Developers Frustrated By Android Market Payment Issues

We’ve heard our share of app store woes in recent weeks, but here’s one that’s unfortunately still in progress. A number of Android app developers have been claiming on the Android Market support forum that the amount of money they’re being paid doesn’t match up with the number of apps they have actually sold.

The problem began on July 26, when a beleaguered dev posted the following:

something I noticed the last 2 days: the list of orders in the payout doesn’t match the list of charged orders. And I don’t mean that I miss one or two orders… no I’m getting payed out for less than the half of all orders!

From what the developers were able to piece together, the thread that connected their uncounted purchases was that they were all made through the Android Market’s web store. Customers’ credit cards were apparently charged and marked as shipped through Google Checkout, but with no corresponding payout to the developers.

Much discussion ensued during the next nine days, until Google finally made their official response:

Thanks for posting and for your patience. We’re aware of the issue, and we’re working on fixing it. Once the fix goes out (soon!), orders should be moved to the correct state, which will enable disbursement amounts to be recovered. So if your July activity payouts were underpaid, you will be notified, and your September 1 payout will contain the missing amounts.

According to Google, there is no official ETA for a fix, but they have been proactive in contacting the affected developers by email notifying them of the situation.

While we have every confidence that Google will eventually make things right, a little transparency could have gone a long way here, especially considering how valuable independent developers are to the success of the platform. The devs affected have been more than patient, but it never hurts to call attention to ground-level problems like this just to keep big companies like Google honest. It’s also possible there are more out there who haven’t heard from Google at all, and are simply baffled by their low receipts (you might want to check yours, just in case). Help should be on the way; be sure to voice your support concerns officially with Google and hopefully things will be resolved soon.