Google updates Distribution Agreement, gives devs 3 days to respond to inquiries

Google today announced changes to the Developer Distribution Agreement that should make things a little easier on us, the paying customer.

Three things of note:

  • Developers who offer paid applications or in-app purchases will have three business days to respond to customer support inquiries, or 24 hours if it's something "stated to be urgent by Google." Contact info must also be correct, and Google now has more leeway to pull apps that are deemed security risks. That could get interesting. (Section 3.6)
  • Google's updated some of the marketing language, crossing the i's and dotting the t's — wait, reverse that — so it can promote apps and introduce new features more quickly and easily. (Section 5.1)
  • And Google's updated some of the language regarding the VAT tax for customers in the EU. It'll now handle VAT tax for apps and content — devs won't have to do a thing on that end. (Section 3.4)

You can read the full Developer Distribution Agreement here (opens in new tab).

Phil Nickinson
  • Wow.... This is good news but I don't see how some of these companies will be able to comply. Companies like Gree hardly reply at all and when they do it's at least a week later and a computer/generic "if you're still having difficulties contact...." Hopefully this helps straighten things up.
  • EFFing EA has never responded to me about Games that freeze just booting up, to the point I had to restart my phone, and it was a current Gen phone, they wouldn't refund me either or help in any way. EA is great at console games but they suck at android. At least Gameloft games got better, but they don't respond either. Most smaller Dev's are really great at responding and offering help, and even refunds after the fact. I have been given free stuff from smaller Dev's to help them test out games and apps and report my findings back to them
  • Phil. Moto x review please. It is time. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's going up in a bit.
  • 3 days or 3 working days? Posted via Galaxy ace plus running Speedmod 2.5 with Xposed
  • Don't just read the headline, m'kay?
  • Sorry. I'm a skim reader. Posted via Galaxy ace plus running Speedmod 2.5 with Xposed
  • Glad to see devs being held accountable.
  • How can google do this when they don't do it with their own apps?
  • Yup, this is just plain hypocritical.
  • Did you pay for a Google App?
  • +1 Some people really need to read the full article.
  • Uh I pay for play music all access and they have never replied to any of my support queries...
  • I've gotten a reply the same day for a refund. So that's a lie Posted via the Android Central App
  • I complained about something and they CALLED ME like 10 minutes later. I think it was pretty intruding but ... hey ... GOOGLE F*CKING CALLED ME!!!!
  • This will just push free apps that use ads or are loaded with IAP (If those count as non-paid apps). My guess is Google knows this will just get devs to offer free apps with ads more though since that's Google's bread and butter. No thanks Goog, I am getting mighty sick of your crap. i wish Windows Phone would take off a little more.
  • How so? "Developers who offer paid applications or in-app purchases"
  • Yep just saw that. This will push free ad based apps then.
  • Yeah, that would suck...
  • Yes with the the nexus 5 phone purchase I paid to use their stock apps that came on the phone. Hangouts had MMS bugs that google neglected and I gave them 350 plus tax/ship to have a phone that couldn't receive picture messages. I've also paid for their apps when I have given them data they have profited off.
  • Well sure. If you wanna go ahead and re-define things any way that you want, you can go ahead and create your own little world and live in it while you're at it. You were also free to return the phone and get something else and use somebody else's services. Hint: You don't even have to use hangouts as your SMS/MMS client. I'm not apologizing for Google here, but it's pretty clear that it only applies to paid apps and apps with in-app purchases as defined by the Play Store, not by the osiris355 entitlement store.
  • It's nice for Google to say developers have to respond to queries in 3 days, but how are they going to enforce it? They can't possibly monitor all the comments and complaints posted in the store. I've got a couple of apps whose developers appear to have abandoned them. This won't do anything to get me support for those.
  • Maybe non-replying will be consider a valid reason for a refund. People will react better when it costs them money. The world of apps nowadays is sick, while they are cheap there is way too much garbage around and we all were biten multiple times with paid apps that sucked and no chance to get a refund. This is a very know story for everyone who buys Android games: - Buy game. You have now 15 minutes to decide if you keep it or apply for a return.
    - Start game
    - First think the game says: You have to download 1GB of data before you play
    - The server hosting that 1G is bloody slow. It takes 2 hours to finish.
    - The games does not run on you phone
    - You can't get a refund because the 15 minutes are over Goole increased that trial window to a couple of hours some days ago. And now this, I see Google is finally understanding we are getting ripped off. Next step will be to force all developers to accept refunds (except "one shot apps" because it won't be fair, like rooting apps).
  • This is a bit hard on lone developers. It means they have to keep working while on holiday. Posted via Android Central App
  • True, but I think it's more like a recommended action. They wrote later that if you don't do it, end users might complain and give you low ratings...
  • Now will Google equally respond as fast if an app has been silently taken down from their end? If I recall correctly, some app lile reddit sync were temporarily taken down by an now invalid DMCA request, and it took several weeks to the app to be reinstated.