Google play gay app billing in country where being gay is illegal


New member
Jul 25, 2022
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I live in the middle east and contact google play chat to ask if I can get discreet billing because billing of gay dating apps to my middle east credit card can potentially open me up to criminal prosecution. Homosexuality is punishable by death in the country I live in. Below is a copy of the chat transcript. How do I obtain proper support for this issue?

2:19:59 Emma: Emma joined the conversation
2:20:04 Ruben A: Ruben A left the conversation
2:20:11 Emma: Thanks for waiting.
2:20:13 Emma: Thanks for contacting the Google Play Support. My name is Emma. I'll be assisting you today.
2:20:20 Emma: Hello USER.
2:20:51 USER *****: hello
2:22:09 Emma: Please allow me 3 to 5 minutes while I check the previous interaction.
2:32:43 USER *****: hello
2:32:58 USER *****: Did you leave this chat?
2:34:41 USER *****: hello
2:36:14 USER *****: hello
2:40:23 USER *****: hello
2:42:37 Emma: Apologies for the delayed response.
2:42:54 Emma: I was unable to see the chat window due to technical issue.
2:43:01 USER *****: yes you said 3 to 5 mintues and it's been over 15 minutes
2:43:09 USER *****: I thought you left the chat sesson
2:44:13 Emma: Thanks for staying connected.
2:44:24 Emma: I appreciate your patience.
2:45:58 Emma: I understand that you are concerned about unauthorized charges.
2:46:36 Emma: I will certainly look into this for you and assist you better with exact information.
2:46:47 USER *****: They are not unauthorized charges. I don't think you fully read the chat session
2:47:02 USER *****: Can you please read the chat transcript.
2:47:18 USER *****: I live in the Middle East where homosexuality is punishable by death and grindr is blocked without the assistance of a VPN, despite your safety measures you still bill me on my Middle East credit card with *grindr*. My billing is done through google pay. Is there anyway you could consider working with payment apps such as google to change the name of how you bill subscribers in countries such as mine. The google pay method is under my US profile so I am not sure if this is the issue. Or if the way to have a generic billing name on my credit card is to bill directly through Grindr but you need to have find safer ways to bill your customers. Even a service such as Squirt uses generic billing to avoid their name showing up on subscribers credit cards. Could you not do the same?
2:47:38 USER *****: You need to provide protection to your customers where homosexuality is illegal and provide discreet billing
2:51:36 Emma: Thanks for being more specific.
2:52:21 Emma: I understand that you don't want Grindr to be visible on the billing statement.
2:52:32 Emma: I will assist you better with exact information.
2:52:42 USER *****: correct even Tindr might cause issues
2:53:06 USER *****: and hornet, but for the latter I cancelled my subscription.
2:53:40 Emma: I can totally understand you for being a customer myself in the first place.
2:55:57 Emma: However, Google is just a payments platform. Your bank is the one who is the actual payment provider.
2:56:36 USER *****: Yes but you bill my credit card as Google pay *grindr*
2:56:37 Emma: I request you to contact your payment provider.
2:57:21 USER *****: if I contact my credit card company they will alert authorities that I am using a gay app, which will open me up to prosecution. Are you aware of what you are asking me to do?
2:58:54 USER *****: You're asking me to contact my credit company so they can turn me over for criminal prosecution. Homosexuality is punishable by death here. What is it that you don't understand. Are you trying to have me prosecuted? which is what could happen if I follow your advice.
2:59:33 Emma: Please check with your bank as they are payment provider. Google is just a payments platform. We do not have access to their servers.
3:00:18 USER *****: Excuse can you please read what I just wrote to you. You are not understanding the spuriousness of your advice. if I contact my bank I face arrest.
3:00:35 USER *****: Do you understand. if I contact my bank i can be arrested
3:01:22 USER *****: Is there someone I else I can speak to please. Can you transfer me to another agent
3:01:46 Emma: I can understand and as mentioned, Google Play is just a payments provider. We don't have any authority to make changes. Please contact your bank.
3:01:59 USER *****: Can you please transfer me to someone else.
3:01:59 Emma: In order to assist other waiting customers, I'll have to finish up this chat for now. If you have any other follow-up questions please feel free to contact us again or visit Google Play Help at you for contacting the Google Support team. Have a wonderful day ahead!
3:02:04 Emma: Emma left the conversation


Feb 23, 2011
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I would suggest talking to the app developer for other billing options. Those types of sensitive services often have discrete billing when purchasing direct from them.

Mr Bojangles1

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2019
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Get a prepaid debit card and use that to make the purchase. It won't be traced back to you because it's not linked to anything. You just load money on it at a store that does it.

Javier P

Feb 21, 2014
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Welcome to the forums. Have you checked if you can pay the app subscription with Play Store Gift Cards? I've just read that it's possible and it could avoid your billing problem.