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Android Becoming Less Transparent? Google Closes Developer's Complaints Forum

Android Becoming Less Transparent? Google Closes Developer's Complaints Forum

A new change to the Android Market forum will shut developers out of the discussion, leading some to claim that Google is becoming less open when it comes to developer's complaints. 

Up until now, the developer's forum on Android Market's site has been a place where developers could openly discuss their frustrations with the Market and try to get answers from Google or other developers. Sure, it  wasn't always the most helpful place to get your questions answered. Queries often languished for weeks if they concerned specific problems. But if developers had a similar problem as you, the forum became a great way to pressure Google into answering.

A good example of crowd-sourced complaining occured in late July when Google failed to pay some developers in a timely manner. Many developers noticed they were experiencing the same issue and they publicly discussed and dissected the issue until they finally received an official response from Google.

Perhaps embarassed by the public flogging, Google is now shutting down the entire developer's complaints forum. Developers are now urged to contact Google directly with specific problems. The problem is that the company now controls what kind of issues developers can complain about directly to them –and payment issues are nowhere on the list.

Some developers think that Google's promise of one-on-one contact is misleading since the company very rarely responds to individual complaints. One comment from Reddit reads:

The problem from a developer's point of view is that emailing them in the past was an exercise in futility that, if you were lucky, resulted in a canned response. The forums were basically the only place you could go to see if others were having the same problem as you and if Google had responded. 

And with the forum gone, it's not clear where developers can now turn to get their questions answered. 

Source: Google

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  • We, developers, helped build their android market. We *pay* google money to use their market. We constantly answer user questions about market problems (and they happen a lot).

    Yet, they don't have the courtesy to email prior to suspending apps. Why not help good developers do a better job. To make matters worse, they don't even answer questions afterwards leaving developers in limbo as what to do next, and worried that more apps can going away or even entire account going away.

    Google, is worse than Apple. For normal mistakes (not fraud), Apple will notify you why a release is rejected and you can fix it and resubmit release. Vague description, but better than nothing. Google will just kill your app with a robot. Apple cares about their good developers. Google is cold and heartless.

    I'm on App Store, Android Market, App World, and plan to support Phone 7 as well (just too busy right now to finish port).

    Good luck to everyone,

  • You need 10 post to post on xdadeveloper. So it is basicaly closed for new accounts.

  • Exactly.

  • Google customer service sucks.

  • As Android grows and grows this was bound to happen.

  • The end of transparancy, I guess.

  • Sure but good customer service is expensive and users are almost never satisfied (just look at airlines). I can see why Google is changing its model.

  • People will just have to stick to XDA Developers for help because no one at Google is taking the time or effort to help fellow developers out. That's really a sad situation in the light of Microsoft coddling developers with free phones and promises of greater support. Obviously, it's all a bunch of hot air, but Google should do a better job and identify itself as a developer-friendly company. After all, we don't want them all migrating over to Amazon.

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