Google in app purchase horror story

I have gone through standard channels — contacting dev, credit card company, and finally google play support — and would like to share an experience regarding google play in app purchase. All my efforts have done very little to stop shady developer from pocketing money and not rendering subscription based service.

I have paid for an annual subscription for Tinder on July 29 2016. I was not able to get account verified (SMS code never arrives) — this is a required step in order to use tinder — and contacted dev via email — it was only way to contact them. Dev suggested standard boilerplate responses such as try updating the app, etc which I knew wasn’t going to solve the problem as I tried this on three different devices. To make it worse after few email exchanges dev stopped replying at all.

I filed request with google and google refused to refund as “all in app purchase refunds” are at sole desecration of developer. With developer ignoring me, I was left with no choice but to file credit card dispute. Fast forward two months, I have finally gotten a response saying I need to provide proof of app not functioning in “writing”…. This is impossible task in a digital world. I can do video chat to prove subscription not functioning however this seems not something any of these parties are interested in, especially the credit card issuer. I believe this is more than just a one shady dev problem. Google needs to enforce better customer service policy on merchants, instead of just passing the blame and telling people to solely deal with developers. Shady developer in turn tells people “its a temporary issue” and buys time until such that subscriber is the one is to blame looking for refund after two months.

Go read reviews on the play store regarding how many people are unable to verify their accounts, or outright unable to login. This is not a temporary issue. Temporary issue lasting two months is not a temporary.

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