Some Android apps are being advertised without VAT, currency conversion or card fees applied, meaning customers may be charged considerably more than they first thought.
A reader of Eurodroid went to buy an app called Squeeze Commander – apparently a remote control app for Logitech Squeeze Boxes, not a high-ranking sexual deviant – advertised as costing £2.55.
But VAT then took this to £3.04, before currency conversion then upped it to £3.19. Finally a £1.50 card fee was added and they ended up paying £4.69, almost double the advertised price. Oh dear!
This instance highlights how careful you have to be when looking into the small print of certain cards when you are buying apps, particularly considering a £1.50 charge may be more than you might spend on some apps. Our unlucky customer here is reported to have used a Visa Debit card from Halifax, although we don’t know on which type of account.
It also shows that often costs such as currency conversion and VAT can be left off estimated prices and you should always be wary when looking at what the price does include.
Top three tips to avoid hidden charges on Android Apps
- Check with your bank to find out what your credit card handling fees are and what you’ll be charged for a transaction in a foreign currency. For instance, Natwest’s Mastercard charges 2.75% on foreign currency transcations.
- The ~ symbol in front of an app’s price indicates that that the price has been converted from a foreign currency and is just an estimate, so on the Google Checkout page pay attention to how much VAT is being added on.
- The Android Market lets you obtain a full refund if you’re not happy with your download, as long as you claim within 24 hours of purchase. So if you download an app check the emailed invoice as soon as possible to make sure you’re not charged any hidden fees.