The Fair Trade Commission functioning in South Korea has imposed application stores over the country to eliminate all their non-refundable policies. The Commission hopes that its moves will have influence in other countries as well.
The FTC (abbreviation for Fair Trade Commission) in South Korea has imposed to both Apple and Google to exclude all the clauses referring to the non-refunding terms applies in their Google Playa and Apple Applications Stores. The Commission considers the clauses as being unfair towards the clients.
After this action of the Korean FTC, all Android type applications have canceled their clauses referring to the non-refundable aspect of their products. As a consequence the sellers have to put up new refund policies for their customers. Thus, the applications that automatically took money from the users after the expiring date of the free trial will not be allowed to called “free trails” anymore.
They will now be referred to as paid applications which can be used for free for a short period of time. When this period comes to an end the user has the possibility to decide if he/she wants to prologue the usage period by paying money to the producing company. The users who have managed to download applications that are faulty will have the possibility to recover their money.
The Commission specifically asked suppliers to inform customers of Applications Store about the modification of terms and about the conditions. They have to do this beforehand and thus, give the customers the chance to cancel their actions and receive some sort of refund if they are against the terms. Moreover, the in applications buying can be recovered as well.
The Korean Commission had high hopes that all these actions will definitely be an example for many other countries world-wide, which will take the decision to follow their example of fair trade.
The head of the Fair Trade Commission, Hwang Won-Chul, in Korea declared for the Korean Herald that Google decided to use this policy on the Korean territory only, while Apple is taking into consideration of applying it in all its stores, regardless the country.
The new policy created problems for the suppliers but also for the customers. Thus, if the later somehow brake the terms and conditions accompanying the applications, they will be considered guilty of the damage done. The violation has to be evident and the developer is the one who has the right to complain about the damages done.
Before this action of the FTC, the employees working for the developer were not considered responsible for the damage. With the new law they have to face the consequences of their actions whether they did the damages on purpose or just because they were negligent.
In early spring 2014, the Korean FTC applied corrective measures as such for the applications stores being part of SK Telecom, LG Uplus and KT.