Fri, Jul 15, 2011 - Page 1 News List

Apple implements seven-day free trial on App Store

UNTANGLED WEB:A Taipei City official lauded the revised service for iPhone and iPad users that is only available in Taiwan, calling it a victory for consumers

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter

Users of Apple Inc’s iPhone and iPad now get a seven-day free trial on application software purchased through Apple’s App Store, Taipei City Government’s Law and Regulation Commission said yesterday after the company informed the commission it had established the new mechanism.

Apple yesterday announced the new mechanism on its Taiwanese App Store Web site, saying customers could return application software for a full refund within seven days of purchase. Customers who return the apps will no longer be authorized to use them.

Yeh Ching-yuan (葉慶元), director of the commission, applauded the new mechanism and said the seven-day free trial mechanism is only available for customers in Taiwan.

“This is a victory for customers in Taiwan and the commission will continue with its efforts to defend the rights of customers,” he said.

The commission had demanded that Apple and Google Inc start offering a seven-day free trial period for customers in accordance with the Consumer Protection Act (消保法), which requires a free trial period of at least seven days for items purchased on the Web because consumers cannot touch the goods they have purchased.

On June 4, the city government gave both companies a 15-day grace period to revise their app sales and service provisions to include a seven-day free trial mechanism, and Apple complied with the request.

Google was fined NT$1 million (US$34,550) by the city government last month for refusing to cooperate and it then removed the paid app section from its online store in Taiwan.

Google sent its Android policy counsel to discuss the issue with the commission on June 30 and agreed to make a final decision by yesterday on whether to cooperate with the city government.

Yeh said the commission had not heard from Google since the meeting last month and the commission would discuss whether to fine the company again if it still refuses to comply with the request.

“We expect Google to follow Apple’s lead and give us a positive response on the matter,” Yeh said.

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