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Google Sued Over Defective Android Apps

Google may have escaped the class action privacy lawsuit currently waged against its competitors in west Texas, but like Apple, its is facing allegations that operations on its app store are decidedly not on the up and up. A class action suit filed in California by residents Dodd J. Harris and Stephen Sabatino accuses Google of "unfair and deceptive business practices", which include, as the filing states, a failure to maintain "quality control, safety parameters or regulation concerning the sale of Applications".

In January 2012, Sabatino purchased a BitTorrent client called aBTC. However, after nearly an hour he discovered he couldn't download torrents using the application. Meanwhile, Harris purchased "Learn Chinese Mandarin Pro" in December, 2011. Within 20 minutes, he discovered the app didn't function as promised. Unfortunately, Google's refund policy, perhaps aptly described as "almost impossible" in the complaint, allows users only a 15 minute window from the moment of purchase in order to return the app. 

The suit also notes Google's policy of allowing any app to be sold on Google Play with minimal oversight. That policy was designed to encourage openness, but it predictably led to a high amount of Malware. In response, Google added a security layer called Bouncer, which scans apps for evidence of malicious intent. However, Google does not actually test all apps, a policy the lawsuit contrasts unfavorably to both Apple and Amazon. The suit names all California residents who purchased apps which did not function as advertised from the Google Play store. The full complaint can be viewed here.

  • amdfreak
  • reprotected
    Can I sue Google for incompatible apps for my phone? My Galaxy S2 has the model number I9100M, and just because of this one M in here (Bell Canada Galaxy S2), I am cursed of not being able to purchase a few games that were meant to be compatible with the original S2.
  • joytech22
    Ehh I've had many apps like that. I just wait for them to support my phone or tablet.
    Still, it would be nice to have some moderation on the market.
  • Really? You get a guaranteed full refund if you request for it within 15 minutes of purchasing an app but because it took him 20 minutes to realize the app is bad, he's suing?
  • awood28211
    A 15 minute return policy is a little short... I mean how can one fully eval an app in 15 minutes? I know they shortened it to this to keep casual gamers from purchasing and returning without having to pay but in reality it makes no sense to force buyers to purchase from only descriptions, screenshots and reviews and then to find the app doesn't work on a device or is not as advertised and then not have any recourse after only 15 minutes is just silly. I play the official Scrabble app on my phone frequently... and fortunately it's free but it has so many issues that if I had to pay for it I would be VERY disgruntled. Frequent crashes, VERY slow, frequent error messages... and a high probability your opponent is cheating... 15 minutes would have been barely enough time to even start a game let alone determine that the app itself is that unreliable... I love my android but they do need some better safeguards for the consumer in the app store.
  • kooldj
    bring it on bitches, ur tiny arguments will only make em stronger
  • Dantte
    Let me summarize this article: "Its not my responsibility to know what I'm downloading, so I'm going to sue you for my incompetence!"
  • willard
    So I'm not the only one who thinks all the BitTorrent clients on Android are garbage? Tried them all, most failed to work at all, the ones that did work failed to use even 1% of my available bandwidth.
  • tsnorquist
    Wish i could sue google to get Youtube working on my Atrix ... darn thing locks up whenever it feels like it. Have to pull the whole phone apart (Otter Box case) and pop the battery out to fix it =*( **
  • supall
    I'm assuming they don't read reviews?