[governance] FW: TP: city government exercising policy on Google Applications / consumer rights / Consumer Protection Act / trial period
Salanieta T. Tamanikaiwaimaro
salanieta.tamanikaiwaimaro at gmail.com
Mon Jul 4 21:11:52 EDT 2011
I personally think that this is a direct IG issue as consumer rights were
one of the key public policy issues that the WGIG had identified, see:
http://www.wgig.org/docs/WGIGREPORT.pdf [ see para 26 in page 8]
2011/7/5 michael gurstein <gurstein at gmail.com>
> I'm not sure if there is a direct IG issue here (?) but this will
> potentially influence the overall policy/regulatory environment and
> attitudes toward international governance regimes I would have thought.
> If Internet delivered context of this kind is subject to domestic
> (municipal?) consumer protection laws then what about for example, Canada's
> laws concerning the requirement for bilingual packaging and so on?
> -----Original Message-----
> *From:* David Sadoway [mailto:bigbluearth at gmail.com]
> *Sent:* Saturday, July 02, 2011 9:40 PM
> *To:* michael gurstein
> *Subject:* Fwd: TP: city government exercising policy on Google
> Applications / consumer rights / Consumer Protection Act / trial period
> BTW this story in quite interesting in that the City Government (Taipei
> City) was recently being quite proactive on this e-governance matter.
> Google pulls paid apps from Taiwan after being fined REFUND:：The US
> search giant, which was fined for not providing seven days of free trial,
> said it was discussing the issue with Taipei City officials By Jason Tan
> / Staff Reporter Tue, Jun 28, 2011 - Page 1
> Taiwanese users of Google Inc's Android Market were left in the dark
> yesterday as the search engine giant removed the paid app section from its
> online store.
> The removal of the paid app section came after the Taipei City Government
> slapped Google with a NT$1 million (US$345,500) fine for failing to offer
> Taiwanese consumers a seven-day free-trial mechanism as mandated by law.
> "We are suspending paid apps in Taiwan while we continue to discuss this
> issue with the Taipei City Government," Google Taiwan said in a statement
> 15-MINUTE REFUND
> "Android Market already provides a 15-minute refund window for all paid
> apps -- which reflects the fact that apps are delivered over-the-air
> instantly and most users who request a refund [could] do so within minutes
> of their purchase," the company said in the statement.
> This policy helps consumers make educated decisions about the apps they
> buy, while enabling Taiwanese developers to manage their businesses
> effectively, the statement read.
> The escalation in the row came after negotiation between Google --
> represented by a lawyer and teleconferencers from its US headquarters -- and
> the city broke down yesterday morning.
> The city government said the suspension was a move to "coerce Taiwanese
> consumers into giving up their rights" and it demanded Google submit an
> "improvisation plan" by Friday.
> The Mountain View, California-based company will be sending officials to
> Taipei on Thursday to continue talks with the city government, while city
> authorities said a second penalty might be imposed depending on the stance
> taken by the search engine giant.
> On Friday, the city government issued Google an ultimatum mandating that it
> introduce a seven-day free-trial mechanism for its Android Market.
> Yeh Ching-yuan (葉慶元), director of the city's Law and Regulation Commission,
> then said a fine would be levied if the firm still refused to abide by the
> Consumer Protection Act (消保法).
> Users of Apple Inc's iPhones or Android-equipped smartphones can purchase
> and download application software through Apple's App Store or the Android
> Market respectively, but neither company offers an extensive free-trial
> mechanism that allows customers to return the programs or be refunded if
> they are dissatisfied or if the goods prove to be faulty.
> 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.
> While Apple complied with the request, Google did not.
> SIGHT UNSEEN
> The Consumer Protection Act requires a free-trial period of at least seven
> days for items purchased over the Web because consumers cannot feel or touch
> the goods before purchase.
> Previously, Web sites have said they were not covered by the law, but last
> year the government said an agreement was reached with Web site operators
> such as PChome Online (網路家庭) and -Yahoo-Kimo Inc (雅虎奇摩) that would see them
> adhere to the free-trial provision.
> APP STORES
> However, "app stores" were not included in last year's deal.
> Yeh said this is because purchasing apps for mobile devices is a trend that
> has only recently emerged in Taiwan.
> The terms of service for the App Store and Android Market both state that
> the two companies are not liable for apps developed by third parties.
> HTC Corp (宏達電), the world's No. 5 smartphone brand, yesterday said it did
> not expect the row to have "much impact" on the sales of its handsets
> because users could download free-trial versions of some apps, before
> finally making a purchase decision.
> HTC is the world's largest producer of smartphones running on both Android
> and Windows operating systems and its first tablet PC -- dubbed the HTC Flyer
> -- as well as recent releases of smartphones all run on versions of Android.
> Published on Taipei Times <http://www.taipeitimes.com/> :
> Copyright (c) 1999-2011 The Taipei Times <http://www.taipeitimes.com/>. All
> rights reserved.
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