Google Checkout Glitch Allowing Paid App Purchases To Clear For Free


Whenever I’ve purchased an app from Android Market, I’ve immediately received a confirmation e-mail stating my credit card had been charged. But a flood of reports from developers claim a recent glitch allow users to download paid apps without ever being charged. The purchase shows as “Charged”, allows download, but never gets processed. Authorization expires on the purchase and that’s the end of the story – user get said “paid” app for free.

The issue has been documented on Google Support Forums and dozens of developers are chiming in to agree with the disturbance. One developer explains (this morning) it isn’t anything new:

This issue has been going on for several weeks.  Sometimes Google fixes it in time and all your past orders are charged, and sometimes they get to it too late and you lose a lot of money.  Looks like this is one of the times we lose money.  I already have a few orders where the authorization expired.

How is it possible for a company as huge as Google to be this negligent with developers?

That sounds like trouble and I’m sure this sore spot will be addressed by developers and Google engineers alike at IO sessions over the next couple days. Are you a developer that has been affected by this? If so, how much money have you lost because of the glitch?

Hopefully Google addresses this soon… because many devs work their butts off for every sale- it sucks to not get the sales you’ve earned.

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

Old iPhone Outselling Motorola Atrix, HTC Inspire at AT&T?

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  1. Why IS Google unable to work out bugs like these?

  2. It seems to me that Google owes these devs some money. They can afford it.

  3. This has affected me. It’s really hard to tell how much I’ve lost so far, since Google Checkout has such a convoluted interface. All the orders APPEAR as if we’re getting paid, but if you look closely, you’ll see they never get charged. By my estimate, I’ve lost about $65 so far, but if they don’t fix this in the next day or so it’s going to go wayyyy up from there :(

  4. I have been able to buy things without paying for it… All I did was buy a cash card. Put some cash on it. I Let the cash run out, and google still lets me buy stuff with an empty, but valid card…
    That is the problem

    1. That’s not the problem. This is happening with a ton of orders, not just with orders from scammers like you.

      1. I did not mean to do it. It was a mistake. I have never done it since.
        and i did end up returning the app and re buying it. I understand, I am an app developer myself. I am just pointing out a problem with google’s authorization process.

  5. I was playing in my merchant account earlier and noticed 2 sales right next to each other that never got charged.. I will look into it more later tonight..

  6. I’ve seen this happen often with our apps. It’s rather frustrating. Google never gave us money back for all of their mistakes. Seems to me like they should! They made the mistake of not processing an order properly. We should not be the ones to suffer. Especially since we are paying them to process these orders (see the 30% off the top they take from us).

  7. wow, not cool, come to think of it, the app i bought the other night never got billed, and it’s a good dev and a great app, i will see what i can do it is called track it deluxe and it was only $1.75 Usd this is more than a little bug for sure

  8. The market has way too many problems, this is just one of them.

  9. I purchase a lot if apps….some I keep some I don’t, but I expect google to bill correctly, I paid for the app. If google did not get my payment for the devs that angers me….they deserve to be paid for the work they do.

  10. OMG, reading this I just found out that the last Google Checkout receipt I got dates from December last year. I must have ‘bought’ a bunch of apps since January but haven’t received any receipts for them. Does this mean the dev didn’t get paid???
    That would be really sad… I just push the ‘Purchase’ button in the market and expect everything to be fine…

  11. As stated many times, this is just another thing that doesn’t work on Android Market and Google doesn’t even tries to fix it. Slowly I’m about to leave the development for Android. My dissapointment with the platforrm grows day by day. Not to mention the piracy. One of my game (ConnecToo) sold cca 460 copies, but install count provided by says there are more than 60k installs worldwide (over 50k installs are in Asia, but anyway…)

  12. Major fail on googles part….can’t believe this has gone on for so long apprantly. Would love to hear what Google has to say on this matter

  13. wow Just when I started to believe we’re going to get decent apps and games…
    Android still has a long way to go unfortunately..

  14. Another fail by Google. I doubt they reimburse the developers.

    This should open the eyes of some of you who believe the Google App Market comes anywhere close to Apple’s App Store.

  15. Now if I could just get this to work on that overpriced but awesome 3D Shell launcher.
    (I kid, I kid)

  16. Watch Google say “lol sorry” and fix it without giving the devs a damn thing

    This is why I hate trying to be an Android dev, which sucks because I really love Android.

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