Google Updates Play Store Policies to Put an End to Deceptive Subscription Offers
Google on Thursday announced an updated Play Store subscription policy as part of a broader policy update that seeks to put an end to deceptive subscription practices by unscrupulous app developers.
In an official blog post announcing the changes, the company said that banning apps that trick users into signing up for services and in-app purchases will improve the subscription experience and foster a trustworthy relationship with users.
The goal of the policy update is to ensure that the language being used by publishers to sell in-app items and subscription services is lucid enough for all users to understand. That includes not only the subscription itself, but also the terms of free trials and introductory offers, and how to manage their subscription via the Play Store.
Cancellation policies should also be mentioned in clear terms where applicable, said the company. Developers have until 16th June, 2020 to comply with the new regulations.
As part of the new policy, Google says publishers will now have explicitly mention the most important terms of subscription, including the cost and the billing cycle (whether weekly, monthly or annual, etc). Any free or introductory offer should also clearly mention the duration of the offer and the pricing after the offer period is over. Most importantly, the app must clearly disclose how a subscriber can cancel or manage their subscription(s).
The new policy is part of Google’s continuing efforts to make publishers transparent about their subscription offerings on the Play Store and to ensure that all users can eventually make an informed choice before they sign-up for a service or make an in-app purchase. “We believe that although these changes may lead to fewer conversions or more subscription cancelations in the short term, they will also result in higher quality, more committed subscribers with lower refund and chargeback rates,” said the company.
Featured Image Courtesy: Google