South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission orders Google and Apple to change app store refund policies

South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission, has ordered both Google and Apple to change their respective policies on app store refunds. The commission expects that its ruling will have an effect on throughout the world.

The Korean FTC stated:

“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.

We expect the measure, aimed at protecting consumers, will have a ripple effect on similar cases throughout the world.”

Google announced that the Google Play Store will institute a refund policy based on the system used by its developers but the new Google refund rules will be in place only in Korea.

Apple has agreed to send out a notice to consumers whenever it makes a change to its contract terms. Apple is considering employing the new policy on a global basis.

Apple currently does not have a way for customers to request a refund on a purchased app. Users can report a problem through iTunes support, and decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. Starting last month, Apple changed its policies and now prevents those who received a refund from re-installing and updating an app. Previously, App Store customers could get refunded on a paid app, and still had the ability to re-install it for free.

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