I should make it clear first that I enjoy paid apps and I like both iOS and Android devices.
Sometimes I favor Android over iOS because of the flexibility it gives to users. Sometimes I favor iOS because the overall experience is more consistent. To be honest, I don\’t want to favor which technology is better (and so on and so forth..) because that\’s the time you get bias and start to look at products and services subjectively.
So I\’m done with my little disclaimer. Let me start telling you my experience in getting $0.10 apps from Android Market yesterday. It was weird and I was confused what actually happened.
I paid an app featured in 10B Celebration which is SketchBook Mobile (SBM).
Since the featured applications will be replaced after a day, I expected that the change will appear late in the morning, not late in the evening because I supposed the Android Market is following the US timezone (but I\’m not). So I went ahead and bought an app that I was interested.
In the middle of my transaction Google replaced the 10 featured apps. I didn\’t know that Google replaced the listed apps already; I just realized what happened after I have paid already and went back to the list of featured apps.
Here is the transaction:
I checked the status of the order and it looks that I still got the app for $0.10… However when I look at the real transaction registered on my credit card, it reflects that the amount processed was $0.99. I got an SMS confirming the transaction so I know how much was processed immediately.
But I thought I bought it for $0.10? Where did the $0.99 price came from?
I did a little investigation. According to AppBrain, SketchBook Mobile was worth $1.99 before the sale and yesterday it was $0.10. So how come I was charged $0.99? It wasn\’t the normal price and the last time it was worth $0.99 was back in Nov. 26, 2011.
Typically, to protect shoppers from price fluctuation the value of the product or service in the shopping cart is the basis of price on billing. I don\’t know how Google handles price fluctuations but I\’m not impressed because this $0.10 app turned out to be $0.99 — that\’s 10x higher than the promo price. I\’m not sure if this could happen outside promotions but it\’s something to worry about.
For your reference, the apps get replaced at around 01:00 PHT UTC +8 hours or 09:00 PST UTC -8 hours. I\’m not sure if this is true for all countries so let me know. This is just a heads up that if you are going to buy any app in the Android Market during the 10B Celebration promo (which runs until December 16, 2011) you should buy the featured apps an hour before Google replace the featured apps to avoid the problem that I encountered.
I know it was a measly amount but the discrepancy in the transaction value ruined the celebration experience for me and it was disturbing. What if this happens on my future normal transactions?
I emailed AutoDesk about this but after over 36 hours I haven\’t heard from them yet.