South Korean Fair Trade Commission: Apple must change App Store refund policy

“South Korea’s antitrust watchdog said Sunday that it had ordered Google and Apple to revise unfair provisions, including the no-refund policy, in operating their mobile application stores,” Shin Ji-hye reports for The Korea Herald. “It is the first time that an antitrust body here has taken corrective action against international app store operators.”

“Following the FTC orders, the Google Play webstore will design a customer refund system based on Web developers’ refund polices. Apple’s iTunes app store will have to send a notice to users when it changes the terms in its contract,” Shin reports. “‘The FTC’s corrective orders will become benchmark cases for other countries, which face growing customer complaints over unfair provisions in contracts of mobile webstore operators,’ said Hwang Won-chul, head of the KFTC’s Adhesion Contract Division. ‘While Google will limit its response to the FTC to the domestic market, Apple said it would consider applying the revised contract terms globally,’ he added.”

Read more in the full article here.

8 Comments

  1. Looking forward to this, hope it does roll out globally.
    The amount of pricier apps I’ve bought based on glowing reviews that turned out to be not what was expected and deleted after being opened a few time has made me not trust any of the review sites

    1. Good point.

      I was going to comment that it’s difficult to ‘refund’ after software purchases due to it being code that can continue to exist on the customer’s computer, as opposed to being object matter that can be taken back from the customer. But there are ways to deactivate software, to require registration verification over the Internet in order for it to work, etc. Revocation of registration is annoying and I’m not sure it’s necessarily Apple’s job to create such a system.

      But most certainly, there is plenty of crapware up on the Apple iTunes App Store, some of which is most definitely being hyped by way of a deluge of SCAM positive reviews. I ran into such an app just last month. Such scams are extremely well known from the past. It is disheartening that Apple has not stopped this from happening. I always wonder how these SCAM reviews are perpetrated. I’ve read a couple opinion articles assuming that the crapware’s developers are buying back their own software with multiple generated FAKE user IDs then using those FAKE IDs to post the SCAM positive reviews.. But I have to wonder if something more nefarious is going on, such as a backdoor into the reviews process. It’s a problem.

      1. DC, First, this is not focused at just you…. but to all the others who have also said…….you said ” It is disheartening that Apple has not stopped this from happening.”.. Yep, right up there with global malware, viruses, theft, disease, and you name it. Apple should just….. stop it…!! After all, they have tons of money and that should be the only tool they need…..

        Yep its easy to say that, but how do you do that and still allow all the good stuff we like so much to happen also?????

        The key to many peoples complains these days is that its easy to say…. just stop it…..just do it…… just what ever… but these same people have absolutely NO CLUE on how to do it…

        If I can drive to Boston, then you should be able to fly to the moon and back. Its easy. Just do it… LOL After all.. ” Such scams are extremely well known from the past. It is disheartening that Apple has not stopped this from happening.”

        Just because we know that physical crime is not good, we do not know who is going to commit the crime, when they will commit it, or where. The police should just stop it from happening…. Right??

        Just saying.

        1. I spoke from the point of view of one of a gang of people who outed the coerced and faked reviews of MacKeeper over at MacUpdate. It took a couple years of bringing ZeoBit’s crooked behavior to the fore, but we got MacUpdate to dump ZeoBit as an advertiser on MacUpdate. We also got the Mac community in general to understand what ZeoBit was doing and shun their crapware. It went so far that ZeoBit ended up selling themselves to new owners. With patience, we were successful.

          I do the same thing with a lot of issues, situations, companies. I can point to Time Warner Cable whom I outed as scandalously abusive to their customers in a series of blog articles. That work assisted in getting rated at the absolute bottom of the customer satisfaction scale. These days Time Warner is trying to sell off that part of their business to Comcast, for whatever that’s worth.

          IOW: NEVER mistake me for someone who doesn’t work to solve the problems I identify in the world. I’m extremely good at both identifying and solving problems within a variety of endeavors and interests. There are several such people around here at MDN.

            1. I enjoy making the most of harmonic resonance. Visiting people’s home’s I’ve often ticked them off by finding the resonance frequency of the room where I am sitting by waggling my leg up and down until I hit the frequency where the room begins to shake. They look at me like “What the HELL are you doing?!” It’s fun.

  2. Wow, and I thought our news articles were crap. The article says nothing about apps or the apps store policy. It says

    “Currently, users are not able to get their original phones back from repair shops after they have their phones repaired. We will file a complaint against it (Apple) to see if that is also an unfair sales practice,”

    And that line is in the last paragraph!

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