Maybe you mistakenly purchased an app from one of the main app distributors, Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Your first thought probably was that it is lost money. Fear no more, that is about to change soon. The Korean Fair Trade Commission ruled that both Apple and Google must revise the terms and condition of their app stores, because some of them are unfair for Korean consumers. The decision regarding the app refunding terms will impact consumers worldwide. Apple remains the top smartphone producer in the U.S and the company will allegedly adapt the app refunding terms for its largest market.
The changes soon to be operated by Apple are expected to be globally expanded, from what Hwang Won-Chul, head of the KFTC’s Adhesion Contract Division declared on Appleinsider.com. Google, on the other hand, will perform the required changes only for Korean consumers. The KFTC’s main concern is to protect the consumers from potential damages undertaken by foreign companies. After the damage is done, the compensation process, when possible, is a burden for the consumers. A KFTC official stated “It is important to protect domestic consumers beforehand from the damages caused by foreign businesses, since compensating for these damages can be tricky after the damages are done. With the amendments, we aim to set orders for the foreign firms as well, who take up a significant proportion in the 2-trillion-won domestic mobile app market”, according to Koreabizwire.com.
The KFTC has a history of obliging online stores to change their app refunding terms
Koreans are among the most avid technology consumers in the world, so the KFTC has to supervise the online activities at a very fast pace. The Commission is not at its first measure of the kind. Priorly, KT Olleh Market, SK T Store, and LG Uplus have all been requested to amend similar changes in March. The Citizens’ Coalition for Economic Justice has been pushing the KFTC to address the issues by legal actions for more than a year.
Apple will be obliged to perform another change as well. The company used to modify the contents of the contracts’ content without prior notification. That will not be allowed anymore. Moreover, refunds will be available for in-app products like newspapers or music files. Before, consumers had to go to ‘Report a problem’ on Apple App Store if they claimed a refund. Each claim was analyzed individually by an Apple employee who could grant or deny them the request. From now on, the process will be automatic, according to Appleinsider.
Google will leave the matter of app refunding terms in the developers’ hands as the Play Store did not feature a refunding option beforehand.