they are entitled to their money back simply because the app was not as good as they thought? Do you ask the manager at a fine restaurant for your money back if the meal "was not worth buying"? 15 minutes is plenty to see if you just download a spam application.

    Seriously, you're talking $2-3 here, it's not like you wasted a month's salary.
    Remind me not to buy/download your apps.

    And 2-3 dollars may not seem like much at that point in time, but it adds up. That 3 dollars might be an extra gallon of fuel for their vehicle, or lunch for that day at work, or many other uses. Why do you think stores have a return policy? If they buy a product that doesn't work for them as planned they can return it, with the exception of certain items. If someone buys an app and it's junk, or it doesn't do exactly what they need it to, they have the right to uninstall it and ask for a refund.
    12-14-2010 03:56 PM
  3. stimulatedboredom's Avatar
    Yes, I do ask for my money back if a meal is terrible...or at least send it back.

    All other purchases that most people make involve some form of being able to try them out (at least a little) first: in store demos, clothing, shoes, sporting equipment etc...AND you get a 30 day return policy.

    You do bring up a good point about the games though.

    But if it's just "$2-$3", why should we be stuck with a crappy app that we realize has some issues 16 mins after downloading it while we are exploring it to determine if we like it?

    Devs shouldn't have a problem with refunding "just $2-$3" if they aren't going to offer a free version for people to try. I know you give your 30% to Google, but I wouldn't expect people to "suck it up" if they download an app and don't like it.

    15 mins just seems a little rushed to me. I'd be fine with an hour.
    12-14-2010 03:56 PM
  4. PhyscoAssassinX's Avatar
    Guess im going to have to look towards W***z to see if an app is useful -.- and if it is then buy it sorry but with a mare 15 min this is my only choice
    12-14-2010 03:57 PM
  5. Mikey47's Avatar
    This doesn't affect me because if I plan on buying an app, I already did my research and I know EXACTLY what it will offer me. Also, you guys have to see this from a developers perspective. They spend hundreds, even thousands of hours on these applications only to have a good percentage of them get refunded for stupid reasons. People will see one small thing wrong and instantly give it a one star rating, even though the developer was going to fix it.
    Whoa. So if someone buys and app, and can't get it installed, or it doesn't meet their needs, and devs are ticked because they get a 1 star rating .... how exactly is changing the return policy going to address this? This will even further infuriate users as they may get an app and struggle with the install, or configuration, or whatever and go beyond the 15 minutes and then not only be ticked off, but having to have paid for it.
    12-14-2010 03:58 PM
  6. Mikey47's Avatar
    WOW! 15 minutes is awfully tight time frame.

    Actually I do not doubt at all that **most** apps that are returned are done within 15 minutes. Think about it, how many times have you gotten a widget or background, or whatever and just said "Yuck!" and returned it right away?

    My question is: "When does the 15 minute clock start ticking?" Is it when you push that last "purchase" button, or is it once the software is installed on your phone? I mean they can't penalize you if you are installing a 20MB app across a crappy 3G connection whereas it can't even download it in less than 15 minutes.
    12-14-2010 04:01 PM
  7. sniffs's Avatar
    Speaking from a developer point of view, I think this is a perfect move. It's the reason why so many game developers ignore Android. Take GameLoft, for instance. People would buy their games for 24 hours, and then after playing through the majority, would refund their money.

    Why does everyone think they are entitled to their money back simply because the app was not as good as they thought? Do you ask the manager at a fine restaurant for your money back if the meal "was not worth buying"? 15 minutes is plenty to see if you just download a spam application.

    Seriously, you're talking $2-3 here, it's not like you wasted a month's salary.
    $2-$3 for a Developer who has a download of 5000 is a month's salary.. or maybe 2-3 months salary in 1 month. We're talking about a multi-billion dollar a year industry that...ding ding..CONSUMERS control.

    If I buy a Carls Jr hamburger and eat 90% of it and then find a hair and complain, do you think Carls should be excluded from being responsible?

    or just because I ate 90%(played 15 minutes of a game) that I'm out of my money for a hair(game that breaks after the 5th level)??

    It's called Customer Service and developers need to get it through their head that their offerings are no different than a retail store's offerings. You need good customer service.

    In your arguement, a dev is right, customer is wrong.
    Bravozero likes this.
    12-14-2010 04:03 PM
  8. Bravozero's Avatar
    $2-$3 for a Developer who has a download of 5000 is a month's salary.. or maybe 2-3 months salary in 1 month. We're talking about a multi-billion dollar a year industry that...ding ding..CONSUMERS control.

    If I buy a Carls Jr hamburger and eat 90% of it and then find a hair and complain, do you think Carls should be excluded from being responsible?

    or just because I ate 90%(played 15 minutes of a game) that I'm out of my money for a hair(game that breaks after the 5th level)??

    It's called Customer Service and developers need to get it through their head that their offerings are no different than a retail store's offerings. You need good customer service.

    In your arguement, a dev is right, customer is wrong.
    Good comparison. Bottom line.. I can deal with an hour at minimum, along with most people here. That's an acceptable amount of time to test something especially if it has to do with how the device runs. After that, then fine I'm keeping it anyway even if I don't like it. But 15 minutes? I bet that starts as soon as the transaction is complete, minus the time it takes to download it, install it, configure it... by that time you're looking at MAYBE 10 minutes and that's if you have a good data connection and your phone is working well.
    12-14-2010 04:09 PM
  9. TheBigCheese's Avatar
    Remind me not to buy/download your apps.
    Suit yourself.
    And 2-3 dollars may not seem like much at that point in time, but it adds up. That 3 dollars might be an extra gallon of fuel for their vehicle, or lunch for that day at work, or many other uses. Why do you think stores have a return policy? If they buy a product that doesn't work for them as planned they can return it, with the exception of certain items.
    Yes, I do ask for my money back if a meal is terrible...or at least send it back.

    All other purchases that most people make involve some form of being able to try them out (at least a little) first: in store demos, clothing, shoes, sporting equipment etc...AND you get a 30 day return policy.
    I can certainly see your point for items such as clothing or real-world purchases, but it's only a single button on the Market. Most people aren't going to return a $3 candy bar because it was unsatisfactory. It's far too much effort.

    If someone buys an app and it's junk, or it doesn't do exactly what they need it to, they have the right to uninstall it and ask for a refund.
    15 minutes is plenty! Unless possibly you have an extremely outdated phone, I can't see how installs would take more than 5 minutes maximum. Let's say you're downloading on Edge at 300kb/s. Even if the app was a downloader that downloaded 80mb of data to the phone, it would still only take 4.5 minutes to download. And that's the worst case scenario (the Market only allows apps up to 50MB).

    If it's a problem with the installer, then, certainly get a refund. Any app that takes 15 minutes to install likely isn't going to fair so well on the phone.

    Also, keep in mind that many developers will refund your money manually should you simply contact them by email. If that's too much of a hassle, then be more careful about spending the money.
    12-14-2010 04:15 PM
  10. beasleybiz's Avatar
    How many of you that are upset over this have actually asked for a refund?

    I know that if I plan on purchasing an app, I have done extensive homework. So more often than not I limit the chances of me being dissatisfied with my purchase. Bottom line if you do your homework this change in policy should not adversely affect you.
    Homework/research only goes so far. Suffice it to say that chances are slim to none on encountering another phone exactly like mine, with the exact combination of installed apps and settings etc. It boils down to will this app play well with the way I have my phone set up. I have refunded apps, most well after 15mins. I take a little more time to see if there is something I can do different to make it work, or a tweak that will fix my issue, or even contact the dev. A refund is my last alternative since I obviously want the app, I bought it didn't I.

    15 Minutes is not enough. I think the original 24hr period was perfect balance for dev's and consumers.
    12-14-2010 04:17 PM
  11. TheBigCheese's Avatar
    If I buy a Carls Jr hamburger and eat 90% of it and then find a hair and complain, do you think Carls should be excluded from being responsible?

    or just because I ate 90%(played 15 minutes of a game) that I'm out of my money for a hair(game that breaks after the 5th level)??

    It's called Customer Service and developers need to get it through their head that their offerings are no different than a retail store's offerings. You need good customer service.
    As with my previous post, Developers have the ability to manually refund your money after purchasing, regardless of the 15 minute limit.

    What I'm talking about isn't a "hair in the burger", it's "that burger tasted bad".

    Why exactly is this no heavy complaint in the iPhone market? There's no refund time at all, and no trial versions, yet people are perfectly willing to buy apps.
    12-14-2010 04:18 PM
  12. beasleybiz's Avatar
    15 minutes is plenty! Unless possibly you have an extremely outdated phone, I can't see how installs would take more than 5 minutes maximum. Let's say you're downloading on Edge at 300kb/s. Even if the app was a downloader that downloaded 80mb of data to the phone, it would still only take 4.5 minutes to download. And that's the worst case scenario (the Market only allows apps up to 50MB)..
    Meanwhile in the real world where I connect to 3G with a updated phone (Droid X) data speeds vary so greatly on Big Red the Navigation Maps take much more than 15 Minutes.
    12-14-2010 04:24 PM
  13. sniffs's Avatar
    As with my previous post, Developers have the ability to manually refund your money after purchasing, regardless of the 15 minute limit.

    What I'm talking about isn't a "hair in the burger", it's "that burger tasted bad".

    Why exactly is this no heavy complaint in the iPhone market? There's no refund time at all, and no trial versions, yet people are perfectly willing to buy apps.
    Simple reason. iPhone apps are vastly superior in almost every single way to Android apps. You buy an iPhone app and you know you're getting something that will work and has quality put into it.

    Apple checks for consistency, they check for crashes, they check for bad code(private API calls), they check for quality, quality, quality.. the iPhone's very lowest quality Tower defense game is still vastly superior to Android's top TD game.. Why is that?

    Quality checks.. something that Google does none of. You buy off Google Market and in the back of your head you're wondering if you made a thought out purchase..

    on iPhone, you're wondering how great the app is.

    I have like $300 dollars invested in $.99 to $10 apps on my iPhone.. I've got $5 dollars in my DroidX.. and I've been though about 10 Android phones and 2 iPhones.
    12-14-2010 04:32 PM
  14. Requiem's Avatar
    This is really bad news. I will not be buying any apps that i don't allready know are good. Take for example a gps navigation software for 50-100$ like navigon. I would not risk that amount in case the app sucks, and 15 minutes is not enogh time to test a navigation software.
    Of course, not buying apps will hurt the Devs more than Google, but that is not because I am cheap, it is because Google screwed the users, and by extension the Devs.

    So if you developers reading this want to do anything about it, complain to Google, because we all know the app devs have more power over google than the average end-user like me.....

    //end rant
    12-14-2010 04:33 PM
  15. Scott_L#AC's Avatar
    15 minutes is plenty! Unless possibly you have an extremely outdated phone, I can't see how installs would take more than 5 minutes maximum.
    We all have opinions and many feel theirs is the only correct one. I can play devil's advocate for many arguments here, but to imply a faster phone would allow me to decide if an app does what it advertises in 15 minutes without conflicting with any of my other apps or carrier's Android tweaks isn't something I could argue for. Even if the clock began at first launch of the app on my phone ... For a live background? A flashlight app? Yep. A real app with pages of configuration and large feature set? No way.

    It's not download time or the phone speed for most of us concerned. It's time to evaluate the apps. I'm looking at alternate keyboards right now - some are pay. I can squeak in a few sentences in 15 minutes though I would prefer more time. Why? To configure the options, try it, change options till I like them, type long enough to adjust to the new input method, etc. This really can't happen in 15 minutes.

    What's really been taking my time the last two weeks is my search for a Wiki app I like. They all seems to use different syntax (for some reason). This creates a learning curve. Then I have to enter data and links to web links, email addresses, other pages or documents and so on. I have been evaluating 3 apps for nearly 2 weeks and have Emu on deck (no trial version). I suppose I will have to buy it and not sleep, work, etc for as much of the 24 hours as I can to learn and test it, but there's no way ANYONE could trial a Wiki app in 15 minutes.

    I'm not slow, but I am methodical, thorough, and picky as they come!

    EDIT: Just read post above mine. GPS, GREAT example. Of course, even 24 hours is tough for that one.
    12-14-2010 04:36 PM
  16. Chris Kerrigan's Avatar
    Again, I go back to my original point that 15 minutes is not long enough for one simple reason. Sure, it's long enough if you immediately after downloading are able to test it for yourself. If I get an important phone call, that's going to hinder my ability to test, rate and decide within that 15 minute time frame. Yes, some of you have made a very good point that developers will often give you a refund if you contact them manually -- but that's the good developers. This still does not alleviate the issue with flat out garbage apps from developers looking to do nothing more than make a quick buck.

    Surely, most developers are not like this and I'm not trying to say they are. Sometimes it's even obvious when an app is questionable, but the average consumer isn't going to be able to tell. The AVERAGE consumer is going to go based solely off of the information they see in the Android market, which in some cases is not always enough (case in point, take a look at many of the 'BBM replacement' apps, the comments are spammed to hell). And to those comparing it to the iPhone's lack of refund period, well, someone already mentioned the quality control over at Apple in regards to apps.

    When you have a feature that is prominently supported and touted, such as a 24 hour refund period, and shrink it down to 15 minutes, then I don't care about "feel lucky you have any refund period at all". That's not the point -- we have always had one, THAT'S why so many people are upset, because this severely undermines what we've grown used to. One hour? Sure. 15 minutes? Just plain anti-consumer.
    Bravozero likes this.
    12-14-2010 05:04 PM
  17. jhasty's Avatar
    If ((trial_period <= 15 min) and (not trial_version))
    then no_sale();
    12-14-2010 05:18 PM
  18. meyerweb#CB's Avatar
    My first thought on this was to stop buying products through the market. But now I'm thinking the appropriate response is to buy everything in sight, and immediately uninstall it for a refund. If even 20,000 people did this it would bring Android's market to its knees.
    12-14-2010 05:50 PM
  19. meyerweb#CB's Avatar
    Good comparison. Bottom line.. I can deal with an hour at minimum, along with most people here. That's an acceptable amount of time to test something especially if it has to do with how the device runs.
    I disagree. Say I downloaded a GPS mapping program. The odds that I'll be able to really exercise it's capabilities in an hour are pretty slim.

    In all honesty, I don't think 24 hours is enough. I came from the Palm OS world, and most pay-for programs had a free trial period of from 7 to 30 days.
    12-14-2010 05:53 PM
  20. hoarder23's Avatar
    A fact that hasn't been pointed out enough on this thread is that the people that read these forums might number in the 100ks, but Android has a user base well into the millions perhaps tens of millions. I know that I, and many of the other people that post and read these forums, do a lot of research prior to buying an app, we read reviews, read forums, read the comments. But your average consumer who picked up the shiniest phone won't be doing that, he/she might read a few comments and then buy an app based solely on the information contained on the Market, information controlled 100% by the developer.

    It seems to me that the only devs that would be unhappy with a 24 hour refund policy are those that don't provide a quality experience. If you make a game that can be beat in an hour and has no replay value why should I keep it. The 24 hour return policy encourages devs to put forth a better product to keep consumers. I personally have bought games that have been well reviewed but once I actually played them I realized they weren't for me. A 15 minute refund policy doesn't allow a consumer the luxury of giving an app a chance if it isn't working for them right away.

    The Apple store can get away without a refund policy for 2 reasons, one is that there are just 5 devices devs need to consider, the iPhone, 3G, 3GS, 4 and Ipad. The other is that all apps have undergone a rigorous quality assurance process by Apple employees prior to being listed for sale. The Android Market falls way short on both of these points, I have downloaded apps to my 2.2 DX, a phone that is arguably as capable as any other Android phone available that didn't work for one reason or another. Plus there is zero QA process, all one needs to do is register with Google and you can upload apps to the Market.
    12-14-2010 06:06 PM
  21. ryandroid12's Avatar
    15 minutes is unfair considering a lost connection/software or hardware issue/etc. may prvent a user from using the app before time is up.

    I agree there should be different standards for return based on developer assurances or another type of quality control (if an app has sold 50,000 times, a buyer constructively knows what they are getting).
    12-14-2010 08:57 PM
  22. Bravozero's Avatar
    I disagree. Say I downloaded a GPS mapping program. The odds that I'll be able to really exercise it's capabilities in an hour are pretty slim.

    In all honesty, I don't think 24 hours is enough. I came from the Palm OS world, and most pay-for programs had a free trial period of from 7 to 30 days.
    When I said acceptable, that meant at a minimum. Sure we'd like it to be longer, but even if they gave us an hour rather than 15 minutes people would be happier. Although I think they should just leave it alone at 24 hours.
    12-14-2010 08:59 PM
  23. bkrodgers's Avatar
    Plus there is zero QA process, all one needs to do is register with Google and you can upload apps to the Market.
    To an extent, this is a strength of Android. I like that Google doesn't get to decide what should and shouldn't be on the market (within limits). That obviously does have weaknesses though. I think the 24 hour return policy was a really smart way to counteract the drawbacks of not having a QA process. Basically they were saying to devs that you can put anything you want up without a single company babysitting you, but in return you have to allow users to return your app if it doesn't work for them. And it saves Google the cost of staffing up a review process, which I imagine has to be a significant expense or Apple. They basically shift that burden to users in exchange for the peace of mind and flexibility of the 24 hour trial.

    They've now broken this model, and I really think they're losing a key strength as a result.
    12-14-2010 09:12 PM
  24. TheBigCheese's Avatar
    You guys are picking and choosing my points. I will lay them out:

    If you want a refund, contact the Developer. Most reasonable developers will refund your purchase if the app is broken. There's really no excuse for not simply sending an email.

    15 minutes really is enough. I can't think of a single app that I have bought that couldn't be tested in 15 minutes. If it takes longer than that it's obviously not horrid enough that you're willing to put up with for at least a few hours.

    I will use one of my apps as an example.
    I have an application on the market in both paid and trial form. The paid app is refunded 72% of the time. Now before you claim that it's because I wrote a bad app, I will mention that the paid app has a rating of >4.5 stars and a majority of 5 star comments somewhere around 25:1. Nearly every comment is about how fluid the app is.

    The problem is that people don't want to spend money. After purchasing they have buyer's remorse and refund their money 2 hours later. If the refund window was 15 minutes from the start, I guarantee their would have been little outcry, and more people would have learned that the refund option is not equal to a trial.
    12-14-2010 09:48 PM
  25. Chris Kerrigan's Avatar
    To an extent, this is a strength of Android. I like that Google doesn't get to decide what should and shouldn't be on the market (within limits). That obviously does have weaknesses though. I think the 24 hour return policy was a really smart way to counteract the drawbacks of not having a QA process. Basically they were saying to devs that you can put anything you want up without a single company babysitting you, but in return you have to allow users to return your app if it doesn't work for them. And it saves Google the cost of staffing up a review process, which I imagine has to be a significant expense or Apple. They basically shift that burden to users in exchange for the peace of mind and flexibility of the 24 hour trial.

    They've now broken this model, and I really think they're losing a key strength as a result.
    There are ways around that though. Google can still have a process that will allow basically any app in the Marketplace so long as it's tested against things such as fraudulent, malicious, or otherwise detrimental to the user. On could argue that this would in turn require a definition of all of those, but so long as each app meets the TOS, that should be enough.
    12-14-2010 09:50 PM
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