Google Tightens Play Store Rules to Prevent Subscription Scams

Google has announced a series of new policies in an attempt to make Android’s in-app subscriptions more transparent to users.

Starting on 16th June 2020, apps will be required to be clearer about the terms of their paid subscriptions and free trials, and will need to provide an obvious way for users to cancel them in a quick and simple manner.

In addition to the rules for app developers, the Google Play Store is also providing more information to users directly, notifying them when free trials end or when long-term paid subscriptions are about to renew.

The aim of the new subscription policies is to cut down “fleeceware”, or unclear and misleading subscriptions, where apps are unclear about the terms of their subscriptions and offer free trials in the hopes of tricking users out of their money.

Apps that trick users into signing up for costly ongoing subscriptions are not only making it onto the Play Store, but in some cases, they’ve even entered the top charts.

Google is also introducing new features to provide more information to users about app subscriptions directly. Most notably, users will now be emailed before a free trial or introductory pricing is about to end or when a longer-term subscription is due to automatically renew.

Google will also remind people that uninstalling an app won’t automatically cancel its subscription.

Read more here.

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