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Apple rejects yoga app for not having automatic charging after trial period

And here we go again: Apple rejects yoga app for not having automatic charging after trial period

Did you like to follow the HEY app controversy in the last weeks? Well here we are with a sequence in the same molds – this time, starring the yoga app Down Dog.

The application, which has been in the App Store for many years, works like so many others in the store: its free version has a limited set of features and, to unlock all the features, it is necessary to make a subscription (from R $ 26 monthly). Users can try the full service for free for a week.


Yoga app icon |  Down Dog

This is where the problem lies: recently, developers tried to send the App Store an update of the application that modified the trials: in this new version, users could test Down Dog and no would be charged automatically after the trial period. Because of this, however, Apple rejected the update.

More precisely, the removal occurred because the app added the trial period option without activating it on the App Store Connect – that’s because the Apple platform requires that trial periods be renewed (and charged) automatically, unless the consumers cancel these tests before they are finished.

The Down Dog developers are against this practice – and they regretted Apple’s decision on Twitter.

Wow! Apple rejected our last update because we refused to automatically charge users after trial periods have ended. They can choose to steal from their consumers who forget to cancel, but we will not do the same with ours. THIS IS A LINE THAT WE WILL NOT EXCEED.

The application team spoke more about the decision not to automatically charge users after the end of the testing period, citing that the practice encourages more consumers to test the services and is more user friendly.

More than that, Apple’s refund system (for users who forgot to cancel their trial periods) is flawed, according to the developers:

We’ve experimented with automatically renewed test periods in the past and they lead to (1) fewer users testing the product, (2) a huge number of refund requests from users who forget to cancel and (3) complete disbelief on the part of of these users when we explain that Apple does not allow us to issue these refunds. […] It is even worse because (1) canceling a subscription is notoriously difficult in Apple Settings, (2) Apple requires users to cancel trial periods at least 24 hours * before * they end, and (3) their website to request refunds occasionally give error after logging in!

That is: so that there is no doubt, yes, the Down Dog update violated the App Store rules and was therefore rejected. The discussion here is about the decency of these rules – a discussion that has come a long way since the first developers accused Apple of predatory and anti-competitive behavior.

So far, there is no sign that Apple will reverse its decision or that the creators of Down Dog will again offer a trial period with automatic renewal. Therefore, the impasse remains – and we will have to follow the scenes of the next chapters.

What do you think?

via Cult of Mac