Apple offers App Store seven-day refund policy for Taiwan

Apple will reimburse customers within seven days after purchase of a product on its Taiwan App Store

Apple has amended its App Store policy in Taiwan, allowing customers to receive a refund within seven days of buying a product after a demand by Taipei's city government.

Apple declined to comment on the change. But the company's terms and conditions for its Taiwan App Store have been amended to include a statement saying users can be reimbursed within seven days of receiving the purchased product once all copies are deleted. The new change appears to make Taiwan's Apple App Store the only one with such a refund policy.

In June, Taipei's city government had urged Apple to change its return policy for its App Store to meet the city's consumer protection act. A city government committee advocated for a seven-day period where users could test the software on their phones and receive a full refund if needed.

The committee chairman also warned that if Apple did not comply, the company would be fined up to NT$1.5 million (US$51,988) for violating the law.

Taipei's city government believes Apple took the correct approach by making the changes, said Guo Tingguang, a spokesman for Taipei's Law and Regulation Commission. The city government's next step is to work with Apple to provide more Chinese translations for the products on its App Store, since many only have English descriptions, he added.

Taipei's city government also demanded Google make the same changes to its Android Market for Taiwan. The two groups are still in talks. But the city government has given the company two weeks to meet the requirement. "After two weeks, we will then determine what action to take, but right now we don't have a specific stance," Guo said.

At the end of June, Taipei decided to fine Google NT$1 million ($34,658) for not changing its refund policy. Google currently allows users a 15-minute window for customers to receive a refund after the purchase is made.

Google said it has not made any change to its Android Market refund policies and disagrees with the city's interpretation of the consumer protection act, according to a company statement. Google is currently appealing the city government's fine through the Taiwanese legal system.

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