Google Fined $34,480 By Taipei City Government Over Short Refund Window

Taiwan’s consumer law watchdog has fined Google over its 15 minute refund window for paid apps on its Android Market app store.

Google’s Android Market store allows users to return paid apps for a refund if they don’t like it within 15 minutes of purchasing them. However, Taiwan’s consumer law mandates that consumers must be able to return a commodity within seven days of purchasing it.

The consumer authority found Google in violation of the law and slapped a fine of NT$1 million or $34,480. The Taipei City government has threatened Google with another fine if it does not present a proper plan to improve Android Market by July 1.

Google on the other hand, has stopped selling applications for its Android platform in Taiwan after the fine and has claimed that week long refund window will harm developers.

“We are suspending paid apps in Taiwan while we continue to discuss this issue with the Taipei City Government,” Google said.

“Android Market already provides a 15-minute refund window for all paid apps — which reflects the fact that apps are delivered over-the-air instantly and most users who request a refund [could] do so within minutes of their purchase,” the company added.