Apple users buy more app members than Android? Lawyer: no violation but hurt feelings

 Apple users buy more app members than Android? Lawyer: no violation but hurt feelings

According to the survey of surging journalists, in addition to Himalaya, there are pricing differences on Tencent video, iqiyi, baidu online disk, Netease cloud and other apps. For the same member package, Apple users generally charge 20% - 60% more than Android users, and there is no fee prompt in the member purchase interface.

In this regard, on August 30, staff of Himalaya and iqiyi said that the difference in charges was due to the fact that Apple would charge the platform a 30% channel fee when users purchased member packages through apple mobile phones, which was added to the service price.

Whether the platform violates the rights and interests of consumers by distinguishing charges and not clearly publicizing them? According to the lawyers analysis, according to the provisions of Chinas price law, the practices of apple and the platform did not violate the corresponding legal provisions, but Apple users were unaware of the purchase, which hurt the feelings of consumers. It is suggested to mark or remark on the charging interface.

Different charges for Android and apple mobile phone purchase members

On August 16, Ms. Peng used her apple mobile phone to purchase the joint membership service launched by Himalaya app, an audio sharing software. The price of subscription for a year is 268 yuan. But in the process of communicating with her friends, Ms. Peng found that her friends bought the same membership services through Android phones, and the price was only 218 yuan.

Why treat users differently in pricing for the same app and the same service? Should I charge more if Im an Apple user? Ms. Peng contacted the official customer service of Himalaya app platform on this matter. She was told that Apple users paid more for member services than Android users, and the difference of 50 yuan could not be refunded, but could compensate Ms. Peng for three months of VIP members.

The solution was rejected by Ms. Peng. She believes that the platforms failure to explicitly inform consumers when purchasing is a violation of consumers rights and interests. My friends around me basically dont know the existence of differential pricing. No matter what the platform is for, it should at least fulfill the obligation of informing when purchasing.

According to the survey by surging journalists, in addition to the Himalayan app, members of Tencent video, iqiyi, Youku, Sohu and other major video websites also have different pricing between Apple users and Android users.

Taking iqiyi gold VIP member service as an example, the annual price of continuous package is 218 yuan, the continuous quarterly price is 58 yuan, and the continuous monthly price is 19 yuan. However, the annual price of a continuous package is 178 yuan, the quarterly price is 45 yuan, and the monthly price is 15 yuan. In the video platform, Apple users generally pay 4-5 yuan more for membership services than Android users, and 30-50 yuan more per year than Android users. In Netease cloud music, cool dog music and other music software, there are also differential pricing. For example, Netease cloud music black glue VIP, the annual service price of continuous package purchased on Apple mobile phone is 158 yuan, while that of Android users is 99 yuan, with a difference of 59 yuan.

The reporter found that in the above-mentioned app purchase member service and payment interface, there was no hint of price difference between Apple users and Android users.

Platform: Apple charges 30% channel fee

Why Apple users charge more? On August 30, surging journalists contacted Himalaya app on this matter. Its public relations personnel responded that the platform does implement different charging standards for Apple users and Android users, mainly because when users purchase member services through apple mobile phones, Apple will charge the platform a certain channel fee, which is added to the member service fee.

The staff said that if a user has doubts about the cost, they can provide the transaction bill to Himalaya customer service, and the customer service staff will give corresponding feedback according to the bill. As for why the platform agreed to compensate Ms. Peng for three months VIP service, the public relations personnel said it was an example.

On the same day, iqiyi staff also told surging news that the difference is because Apple ID belongs to international payment. Apple will charge the platform a 30% channel fee, which is also one of the member service costs.

In view of this situation, the staff put forward a solution, saying that Apple users can purchase members on mobile browser or other non Apple terminals, such as Android phones and computer web pages, with lower prices, but they can also log in and use member services on Apple mobile phones.

However, if Apples customer service staff cant respond to this issue within 30 days, the companys customer service cant make a refund within 30 days. If Apples customer service department cant make a refund within 30 days, Apples customer service cant make a refund within 30 days.

Lawyer: do not violate the law, but hurt the users feelings

Is the differential pricing reasonable? On August 31, surging journalists asked Wang Yongkang, partner of Shanghai Minglun law firm.

From the perspective of the operators independent pricing power, he said that according to the provisions of Chinas price law, for goods and services that are subject to market regulation price, in addition to the application of government guided prices or government pricing, operators enjoy free pricing rights, and the pricing is based on production and operation costs and market supply and demand. Therefore, the channel fee charged by apple to the platform can be regarded as the operating cost of the platform. The platform has the right to calculate the channel fee in the service price according to the increase of its operating cost, and the consumers will ultimately pay for it.

Wang Yongkang told surging news that the price law does stipulate that operators shall not discriminate against other operators with the same trading conditions when providing the same goods or services. However, as for this incident, the difference in charges between Apple users and Android users is due to different sales channels, which does not conform to the situation of price discrimination, and is not an improper price behavior. Consumers can choose to purchase services through apple mobile phones or Android phones, which is not an infringement of consumers rights and interests.

Just like the car pricing rules, the prices of vehicles sold by different regions and agents are inconsistent, because the purchase prices, preferential ranges and government subsidies of 4S stores in different regions are different, and it is not a price discrimination act. Wang Yongkang said.

In addition, Wang Yongkang believes that although apple and the platform have not violated the legal provisions in the differential pricing, the consumers did not know when they purchased and learned that there was a differential treatment afterwards, which still hurt the feelings of consumers, which will lead to consumers inclined to use Android phones for service consumption or seek other alternative services. The ultimate adverse consequence is for apple to make peace Taiwan undertakes.

In order to avoid ambiguity and disputes, Wang Yongkang suggested that the platform should inform Apple users of the composition of the service price at the same time when publishing the member service price to Apple users, or remark in the interface that the service price includes channel fee.

Surging journalist Li Siwen

Source: surging news editor: Qiao JunJing_ NBJ11279