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How to Get a Refund for a Useless Android App?

February 4, 2014

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In the real world, when you buy something, and come to find that the product is faulty or does not perform as advertised, you are given the possibility of returning it in a set time frame, after which you will get a full refund, or a replacement. Even though the manufacturer is losing money by doing this, in the long run, it is a much more favorable way to go, because they will end up losing a larger amount or potential customers because of bad publicity.

When you purchase software, let’s say an Android app, you would expect more of the same: in case the app is faulty, or performs contrary to what is advertised, you return it and get your money back. Unfortunately, that is not the case. The time frame for returning the faulty Android application bought through the Google Play Store is 15 minutes, according to Google’s official policy.

Start the Countdown…

Most Android apps are pretty much straight-forward, but 15 minutes is still not enough time for the user to get aplay store apps good idea of how the app will perform. The return period was shortened to 15 minutes in December 2010, even though it used to be 24 hours. According to Google, that’s more than enough time for users to gauge whether the app is faulty or not. By doing this, they were also able to prevent games from being returned to the store after being played for free for 24 hours. The process of refunding is fairly simple: you go into the Play Store and find the app you are not satisfied with, and choose the “Refund” option and you will get the amount paid for the app. After the 15-minute window, there is no more “Refund” option. The only thing you can do is to uninstall the app in case you are not happy with it.

Just consider the situation where you have downloaded the app, and all of a sudden you need to answer a call which turns out to be urgent, or you happen to be in an area with bad reception. This is not just the case of “what if”, because two LA residents decided to take Google to Californian court in 2012, specifically because of that, although that case hasn’t been concluded as of yet.

Demanding a Refund from the Developer

According to Google, in case you fail to ask for a refund after 15 minutes, the next step you need to take is to establish a contact with the developer, using their contact information provided in the Play Store, or directly through their website. However, this does not guarantee you will be successful, as many developers don’t give refunds, or their policy is written in such a way that makes it hard for you to prove the product is faulty. Unfortunately, some developers employ false advertising, deliberately offering apps that they know are faulty, so taking precautionary measures and reading the reviews is something that is necessary.

Demanding a Refund from Google

Keep in mind that Google doesn’t issue refunds very often. But, looking into section 3.4 of Google’s Developer Distribution Agreement, you will see that Google is able to give refunds for those products which cannot be preview within a window of 48 hours, such as apps. Refunds are not possible for items such as ringtones or wallpapers.You need to log into your Google Play account and choose “My Orders”, find the faulty app and hover the cursor until you are provided with “Report a problem” option. Clicking this will guide to a window where you will choose “I’d like to request a refund” from the drop-down menu. After filling in the text box, clearly stating your reasons for a refund, just click “Submit”.

The Third Option

After the first two options fail, you are left with the possibility of contacting your credit card company and proving there has been a breach of contract. Just to be on the safe side, try to capture screenshots of the faulty app as evidence. With most companies, you have 120 days to file a complaint. After receiving the complaint, your credit card company will notify Google. If the refund amount is less than $10, the developer will be momentarily charged through their Google Wallet account. In case of larger amounts, the developer is notified by Google, which usually leads to communication between you and the developer. In case there has been a clear breach of contract, they will issue a refund.

The best thing you can do for yourself is to prevent getting into a situation like this by avoiding developers with bad reputation and apps with negative reviews. But, in case you make that mistake, you are now familiar with all the necessary steps you need to take to receive a refund.

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Free Web Based Email Clients for Everyone

February 4, 2014

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Having an email address is essential. Immediate transfer of information is part of what has made a global market possible. This is the business standard, but email is also a great way to communicate with friends and family all anywhere in the world.

Choosing the right email client can be like moving to a new home. You give your email address to all the people you correspond with and changing your email can be as difficult as forwarding your mail. It is, therefore, important to find the right email client for you. Email software such as Outlook are options, but for most people, a web based email client is more than sufficient. Below we offer break down the pros and cons of some popular email clients.

Gmail

Gmail is more than just an email client. Their GoogleDrive allows you to store photos, files, attachments, and other documents. Users can also manage multiple email addresses from one inbox. So, you can connect your work and personal email if you choose to do so. The 10GB of cloud storage is plenty for most users, but for some, it can be limiting. Built in chat and video calling also makes it a one-stop-shop for all your communication needs. Gmail does scan emails to tailor ads for you, and that raises red-flags with some users. Check here for some GMail tips.

AOL.com

AOL may seem like a relic of the 90’s, but it’s a perfectly adequate email clients for low-needs users. It’s simple to use and does not have any of the frills of many other popular clients. AOL email is definitely not suggested for people who are managing large quantities of emails. The organizational tools are seriously lacking.

Outlook.com

This is the new Hotmail.com with many improvements. Microsoft’s SkyDrive is cloud based storage with unlimited outlookcapacity for users (compared to Gmail’s 10GB). The social network integration is incomparable, as well. No other email client can boast this. Of course, it’s biggest competition is Gmail. Bottom line, Outlook.com is powerful, easy to use, and free.

Yahoo.com

Yahoo is very popular in the United States, even 15 years after its release. It has changed often over the years, and looks to change even more as it fights to compete with Gmail and Outlook.com. It’s very similar to the email clients everyone used in the 90’s except with a few more enhancements. This, like most of these clients, are available for Android and Apple devices.

That’s a few for you to look at – check them out and see what you think. Everyone seems to have a favorite!

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7 PC Software Troubleshooting Tips

February 4, 2014

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Computer crashes, slow programs, and other computer issues likely stem from software problems. Before calling tech support, there are things you can do to narrow down the issue. As always, document everything you do in case another problem arises or you need to pass the repair on to another person. They will want to know what steps you took. Even most computer novices can tackle some of these troubleshooting tips.

1. Close all other programs.

Free up RAM space by closing out of all your programs. If you are using Windows, open your Task Manager (by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete) to see what programs are eating up the most RAM. It will also tell you what program isslow-pc frozen. You can kill programs with this tool so that you can focus on the program that’s running slowly.

2. Shutdown Your Computer.

Sometimes, all your computer needs is to restart. Once rebooted, you can restart the program you were using – amazing, but it just works!

3. Use the Internet.

The internet is the best resource for troubleshooting software issues. Just use a search engine to find your problem. Forums, tech sites, and blogs have touched on most problems in one way or another. It’s just up to you to sift through the information to find what you need. In some cases, you may even be able to pose a question on a forum for people to help you.

4. Re-install Software.

If you have pinpointed which program is giving you a problem, uninstall the software. Once it is completely clean from your computer, you can reinstall it. Check with the manufacturer of the program to see if any new editions exist. It is possible there are fixes for bugs in the software. Patches may be available at their website for download for free. They will fix any known problems.

5. Boot Up in Safe Mode.

When starting your computer, enter Safe Mode. You can do this by pressing F8 while your computer is restarting. Safe Mode disables non-critical programs, making it safe to replicate the problem. Safe Mode is a great way to isolate issues so you can figure out what is happening and find a solution.

6. Use Anti-virus Software to Scan Your Computer.

Viruses can slow down your computer, so it’s a good idea to make sure a virus isn’t an issue before reinstalling your programs. If you do not already have an anti-virus program, be sure to download one. Then use it regularly to scan your computer for viruses. AVG Free antivirus is worth a look.

7. Check for Firewalls.

If you have any personal firewalls up, it may be blocking your program from installing properly. The firewall prompts users whether or not they want a program blocked. It’s possible you could have told it to block the program even though you did not mean to. Check for this if you know you have a personal firewall enabled.

Just a few to get you started and remember the web is your friend!

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