Space Ramblings

Google Backs Down From Eviliness

As some of you may remember Google had announced that its attempt at a paid Google Video model had failed miserably (of course Google never actually admitted that anymore than it admitted Froogle had failed and was being put to sleep in the next barn over) and generously offered its paid Google Video customers, Google Checkout credits while taking away the videos they had bought. Oh and the Google Checkout credits were only good for 60 days.

Google Checkout was of course Google’s attempt at competing with PayPal, that is itself as doomed as Froogle or Google Video’s paid videos, and not only had Google deprived users of what they paid for legitimately but instead of refunding their money, it was tossing Google Checkout credits at them and pretending it was a refund. Credits only good for 60 days.

Well the people wept, wailed and protested and the Google Fanboys blamed the MPAA, as if the MPAA forced Google to provide credits instead of refunds and eventually Sergey Brin listened. From the Google Blog;

“To recap: we decided to end the Google Video download to own/rent (DTO/DTR) program, and are now refocusing our Google Video engineering efforts. The week before last, we wrote to Google Video DTO/DTR program customers to let them know that videos they’d already bought would no longer be playable.”

Translation. Google Video failed. We’re looking at another model. The videos you bought are no longer workable.

We planned to give these users a full refund or more. And because we weren’t sure if we had all the correct addresses, latest credit card information, and other billing challenges, we thought offering the refund in the form of Google Checkout credits would entail fewer steps and offer a better user experience.

Instead of giving users a refund in actual money, we decided to use the opportunity to promote our Google Checkout service and gave users limited credits instead of a refund on their money.

We’re giving a full refund — as a credit card refund — to everyone who ever bought a video. We’ll need you to make sure we have your most recent credit card information, but once we know where to send the money, you’ll get it.

Bingo, now was that so hard? Users paid for it with credit cards. As in real money. Transferable money. They have a right to get that money back.

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