12-16-2010 12:32 AM
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  1. bkrodgers'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.
    There's a big difference between having to ask (with the developer having the option to say no or ignore you) and having it be automatic and something you can count on.

    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.
    You're simply wrong on this. If you can't think of apps that take longer than 15 minutes to test, think harder. There are plenty of good examples in this thread.

    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.
    Actually, it is supposed to be a trial. Since there's no inherent trial mechanism built into the market, there's nothing wrong with people treating it as a trial. And those people who don't want to spend money (the 72% of the time you get hit with a refund) probably just won't bother trying your app. And some of the 28% whose sales you do retain won't either.
    12-14-2010 09:55 PM
  2. TheBigCheese's Avatar
    There's a big difference between having to ask (with the developer having the option to say no or ignore you) and having it be automatic and something you can count on.
    There is also a big difference between hitting a "refund" button and walking into a store to return a product. I'm not saying all developers will refund, but most reasonable ones will or at least try to fix any problems you are having.


    You're simply wrong on this. If you can't think of apps that take longer than 15 minutes to test, think harder. There are plenty of good examples in this thread.
    Not sure which apps in the thread you are talking about.
    Games certainly don't need more than a few minutes. You have time to test the controls, and see if you like the overall presentation. If the 5th level is broken, or something similar. That's not a problem that can be solved with a larger refund time (what if you only get to the 5th level after a day into playing?), it should be taken up with the dev.

    The GPS applications may take longer to download (if its caching maps), but the ones I've used offered trials.

    Apps that cost $20 and up, are simply an investment in the first place.


    Actually, it is supposed to be a trial. Since there's no inherent trial mechanism built into the market, there's nothing wrong with people treating it as a trial. And those people who don't want to spend money (the 72% of the time you get hit with a refund) probably just won't bother trying your app. And some of the 28% whose sales you do retain won't either.
    It's not "supposed to be a trial". It's meant to be a window that allows you to get a refund should the app be broken on your phone, as many apps are want to do.

    I seriously doubt that the 72% of people refunding my applicaition would download it and just and not bother to test it. Why pay for an app and then ignore it completely. I may be misunderstanding this point, though.

    ---------
    Response to a previous post.

    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.
    Comments, rating, and download number are controlled by the developer?

    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.
    Read my above post. While it certainly may seem this way, if you actually look at the statistics I doubt quality relates to return rate as much as you think. (other than for wallpaper packs and other spam apps).

    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.
    I'll give you that, but it certainly doesn't mean their is no crap on the iPhone market. Other than spiffy UI (which is pretty much impossible not to create with iPhone development) the many fart and lightsaber applications aren't exactly what I'd call "the best user experience".
    12-14-2010 10:04 PM
  3. bkrodgers's Avatar
    There is also a big difference between hitting a "refund" button and walking into a store to return a product. I'm not saying all developers will refund, but most reasonable ones will or at least try to fix any problems you are having.
    I don't see any difference at all, other than not costing me any gas money. You do make a good point that people should try to work it out with a dev and ask for a refund. But by no means is that the same as making a purchase with the peace of mind that you're actually entitled to a refund if you decide it's not right for your needs.

    Not sure which apps in the thread you are talking about.
    GPS, alarm clocks, any app that has an auto-update feature, any app that promises to help extend battery life, any app that has the potential to be a battery hog. That last one can be extended to just about anything.

    It's not "supposed to be a trial". It's meant to be a window that allows you to get a refund should the app be broken on your phone, as many apps are want to do.
    There's nothing that says the app has to be broken. You can just decide you don't like it. That's basically a trial, you just pay up front.

    I seriously doubt that the 72% of people refunding my applicaition would download it and just and not bother to test it. Why pay for an app and then ignore it completely. I may be misunderstanding this point, though.
    No, my point is that a good chunk of the 72% of people who refunded your app would never have downloaded it in the first place, so you're not missing out on much in the way of sales there if there's no return policy. The remaining 28% also includes some people who weren't sure about the app but bought it anyway because they knew they could return it. Now each app is different, and I'm just using you as an example (since you offered yourself). But the net effect on sales of not having a return policy is likely to be even or negative.
    12-14-2010 10:22 PM
  4. ChrisS#AC's Avatar
    Thats just plain stupid, I'd download an app in the evening then durring the next day test it out to see if it did what I wanted it to do....
    How can you do all that in 15 min......

    Download new app...
    Answer phone (wife) -5min,
    incoming email from work, -2 min
    answer work email -4 min
    grab drink from fridge -3 min
    pet dog... -3 min.

    Oh $#!+, I needed to test out that app.....
    DAMB !
    Jerzyiroc likes this.
    12-14-2010 10:38 PM
  5. TheBigCheese's Avatar
    I don't see any difference at all, other than not costing me any gas money. You do make a good point that people should try to work it out with a dev and ask for a refund. But by no means is that the same as making a purchase with the peace of mind that you're actually entitled to a refund if you decide it's not right for your needs.
    The difference is effort and mindset. People don't buy things from a department store expecting to return them or give them a "trial". They buy them because they want want the product has to offer.


    GPS, alarm clocks, any app that has an auto-update feature, any app that promises to help extend battery life, any app that has the potential to be a battery hog. That last one can be extended to just about anything.
    I'll agree with you on some GPS, but is it really necessary to actually drive around with it? There are plenty of iPhone GPS apps as well, many with similar quality to Android. (Of course, there are always free GPS solutions as well).

    Alarms I really don't see. You can easily test an alarm system by setting it one minute ahead, and there are many free alternatives as well.

    Battery life is tricky. Unless you're expecting it to be a battery drain, even with 24 hours, I don't see how you could specifically test it.

    I will admit there are some apps that do benefit on the consumer side, but it's definitely not the majority.

    There's nothing that says the app has to be broken. You can just decide you don't like it. That's basically a trial, you just pay up front.
    I merely meant that was the intention of the refund policy.


    No, my point is that a good chunk of the 72% of people who refunded your app would never have downloaded it in the first place, so you're not missing out on much in the way of sales there if there's no return policy. The remaining 28% also includes some people who weren't sure about the app but bought it anyway because they knew they could return it. Now each app is different, and I'm just using you as an example (since you offered yourself). But the net effect on sales of not having a return policy is likely to be even or negative.
    We're working into deeply hypothetical territory here.

    It's true that a few of the 72% may have downloaded simply because of the refund, but I really don't think it's the majority. From what I can tell, most who refunded
    a. had technical problems (that's fair)
    b. paid because they enjoyed the free version and enjoyed using the paid version, but then realized that they didn't really want to spend the money. Yet, if the refund policy was lower, they probably would have been just as happy with the additional features.

    Really what we need is statistics from other developers. It's pointless to try to guess the motives of users.
    12-14-2010 10:39 PM
  6. TheBigCheese's Avatar
    Thats just plain stupid, I'd download an app in the evening then durring the next day test it out to see if it did what I wanted it to do....
    How can you do all that in 15 min......

    Download new app...
    Answer phone (wife) -5min,
    incoming email from work, -2 min
    answer work email -4 min
    grab drink from fridge -3 min
    pet dog... -3 min.

    Oh $#!+, I needed to test out that app.....
    DAMB !
    Is that a problem with the refund process? If you forgot to test it, it's more of a personal problem (no offense, obviously).

    The way it should be:
    Download new app...
    Answer phone (wife) -5min,
    Test application -10min

    My point is that the refund is not a trial. People think this because they are used to having 24 hours. The intention was to account for applications that didn't work on specific phones, not to give time to trial.

    If the time had been 15 minutes from the beginning, there would be little outcry from users.
    12-14-2010 10:43 PM
  7. Jerry Hildenbrand's Avatar
    I've watched this thread (as well as others across the 'net) develop, and thought long and hard about this one.

    15 minutes is fine with me, but it's going to change the way I review apps, both casually as a Market user, and professionally for Android Central.

    If your app has a bug, or something I don't like, it gets one star and a big fat "Do Not Buy" comment. Developers want to reduce the trial period, and that's fine, but they need to be damn sure to test the app on every device and configuration out there. I will no longer tell people to try it for themselves and see if they like it.
    bkrodgers and Chris Kerrigan like this.
    12-14-2010 10:49 PM
  8. TheBigCheese's Avatar
    If your app has a bug, or something I don't like, it gets one star and a big fat "Do Not Buy" comment. Developers want to reduce the trial period, and that's fine, but they need to be damn sure to test the app on every device and configuration out there. I will no longer tell people to try it for themselves and see if they like it.
    And you're free to do that, though at least remember that devs simply can't test it on every device. For instance I know my app works poorly on the HTC Wildfire (extremely small screen). Unfortunately I don't have the time nor money to work out all the issues.

    App Development is a part-time job, when I have free time. Not something on which I have time to spend hours a day.

    Though really "Do Not Buy" comments are the bane of every developer. It tells the customers nothing. At least put "FC on <enter phone here>".


    I think it was a stupid move on Google's part for the short term, and I don't think it will significantly increase sales, but on the long term, it allows GameLoft and Rovio to actually make sales on the market. I wasn't exactly crying out for a shortened trial, but it's definitely beneficial to the developers who need it and the maturity of the market overall as a respectable product market.
    12-14-2010 11:09 PM
  9. vel7wil's Avatar
    Have to say this will change the way I purchase from the market (decrease drastically).....When I purchase an app and want to FULLY check it out...make sure it performs as advertised, power drain, force close....etc.....and 15 mins just doesnt cut it for me....yeah....yeah....yeah i know...most apps are not that expensive but then again I dont wanna just throw my money anyway either on useless apps.....So is the market gonna have a stricter process for what GOES IN THE MARKET for sale???????
    12-15-2010 06:57 AM
  10. Duffin's Avatar
    And you're free to do that, though at least remember that devs simply can't test it on every device. For instance I know my app works poorly on the HTC Wildfire (extremely small screen). Unfortunately I don't have the time nor money to work out all the issues.

    App Development is a part-time job, when I have free time. Not something on which I have time to spend hours a day.

    Though really "Do Not Buy" comments are the bane of every developer. It tells the customers nothing. At least put "FC on <enter phone here>".


    I think it was a stupid move on Google's part for the short term, and I don't think it will significantly increase sales, but on the long term, it allows GameLoft and Rovio to actually make sales on the market. I wasn't exactly crying out for a shortened trial, but it's definitely beneficial to the developers who need it and the maturity of the market overall as a respectable product market.
    I'll put my two cents in here. You can't have it both ways. Either make sure the app works on all phones you intend it to work on or there has to be a bigger return window. You can't reduce the refund period to fifteen minutes and expect people to not return an app as soon as they reach their first bug. If there's one, there very well could be many others, but with a window of fifteen minutes, I'm sure not going to take any chances.
    12-15-2010 07:38 AM
  11. JohnBPrice's Avatar
    "People don't buy things from a department store expecting to return them or give them a "trial""
    Phoey, of course they do. virtually every store allows you to return a product if it doesn't work as intended or expected. When stores going out of business say "All sales final", I definitely think twice before purchasing a product. The same with the app store. The description in the Market is way too brief to understand if the app will suit your needs, with a reasonable refund period, I am much more likely to install it and check it out. 15 minutes is not enough time to check out any apps of any decent complexity to be worth paying for. If I can test an app in 15 minutes and decide if it will suit my needs, it doesn't have enough features to be worth buying.
    I don't know why Google decided to virtually eliminate the refund period, but I seriously doubt it was "a stupid move that will reduce their sales".

    RE: "My point is that the refund is not a trial. People think this because they are used to having 24 hours. The intention was to account for applications that didn't work on specific phones, not to give time to trial."

    Do you have any reference that supports this?
    12-15-2010 08:09 AM
  12. Chris Kerrigan's Avatar
    I worked retail for quite a few years and I can tell you that people absolutely intend on trying out products after they buy them, it’s exactly why so many stores have 30 day refund periods (or more), and often break their own rules to make consumers happy. It’s a consumer market we live in, companies constantly drive to bend over backwards to make the consumer happy, even at the expense of themselves a lot of the time.

    I’m not saying Google should violate it’s own refund terms just to make one griping customer happy, but I think they’re also failing to realize consumers are ultimately what drives both their sales and developers sales.
    12-15-2010 09:08 AM
  13. grajasekar's Avatar
    When on the fence about a piece of software, I would buy it knowing that I had 24 hours to return it. That will stop if I only have a 15 minute window. Net affect is that I will likely buy less software.
    Which is quite what I think will happen. It could backfire bad and end up hurting the devs who put a lot of work into an app. Now with *practically* no real return window to change your mind people might end up not buying a particular app at all.

    Most apps are so cheap, it's not really a big deal.
    Yeah, that's there. If one doesn't mind losing a few bucks it ain't that big a deal. Still, most people wouldn't throw away money even if it's a negligible amount. They'll still think even if it won't make any real difference to them losing a dollar.


    Its a consumer market we live in, companies constantly drive to bend over backwards to make the consumer happy, even at the expense of themselves a lot of the time.
    Maybe Google's doing an Apple in that respect?
    12-15-2010 09:38 AM
  14. JohnBPrice's Avatar
    "Maybe Google's doing an Apple in that respect?"
    hmmm, doubtful. I think Android consumers are significantly anti-Apple because how Apple behaves (I am for sure). I suspect there is another reason for it. No idea, but some guesses are:
    --Google wants developers to develop more lite or trial apps. This drives up the number of apps in the Market, which is a BIG marketing deal.
    --Google wants more ad-driven free apps, which not only increases the # of apps, but gets them a cut of the ad revenue to boot. Maybe more than their cut on paid apps.


    I'm pretty sure the given reason "Hey, most refunds occur within 15 minutes, so lets cut the time to 15 minutes just for kicks and no apparent marketing or sales reason" is not the real reason. Google LOVES market share. Google LOVES ad revenue. While Google does do things just for kicks (or future potential) like Google Earth, Google Doodles, etc, this doesn't seem like that.
    12-15-2010 10:43 AM
  15. JohnBPrice's Avatar
    Here's another idea, they wanted to change it to one hour, but knew that everyone would throw a hissy-fit, so they changed it to 15 minutes, will now let everyone throw their hissy fit and let them stew for a while and then change it to one hour, and everyone will say "Whew, thanks for listening to us Google." instead of "WHOA! one hour! that's not enough!"
    12-15-2010 01:01 PM
  16. Brett's Avatar
    Here's another idea, they wanted to change it to one hour, but knew that everyone would throw a hissy-fit, so they changed it to 15 minutes, will now let everyone throw their hissy fit and let them stew for a while and then change it to one hour, and everyone will say "Whew, thanks for listening to us Google." instead of "WHOA! one hour! that's not enough!"
    Though I doubt this is true, it makes the most sense as a way to lower the time gap and yet still be able to not have android users revolt.


    If everybody is getting bothered by this lowered time constraint, why doesn't anybody do something about it? It doesn't bother me that much at all. The only apps I have bought are ones that have I have seen many recommendations for or that I know will suit my needs and if not then I will get a refund. I know there are apps out there that you really can't know how they will run with only 15 min of use but those are few and far between for me.

    Rather than argue and debate about whether it is fair or not, why don't you guys send emails to the guys that actually have the power to change it. Going back and forth in this manner is not going to help the cause, it's just going to help pass time. Email google if you are that strongly believe that this is wrong and needs to be adjusted to a reasonable time period (what ever you guys think is reasonable). Stick it to the man!!! haha
    12-15-2010 03:24 PM
  17. Chris Kerrigan's Avatar
    Am I the only one who finds it incredibly ironic that Brett, the Super Moderator is saying stick it to the man? hahaha

    But in all seriousness I don't know about everyone else but I've already sent an Email to Google expressing my concerns. Nothing that contains cussing and throwing a hissy ft, but a well worded Email laying out what has me worried the most about this change and how I think it can be avoided. Sometimes that's all it takes, so I agree with Brett.
    12-15-2010 04:35 PM
  18. Cyber Warrior's Avatar
    Here's another idea, they wanted to change it to one hour, but knew that everyone would throw a hissy-fit, so they changed it to 15 minutes, will now let everyone throw their hissy fit and let them stew for a while and then change it to one hour, and everyone will say "Whew, thanks for listening to us Google." instead of "WHOA! one hour! that's not enough!"
    That would be a good strategy......Maybe all of this is just some kind of google conspiracy to bring attention and promote the android market

    I agree, complaining on here wont change anything. Start a partition or email Google.
    12-15-2010 05:13 PM
  19. bkrodgers's Avatar
    Rather than argue and debate about whether it is fair or not, why don't you guys send emails to the guys that actually have the power to change it. Going back and forth in this manner is not going to help the cause, it's just going to help pass time. Email google if you are that strongly believe that this is wrong and needs to be adjusted to a reasonable time period (what ever you guys think is reasonable). Stick it to the man!!! haha
    This was posted earlier in the topic:

    Issue 13116 - android - Change refund time in Market. 15min is way to little. - Project Hosting on Google Code

    I'm not sure what the best way is to email Google directly, or if it's any more effective.

    There's this, but the form seems to be for more specific issues:
    Contact Us - Android Market Help
    12-15-2010 05:56 PM
  20. bkrodgers's Avatar
    Start a partition
    I'm starting a partition between my money and the market.

    Sorry, I was raised by two people in the publishing/editorial world. Can't resist.
    12-15-2010 05:58 PM
  21. Bravozero's Avatar
    Start a partition
    Which OS should I install on it? Or should it be for media storage?
    12-15-2010 06:40 PM
  22. rjf111's Avatar
    ...Why does everyone think they are entitled to their money back simply because the app was not as good as they thought?
    Because that's standard consumer behavior, and a fundamental customer right. If a product is substandard, or doesn't do the job you bought it for you return it. Why is an app that you buy any different?
    ...Do you ask the manager at a fine restaurant for your money back if the meal "was not worth buying"?
    If the food that comes to your table isn't what you ordered, or wasn't prepared properly, or was too salty, or didn't meet your expectations in some other way, you send it back. If they don't give satisfaction you leave without paying. Why is an app that you buy any different?
    ...15 minutes is plenty to see if you just download a spam application.
    But not necessarily enough time to fully evaluate a legitimate app.
    ...Seriously, you're talking $2-3 here, it's not like you wasted a month's salary.
    I don't know where your money comes from, but I work hard for mine, and no matter how much or how little something costs, I expect value for my dollar. Anytime you want to throw your $2-3 away, you can throw it in this direction.
    12-15-2010 11:09 PM
  23. Jerzyiroc's Avatar
    This is a damn shame. I dunno what the hell they were thinking. There is NO justifiable reason to change it to 15 minutes. I don't care what anyone says, it's ridiculous. I completely understand the developers POV, but 15 minutes it pathetic At least a couple of hours, even 2 would be reasonable. But 15 effing minutes?! I've dropped almost $150 in apps. I will be spending a lot less money in the market after this nonsense. I don't care that an app may only cost 99 cents or a couple of bucks.. it's the principle. I can see this causing some issues real soon. This isn't going to sold app stealing, if anything its gonna make it worse!


    Btw.... it's petition.. not partition lol..
    Chris Kerrigan likes this.
    12-16-2010 12:32 AM
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