Google failing to pay Android developers
Just wait patiently and you'll get your pennies... probably
Some Android developers aren't getting the money they should, with revenue from web-based sales never finding its way into their accounts because of a problem that's lasted months.
The issue first surfaced at the end of last year, with a few developers noticing a mismatch between sales and receipts, but only some sales are affected so it seems many developers are only just noticing the inconsistency – including El Reg reader Neil Burlock, who is one of the developers being short-changed.
Postings to the Android Market support forum, the merchants have established that it is web-based sales that seem to disappear, and that these can be identified by the addition of a semi-colon to the application name. More recently, a few have even managed to get a statement out of Google, acknowledging the problem and saying that it is being fixed.
We asked Google for more details, and when the developers might expect their cheques, but as of the time of writing it has declined to respond.
More worrying is the number of developers who report they've only just discovered the problem, and how many more are still unaware that their receipts don't match. Web sales may be a minor part of the overall figures, and small developers might not be assiduously checking that Google is passing on every payment, so some developers are only noticing when they happen to have a slow day, or if they stumble across the forum.
Once they have noticed the developers are immediately irritated by the deafening silence from the Chocolate Factory. Despite repeatedly raising the issue over the last few weeks, it is only in the last day or two that developers have received more than a form reply from Google, and even now it's just a message saying the problem is being examined.
There's still a lot of trust in the community – a feeling that the money will turn up eventually, but there's also talk of legal action against Google and, most dangerous of all, the idea of a Developers' Union is being freely discussed. ®
Google REALLY doesn't like talking to people, do they.
I keep an eye on a shop that sells through Google Checkout, and some of the time, incoming orders will go through a 'Customer Review' at Google's discretion. While this review usually takes a couple of hours, recently it's started taking a day or more on some orders. Now usually the 2-48 hour delay isn't really a problem, except that Google puts on the customer's receipts "*Shop name* is responsible for charging and shipping your order. Have questions? Contact *shop name*", so when the transaction doesn't go through within 4.3 seconds, the customers come complaining, wanting to know why *we* haven't charged their order yet, and what *we* are going to do about it.
'Course we can't actually do anything about it, Google doesn't let us override the checks and charge the order, so all we can do is point the customers to the page on our site which was created with the sole purpose of showing them what the status of their orders is and why they shouldn't bother coming to complain to us that they haven't been completed.
Google simply doesn't want to bother talking to customers.
"Google and, most dangerous of all, the idea of a Developers' Union is being freely discussed."
A monopolist to counter the monopsonist? It's been needed by small farmers against supermarkets for years.
SQL injection issue???
"these can be identified by the addition of a semi-colon to the application name"
Sounds like ole Bobby Tables has been at work again...