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Google Re-Refunds Video Purchases

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the who-would-have-thought dept.

Google 129

holymodal writes "In a new post to the Google blog Bindu Reddy, the Google Video product manager, admits that only offering refunds via Google Checkout was a bad idea: 'We should have anticipated that some users would see a Checkout credit as nothing more than an extra step of a different (and annoyingly self-serving) kind. Our bad.' Google now plans to issue customers a full credit card refund, while allowing them to keep the Checkout credit and extending the life of purchased videos another six months."

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129 comments

google is gay (-1, Troll)

R00BYtheN00BY (1118945) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311041)

google is gay

Re:google is gay (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20311075)

I'd mod you down, but I can't.

Re:google is gay (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20311179)

I was probably like any other fifteen year old when I was growing up, seemingly aways having to fight off a hard-on. Maybe it was hormones, maybe it was because I was still a virgin, but my almost daily jack-off sessions didn't seem to help much. I still wanted to experience the feeling of my dick actually plunging into some beautiful young girl's tight, wet cunt. Hell, she didn't even have to be all that beautiful!

This feeling was driving me crazy. I HAD to have me a piece of ass soon, or I was simply gonna explode! I just couldn't keep out the thoughts of some young girl's pointed, jiggling tits slipping between my lips while my dick plowed between her moist slit.

My imagination, summer bikinis, and dad's PENTHOUSEs helped me to fill out my favorite fantasies of what the girls in my classes looked like naked. Those vivid images of beautiful, naked young girls coming into my room looking at my dick with lust, or my plopping them down on a desk right there in school and fucking our brains out seemed to dominate my every waking moment. Hell, even my nights were filled with wet dreams of these nubile young girls offering their naked bodies to me on sight!

The truth was I had never even seen a live naked girl since I was about seven-years-old playing doctor with a neigbor girl. Even then I didn't know what it was all about, just that my little dick got hard when I touched her bare pussy and that it felt REAL GOOD when she touched my hard dick. 'If only I new then what I know now,' I thought. Furthermore, I was much too shy to even approach a girl my age to ask for a date, much less to ask for a piece of ass or a blowjob.

I was sitting under a tree fretting about all of this one summer day, when I was startled by the voice of a young neighbor girl who had walked up behind me.

"What are you doing out here all by yourself?"

Pauline was a typical eleven-year-old, her body just beginning to show the first signs of maturing into an hourglass shape, but she still was flat-chested. Her personality had definitely not matured, and I even cosidered her to be quite a brat.

"Nothing much, just moping around," I told her.

"What's wrong?" she asked in a soft tone, touching my knee as she sat down beside me on the ground, her small skirt riding up her smooth legs.

I had never looked at her in a sexual way before, but the combination of my frustration and her uncharacteristic soft-spoken manner caused me to take a second look at her. She was actually a very pretty young girl, with long dark brown hair that flowed down onto her flat, preteen chest. Her innocent dark brown eyes looked deeply into mine as she pondered my troubles, and I began to get an idea on how I might exploit this budding motherly instinct of hers.

"Well......, it's just that a lot of the other guys my age have dated girls already," I began, "some of them have even had sex."

I paused to check her reaction. She was still sitting there looking at me intently, her knees pulled up near her chest and her arms draped around them casually leaving her skirt to gape open under her legs. I was sure that anyone passing by would be able to see her panties, but she didn't seem to be aware of her immodest pose.

"I'm just too shy to ask anyone out, though. I guess I'll never have the guts to either."

She sat there silently, bending her head down and resting her chin on her knees. She seemed to be in thought as she began to stare blankly at the ground in front of her, possibly wondering about her own lack of boyfriends and whether she too would ever have the experience of having sex one day.

"Have you ever wondered what it's like to have sex?" I asked her, hoping to guide the situation into a possible encounter.

She looked at me momentarily to see if I was sincere, or just trying to poke fun at her before answering.

"Well...., yeah...., sometimes...., but nobody really likes me much around here. All of the boys in my class just want to play by themselves. I'll probably never have a boyfriend or anything," she said solemnly.

"Have you ever thought about doing it with anybody around here?" I asked, pressing further.

"EEEWWW, NO!" she said, raising her voice defensively.

"Don't get mad, Pauline! I was just wondering." I said, trying to salvage the situation. "I wouldn't tell anybody if you had thought about it."

After that exchange, we both sat silently for a few moments. She resumed her position of resting her head on her knees, and her skirt still left her entire bottom open below her legs. Hoping to get a better view of this sight, I stretched and yawned, feigning fatique. I then bent forward and crawled along the ground until I was stretched out on my side facing Pauline, my feet resting against the large tree. She looked at me momentarily before reaverting her gaze to the ground directly in front of her, resuming her thoughts. I waited until she looked away before looking under her legs, but when I did, I was greeted by the sight of her beautiful tanned legs disappearing into the rumpled bottom of her skirt. Between them was a bright white strip of cotton cloth, covering what I knew had to be her young twat. The tightness of the cloth stretched across her little pussy, clearly identifying just where it was by the indentation of the fabric along the slit. My dick immediately began to respond, and I quickly stuck my hand in my pocket to adjust it before it was too late, leaving it there to help hide the effect it was going to have on my pants.

"I've thought a lot about having sex," I said, looking back up to her eyes just as she turned her gaze back to me.

"Really? Who with?" she asked curiously.

Now she had me on the spot. If I told her all of the girls my fantasies revolved around, it would be just like this little brat to go and tell them. As I studied her face though, I noticed a look that I had never seen before. It was as if she was trying to form a mental image of two people having sex, me being one of them and the other still left blank.

"Well...., I don't know. You might think it's gross if I tell you. What's more, you'll probably go right off and tell them if I told you who it was," I said.

"I won't think it's gross, and I promise I won't tell...., please....." she pleaded.

Now I was beginning to feel I was getting somewhere. I really had her curiosity up, and I even thought that she might even be enjoying this line of conversation.

"Well...., OK," I began. "But you gotta promise you aren't gonna tell. And it's not like I would really do it with them or anything. I've just thought about it, OK?"

"OK, sure!" she replied, just a tinge of excitement in her voice.

"Um..., well..., you know Jodi McAllister? I've thought about doing it with her." I said.

"Oh," she replied, sounding slightly disappointed.

"Yeah, she's got a nice body. Blonde hair....., blue eyes...., and pretty nice tits too! And she's got a REAL nice ass on her!" I said, hoping to get Pauline's gears going.

Pauline raised up, resting her chin on her hands, her elbows on her knees. She shifted her geet out from her body, keeping her thighs together. Her little feet were pointed inward slightly, giving her a very little girlish look. Her gaze seemed to be far off now as she thought about what I had said.

My eyes returned to that magic spot between her legs momentarily, as I pondered how to word my next sentence.

"Who else have you thought about?" she asked in a faraway tone.

"Well...., if you promise you won't think it's gross.....," I said, pausing for a response.

"No..., no, I don't think it's gross!" she said, looking back at me with pleading eyes.

"Well...., I'm kinda embarrased to tell you who else I was thinking about," I said teasingly.

"Aw, c'mon....., I promise I won't tell!" she begged.

"Well...., you really won't have to...., 'cause...., I kinda have been thinkin' about doin' it with you," I said softly, not really lying about it now.

A look of complete surprise came over her face as her head raised from its resting place slightly and her hands came apart. Her mouth gaped open as she took in what I had just said and I noticed a distinct deep red blush spread across her face.

"Larry...!" she exclaimed, not really knowing what to say next.

"Y-y-you've really..... thought about...., y'know..., having sex..... with me?!" she asked in disbelief.

"Well....yeah," I said, more confidently. "You're a pretty girl, and even though you don't really have any tits yet, you still have a nice body."

She blushed again, instinctively reaching down and wrapping her skirt around her legs, drawing them together and hunching over to rest her chin on her knees once more. It was obvious that she had been flattered about my remarks, but at the same time she was totally caught off guard with the thought of someone wanting to have sex with her. I could see her playing out the scene in her mind as she sat there, rocking back and forth slightly.

A long, pregnant pause elapsed before anyone said anything again. It was me who initiated the next question.

"Well..., what do you think?" I asked her. "Do you think you would want to have sex with somebody like me?"

"NO!" she exclaimed. "I couldn't....., I mean....., I'm only eleven-years-old. I shouldn't be doing stuff like that. And besides, you're fifteen!"

"So, I know some girls who did it when they were nine- years-old," I lied.

"Oh yeah....., who?" she demanded.

"Well...., I promised I wouldn't tell. And promises are promises," I said, trying to get myself out of that one.

Pauline thought for a moment before saying, "Well...., I dunno....., I just don't think I better do anything like that."

"OK, OK......, but if you COULD do it, do you think you would do it with somebody like me?" I asked, trying to keep on the topic.

"Well...., I dunno," she said blushing. "I...., I guess so."

I just smiled back at her, "Thanks, Pauline. I needed to hear that!"

She looked back at me, and an embarrased smile flashed across her face as she had to look away. I wasn't through with her yet, however. I just HAD to get something out of all of this. My dick was pressing against my pants with one of the most raging hard-ons I had ever had. I had noticed Pauline looking down at my crotch a couple of times as we had talked about doing it, but I wasn't sure if she saw anything as my hand was still in my pocket, paritally hiding the tent-like effect my dick was having on my pants.

I waited a few more moments before starting again, "You know...., I don't even know what a naked girl looks like."

"What about your sister, haven't you seen her naked before?" she asked.

"Well....yeah. But that was a long time ago, when she was just a little baby. Besides, it's not the same when you see your sister, especially when she's only one-year-old."

I continued to look at Pauline. She was all balled up, and refused to look at me when we weren't talking. I had decided that I just had to at least see her bare little pussy, even if she wasn't gonna let me fuck her. At least I would have something to go whack off with for a while.

"What about you...., would you let me see you naked?" I asked hesitantly. "I'll let you see me naked."

"I..., I don't know. I better not," her voice showing her uncertainty.

"Aw, c'mon Pauline," I begged. "I'll probably never get to see a naked girl until I get married...., if I ever DO get married."

"I-I don't know, Larry." she said nervously.

I could tell she was actually considering it, but she still would have rather I hadn't asked. Even so, the thought of seeing a naked boy probably for the first time intriqued her.

"I'll make it worth your while," I went on. "I'll buy you an banana split when the ice cream man comes by."

She paused for a moment, biting her upper lip as she contemplated my proposal. The agony of the moment was almost unbearable for me.

Finally, she spoke, " Well....OK...."

I almost leaped for joy inside, but I kept my cool on the outside. At least as much cool as I could considering my state of excitement.

"But you've got to promise that you'll not touch me. And you've got to promise not to tell ANYBODY. And you still have to buy me the banana split." she rattled on.

"OK, OK," I interupted, "I promise, I promise."

"C'mon, let's go to my grandpa's barn where nobody will see us," I said, grabbing her by the hand and rushing her away before she had a chance to change her mind.

Grandpa's barn was way off in a field by itself, surrounded by a few old oak trees on the sides and back. He used it mainly to store hay for his cows, and hardly ever came there during the summer. He also kept an old Studebaker out there, and that is where Pauline and I stopped to carry out our deal.

"You go first," I told her.

"Can't we both just go at the same time?" she asked.

"Well...., yeah..., sure," I said almost reluctantly, not wanting to miss one second of her bare pussy being exposed.

"Remember, you can't touch, and you've got to buy me that banana split," she said.

"I know, Pauline. You don't have to keep reminding me," I said, as I unzipped my pants and she pulled her panties down under her skirt.

I quickly shucked my cut-offs down, exposing my underwear and the large bulge sticking out into it. Pauline had bent over to pull her panties down to about her ankles, then stood up, stepping out of them with her left foot and flipping them off with her right. As she stood, she became transfixed by the sight of my bulging underwear.

Knowing that her pussy was naked under her skirt, and that I was about to see it seemed to make my dick even harder than ever. What's more, knowing that my naked cock was going to be so close to a naked pussy, and me not getting to at least stick it in was more than I could bear. I just had to have more than just a look. My mind raced over what I could say to coax her into letting me at least try to stick it in her as we both slowly began to expose our sex to each other.

I bent over as I slowly lifted the waistband of my underwear over my pulsing cockhead, sliding them down my legs. My face was about a foot and a half from Pauline's crotch, as she slowly lifted her skirt. The hem slowly inched it's way up, and just as I saw the first signs of a tiny hairless slit she stopped.

"Well, stand up so I can see it. We've got to do it together," she demanded.

Reluctanly I stood up, my hard dick pointing up at her face at about a 45 degree angle. Pauline gasped as she looked at it bobbing slightly in front of her.

"OK, Pauline, take your skirt off," I said impatiently.

"I'm just going to lift it up so you can see it, I don't want to take it off," she replied.

I was at the point where I didn't care, just so long as I could see her whole pussy. Quickly she jerked her skirt up over her waist to expose my first full view of a live girl's pussy. It was so beautiful, just a tiny little hairless slit laying there between her closed legs. I marveled at the smooth folds of skin, and the lack of anything else around them.

"Spread your legs a little bit, Pauline. I can't really see anything yet," I asked, my voice almost choking in my throat.

Pausing for a second, she then stepped outward with first one leg, then the other, leaving me a clear view of the little line running down her crotch and disappearing up under her. We stood lie that for a little bit, both of us in awe of each other before I spoke again.

"Pauline.....," I began, "Just let me stick it in you one time...., PLEASE! Just one time, that's all."

"I don't know....," she said cautiously, "besides, you said all I have to do is show you my thing, then you would buy me the banana split."

"I know, I know....., but you look so pretty down there...., a-and guys who have done it before tell me that it feels REAL good when you do it. I promise I'll only stick it in and then pull it right back out...., OK?" I pleaded as I watched her let the hem of her skirt relax downward a little as she thought.

"Well.....," she thought for a moment, looking at my cock, "I......, I guess it will be alright....., just one time though."

"OK," I said, "I get to stick it in you all the way one time, then I'll pull it out."

"Then you buy me the banana split," she added.

"Then I buy you the banana split," I acknowledged. "C'mon over here to the car, we can do it in the backseat."

She dropped her skirt back down and stood by the car door as I opened it. Then she jumped in and lay down on her back across the seat, pulling her skirt up. One leg draped off the edge of the seat, giving me my first good look at her whole, hairless little pussy slit. It started just a little ways up the front of her body and continued down all the way between her legs connecting with the crack of her ass, making one continuous line. The lips of her hairless twat were tight together, leaving no clue as to where her little hole might be.

Slowly, I climbed in the car over her until my dick hovered right over the top of her slit. I wasn't quite sure just where it was supposed to go, so without further ado, I began poking at her slit with my dick. The first prod ran along the very top portion of her hairless slit, the head of my cock parting her lips slightly as it slid up and onto her lower belly. She giggled a little bit at this new stimulation, as the shaft of my dick slid against her preteen clit. I raised up and tried again, producing the same effect. I propped myself up with my left arm as I backed up a little and eased my dick head down her slit with my right hand. 'Where is her little cunt hole,' I thought as my cock head explored the length of her slit. Suddenly, my dick felt something slightly more moist and hotter than before. 'That must be it," I thought, as I held my dick in place and pushed slightly. Her hole was tight, and my dick glanced off and ran down between her ass cheeks.

Again, I backed up and placed the head of my dick at the entrance to her tight, hairless hole and pushed. This time I felt the head go in slightly. As hard as my dick was, it began to bend so I backed off of the pressure a little, but keeping my dick in the same place. Once more I pushed in, and again I felt my dick slip in a little more. This time when I stopped, I felt the walls of her pussy begin to slip down around my cock, readjusting themselves to where they had formerly been. Again I pushed, and I noticed that her pussy lips seemed to go with my dick inside her. When I stopped again, I could see her slit slowly reappear as the walls of her pussy slowly slid back down my dick.

Again I pushed, and suddenly Pauline gasped. I wasn't sure what happened, all I was sure about was that the feeling was incredible. It was like pushing my dick through layer after layer, fold after fold of hot, moist skin. Her tiny hairless hole was so tight that I could only go in a fraction of an inch at a time. Each time I pushed, her whole twat would go with me, and each time I stopped her hole would slowly ease it's way further down my dick, giving me the feeling of passing yet another fold of her inner skin.

I could tell that Pauline was experiencing some discomfort, but she was not protesting. This was a business deal. Both of us had a bargain to keep, and she was certainly going to keep hers. After all, it wasn't very often that a kid around here got a banana split.

I kept up my assault on her tight, hairless, virgin cunt. I had almost gotten my entire dick in her on the last push when I felt the bottom of her pussy come into contact with the head of my dick. The last push had only allowed her pussy to slip down my dick part of the distance of my thrust, and her tiny slit was just barely visible between her legs, my dick resting snugly between them.

Well, I was all of the way in now. We looked at each other, both of us breathing heavily as I stayed inside her for a moment, relishing the feeling of my cock buried deep inside this eleven-year-old's tight, hairless pussy.

"Pauline....," I managed to speak between gasps, "how about if I move my dick back and forth inside your pussy some? I'll still buy you a banana split!"

She lay there with my dick inside her for a moment, panting heavily as she thought before asking hoarsely, "How many times do you want to do it?"

I looked at her for a moment. I hadn't thought about that. How many times does it take before I can cum?

"I dunno...," I gasped, "maybe about...., a hundred?"

I hurried to quell the look of apprehension on her face by explaining, "A hundred times is not a lot. Hell...., I can count to a hundred in less than a minute!"

She looked at me for a moment, then nodded in agreement as I began to slowly withdraw my dick until it was about halfway inside her. As I withdrew, the inner walls of her pussy seemed to hold onto my dick, creating an effect similar to the one when I entered her.

Gradually I began pumping back and forth. The grip of her pussy, combined with the wetness and moisture was causing that familiar feeling deep within my loins. Her gasps became little "Ahh's" that came in time with each quickening thrust of my dick inside her.

I don't think I needed to bargain for "about a hundred times", as the combination of the feeling of her tight hairless cunt wrapped around my dick, the feeling of her tiny body under mine, and the fact that she was looking me right in the eyes as I fucked her brought me over the edge with the most ball busting orgasm I had ever had.

The force of my orgasm forced me to thrust completely inside of her, burying my dick to the hilt. I could feel the hard little nub of her cervix pressing against my cock head as I erupted spurt after spurt deep inside her preteen pussy. The amount of my jism was so much, and the room inside her was so little, that after I filled her preteen womb completely with my spunk, I began to feel it spurt out between my dick and the walls of her twat, running down onto my balls and between the crack of her ass.

I had expended so much energy on my orgasm that I collapsed on top of her, my dick still buried deeply inside her. I rolled over slightly and eased my dick back out of her tiny twat, and as my cock head emerged from between her hairless pussy lips, one last spurt of pent up jism held inside my dick from the tightness of her pussy splashed across the bare lips of her slit, covering them completely.

Our deal was done. It was late however, and the ice cream man had already gone by for the day. It was also getting on to be about supper time, so Pauline slipped out of the car and put her panties back on under her skirt, leaving my cum dripping out of that sweet hairless hole and soaking those pretty white cotton panties.

I saw Pauline around the neigborhood a lot after that. I heard from my freinds that she eventually fucked almost every other boy in the neigborhood, but we never again got together like that, nor did we ever speak of it again. Come to think of it, I never did buy her that banana split!

Re:google is gay (1)

ksd1337 (1029386) | more than 6 years ago | (#20313357)

That was probably one of the best erotic literature I have read in a while.

Re:google is gay (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20313883)

Me too. First time I've jacked off while reading slashdot. First time this week, at least.

Good job Google (5, Insightful)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311083)

This is again an example of how a company should deal with their customers. Thank you Google.

(man...I wish I had bought around $4000 in Google Videos :( )

Re:Good job Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20311111)

Yes, because it's so much more convinient for my wealth to have spent $4000 and be hoping to get them back...

Re:Good job Google (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20311175)

No, you'd get $8000 back ($4000 credited back to your card and $4000 is Google checkout). 100% ROI for 1 year is not half bad. Plus, the money bought your entertainment for the year in between.

Re:Good job Google (2, Insightful)

zigziggityzoo (915650) | more than 6 years ago | (#20314217)

Don't forget, you're also keeping that $4000 worth of entertainment, bringing your total ROI to 200% (provided the content purchased was actually worth the cost... Google didn't seem to think so. In fact, they essentially paid you to watch it).

Re:Good job Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20311231)

I'm glad you understand :)

Re:Good job Google (4, Funny)

Cyberllama (113628) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311139)

Yes, I'm sure if people had known they were going to get a check-out credit and their money refunded, they'd have actually used the service. As it stands, however, google will be out about 10 bucks for this decision.

Re:Good job Google (4, Interesting)

thetagger (1057066) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311965)

Yes, I'm sure if people had known they were going to get a check-out credit and their money refunded, they'd have actually used the service.

Ok, I am the guy that actually tried to buy one of their videos. Unfortunately I couldn't because I needed an American credit card. Brilliant.

Buying stuff on the Internet is hard as hell. I don't mean buying stuff that gets delivered in a package - that is easy enough to do over the Internet and works just fine worldwide. But when it comes to buying bits and bytes, nobody wants to sell you anything. None of the music stores support my country. None of the video selling/rental stores support my country. What the hell? Limiting your availability geographically is harder than just doing nothing. They walk the extra mile to have _less_ customers? I think the only stuff I can actually buy online that gets sent electronically is Virtual Console stuff on the Wii.

Re:Good job Google (4, Insightful)

Cecil (37810) | more than 6 years ago | (#20312115)

Unfortunately, they have international trade laws to deal with. Or, more likely, they just want to charge everyone a different price and haven't decided how much money they can milk your country for, and setting the wrong price would poison future sales.

Re:Good job Google (1)

pla (258480) | more than 6 years ago | (#20315917)

Unfortunately, they have international trade laws to deal with.

"International trade laws" don't say that he can't buy most crap online (unless he lives in an ITAR-sanctioned place, then ignore all this).

Quite the opposite, in most cases, thus the necessity of Hollywood buying DMCA-like scams in various countries, to give their pathetic attempts at region coding some teeth.

See, the problem with AllOfMP3 had nothing to do with its actual legality - On those grounds, the RIAA itself have more than a few convictions of its own, yet still exists. No, it committed the cardinal sin of selling at a lower (and uniform) cost than each segmented market will bear. That, more than anything else, scared the Big Boys, because people might catch on that all this regional iTunes pricing counts as nothing more than a load of horse-pucky imposed by regional cartels.

You want to know the real reason we don't have DRM-less lossless music downloads online yet? Because it would just take one geek to figure out how to use a proxy in some dirt-farming country to get the local price of half a peso per track.

Re:Good job Google (1)

Monkeyman334 (205694) | more than 6 years ago | (#20312251)

This is slashdot: "Waaah! America is trying to push their fascist copyright on the rest of the world! They're the nazi bullies of the 21st century."

The next day... "Why wont America sell copyrighted material to me?! Americans are so ego-centric. They probably couldn't find my country on a map. They are only hurting themselves."

Are you seeing a connection here, maybe? Bueller? I understand that music companies want ridiculous profits, and you can rest satisfied that the companies aren't squeezing you enough to make them happy. But I'm answering your question as to why at least.

Re:Good job Google (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#20312393)

if someone from a country which doesn't respect your copyrights decides to pay you anyway I'd think the sensible thing to do would be to let them ;) after all it's basically money for nothing.

The real reason why things like music sites restrict geographic distribtion are both predatory pricing and having to live within thier geographically limited distribution contracts.

Re:Good job Google (3, Insightful)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 6 years ago | (#20312867)

Once again, you have failed to learn the most important lesson of all.

Slashdot: Not just one person. Duh?

Re:Good job Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20313855)

Anonymous Coward is just one person, though.

Re:Good job Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20315913)

Only when I remember to take my medication.

Re:Good job Google (2, Insightful)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 6 years ago | (#20314575)

Copyright is to blame in both cases. If not for copyright law (and laws like the DMCA that reinforce it), everyone would have access to all the material in existence, no matter where they lived. Google doesn't want to sell a particular file to you? No problem, buy it from someone else, or download it for free.

Re:Good job Google (2, Interesting)

pmatchstick (1141067) | more than 6 years ago | (#20313127)


Buying stuff on the Internet is hard as hell. I don't mean buying stuff that gets delivered in a package - that is easy enough to do over the Internet and works just fine worldwide. But when it comes to buying bits and bytes, nobody wants to sell you anything. None of the music stores support my country. None of the video selling/rental stores support my country. What the hell? Limiting your availability geographically is harder than just doing nothing. They walk the extra mile to have _less_ customers? I think the only stuff I can actually buy online that gets sent electronically is Virtual Console stuff on the Wii.


I get where you're coming from, but it's more complex than that. I believe most online music and video stores would love to sell to anyone willing to pay. Unfortunately each new country is its own market, with applicable taxes and other regulations. There's also an issue of provocative content; many countries have strict and even strange definitions of obsenity (that includes the USA) that means content has to be screened for local sensibilities.

But more importantly, the stores are just that, storefronts. They don't own the rights, the labels and studios do, and they make the ultimate decision when and where to distribute their product. Unfortunately the system they have in place puts a lot of emphasis on dividing the world by regions... For example just about every deal a musician makes with a label has provisions for foreign markets. Amplify that times a hundred contracts for television and movies: writers, directors, actors, music rights holders, and maybe a dozen others who get paid every time a product is released (or re-released) in a new region. I'm oversimplifying in a big way and there are a ton of other factors but the point is, in many cases if there isn't an obvious profit to be had it just isn't worth it to release at all.

Yes, this does suck, and it should be legal for anyone to purchase from a store based in any other country online, but that's not the system we have in place (a system which was based on theatrical releases, video tapes and vinyl records.) And yes, it does need to change. But the point I was trying to make is... Don't put all the blame on the stores, there's plenty to go around.

Re:Good job Google (1)

bdo19 (992170) | more than 6 years ago | (#20313729)

May I suggest buying US insert-music-store-here gift cards from eBay? It doesn't make the situation any less frustrating in principle, but it might be a good practical solution. I know a guy here in the US that gets Japanese iTunes gift cards so he buy their music.

Re:Good job Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20314365)

The problem only occurs with traditional media.

I sell software, and I work for a company that sells software, over the internet. We accept customers from basically anywhere. If you have a credit card then you can buy our stuff. You're absolutely right that it's harder to restrict than to just allow everything, and we like having more customers, so there's no reason to restrict it. In my experience, the vast majority of software sellers work this way.

The problem with movies and books and music and all of that is that there are age-old distribution systems which still exist in the world. The companies which hold the rights are still stuck in the past. As such, it's basically impossible to get worldwide distribution rights from them, and frequently they've delegated their decisions to regional organizations so you end up having to talk to a bunch of different people hammering out different deals with different terms just so you can legally sell the same stuff in two different jurisdictions. This made sense back when you had to actually meet people and research local markets and get your feet on the ground in order to sell in a particular region, but it's completely outdated for the internet.

This should gradually disappear as these companies are either replaced or become more clueful. But for now, we're pretty much stuck with old media enforcing geographical restrictions for no good reason.

Re:Good job Google (1)

swedub (62449) | more than 6 years ago | (#20314467)

It's nothing personal. It's just that for some retailers, our credit card merchant account only (potentially) provides restitution against credit card fraud if they have verified AVS (Address Verification System) and have signature confirmation of delivery to a billing address. Most of which is hard to refute even with proof. So one of the first steps against international credit card fraud is refusing transactions if you can't verify AVS. That pretty much limits you to the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Re:Good job Google (1)

Monkeyman334 (205694) | more than 6 years ago | (#20312165)

I only purchased a couple episodes of MacGyver, to relive my childhood memories of the show. I'm still disappointed that Google will not be refunding my hour of time.

Re:Good job Google (2, Insightful)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 6 years ago | (#20315443)

But who will refund your childhood?

Re:Good job Google (4, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311153)

This is again an example of how a company should deal with their customers. Thank you Google.
Companies should offer difficult-to-use refunds and only when called on it should they do the honest thing and provide a proper refund?
It's good to see what Google is doing now (and espcially so given that there is effectively a double-refund), but really, they should had done this at the outset (it would have cost Google less also).

Re:Good job Google (2, Informative)

mr_zorg (259994) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311367)

Granted. They probably just weren't thinking about a possible negative reaction. Using Google Checkout for refunds makes sense because they no longer have to worry about expired or cancelled credit cards, etc. Not to mention, by keeping the money all in house, it would cost them less. They probably figured all the Google Fanboys were already using Checkout anyway. :) At least they admit they screwed up. And keeping BOTH refunds? Wow. Extremely generous.

Re:Good job Google (5, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311381)

I don't expect everyone to make the right decision every time. I do expect the ones that want my respect to be able to correct their mistake when it's appearent to them.

They get kudos from me, though as another person joked I doubt the $10 extra they are now out is going to hit their bottom line that hard.

Re:Good job Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20311799)

I doubt the $10 extra they are now out is going to hit their bottom line that hard.


Are you kidding!? To cover that ten bucks we had a lottery before lunch today. I lost, so I had to skip lunch.

Re:Good job Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20312987)

Are you kidding!? To cover that ten bucks we had a lottery before lunch today. I lost, so I had to skip lunch.
Yeah, but think of the poor MPAA executives and DRM programmers that those ten bucks are going to! Be satisfied that your sacrifice is for a worthy cause!

Re:Good job Google (0)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 6 years ago | (#20315369)

I expect companies to always make the right decision every time, I am a customer, what else would a customer expect, a company to make wrong decisions.

Google was just trying it on, to see how much negative reaction it generated and based upon their existing marketing created image whether they could get away with the more profitable solution of basically ripping the customer off.

Fortunately for Google video customers google's all so shiny image is developing a considerable tarnish and they had to buckle under customer pressure and were 'forced' to do the right thing or face a severe customer backlash.

So companies get credit for doing it right the first time and not seeing if they could get away with, all that really demonstrated is management who have no real idea of what is right or wrong, all the consider is how profitable it is and whether they can get away with trying it on.

Re:Good job Google (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311909)

It's good to see what Google is doing now (and espcially so given that there is effectively a double-refund), but really, they should had done this at the outset (it would have cost Google less also).
Everybody fucks up. You can judge their character by what they do next. My (very cheap) hosting company screwed up a few times in the first few months I was with them (a couple of billing problems and some unscheduled downtime), but I was happy to stay with them because they refunded me a month's payment and doubled the amount of bandwidth I was allocated. Apple lost my laptop when I sent it in for repair, and it took them four weeks to admit this and then two to replace it (with one that was DOA, and needed sending in for repair immediately). In both cases, better procedures could probably have avoided the initial screw up, but this what these are is only obvious in hindsight. Something will always go wrong, and people will always make the occasional wrong choice. They can do nothing better than act quickly to correct their mistakes. I will always recommend a company that is willing to admit their errors and fix them.

Re:Good job Google (1)

umbra_dweller (797279) | more than 6 years ago | (#20315309)

Agreed, they obviously should have done this from the start. But a lot of companies would whine, pout, and be stubborn about their decision. Google is not only changing their mind, but they are doing it quickly and they are giving a bonus by letting people keep the google credit they already gave and extending the subscriptions. They even publicly admit that it was (or at least appeared to be, in their words) a self serving action. Considering the behavior of companies these days, that all seems like pretty good customer service to me.

Re:Good job Google (0, Redundant)

againjj (1132651) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311197)

  • We're giving a full refund -- as a credit card refund -- to everyone who ever bought a video. We'll need you to make sure we have your most recent credit card information, but once we know where to send the money, you'll get it.
Does this mean you need to jump through a couple hoops to get it?

Re:Good job Google (1)

HUADPE (903765) | more than 6 years ago | (#20313059)

No, it means that if the credit card you bought the videos with expired, they'll need a new one to credit it to, otherwise it's impossible to give you a credit card refund.

Re:Good job Google (2, Interesting)

Film11 (736010) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311213)

I wonder if you (and others) would accept the apology if it were Microsoft instead of Google...

Re:Good job Google (1)

bealzabobs_youruncle (971430) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311237)

MicroSoft would have to apologize for something first?

Re:Good job Google (1)

jimbug (1119529) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311347)

Yes, because it's a real apology. They even said in the quote, "our bad". They weren't dancing around it in the least.

Re:Good job Google (4, Insightful)

pokerdad (1124121) | more than 6 years ago | (#20312777)

I wonder if you (and others) would accept the apology if it were Microsoft instead of Google...

Why don't you spend a few dozen hours looking for a time Microsoft publically admitted a mistake then forked over cash and you can enlighten us?

Re:Good job Google (2, Insightful)

Bishop923 (109840) | more than 6 years ago | (#20312825)

After reading the blog post, I felt like it was an honest apology. They thought that it would be easier for all involved to just give a google checkout credit instead of going through the task of tracking down everyone and making sure that their credit-card information was still up to date. I could see myself making a similar decision and I empathize. Ultimately, refunding the money AND letting everyone keep the checkout credit is a nice thing that they simply didn't need to do. On top of that, most companies are so afraid of getting sued that flat out saying that they screwed up is a very brave move that I respect.

I feel like if Microsoft was in a similar position, they would make users jump through a bunch of hoops just to get part of their money back, and they would some how spin it as empowering the consumer. I could NEVER imagine Microsoft coming out and saying "we screwed up" without 10 paragraphs of legalese attached refuting the previous statement.

Re:Good job Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20311265)

Maybe if they'd done requirements first, they would have found this out up front. Just an idea...

Re:Good job Google (1)

earnest murderer (888716) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311459)

This is again an example of how a company should deal with their customers. Thank you Google.
I started to write a reply about how I thought they were exceedingly generous and whatnot even overly so because no one else would have done this.

But they screwed up and tried to fuck with their (small) customer base first. Early adopters if you will, left out in the cold because they decided not to stand behind their product. A minor scam since you can still get your money back, but a scam just the same. Not a good idea when you're trying get financial and shopping services off the ground at the same time.

It's a good apology, even magnanimous. It's also insurance.

Re:Good job Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20312069)

Yes, this is exactly the kind of customer service we should be expecting from our service companies. It's kinda a bad situation to start with, but these things happen. And though they handled the shutdown crappily, I'm not sure how they could have handled this much better at the end.

Explaining things also helps. It's crappy that they gave checkout credits, and they didn't have the best reason for doing it, but it at least makes more sense now. And they totally made up for it.

Kudos on the smart PR move, and what's right for your customers, Google.

Re:Good job Google (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20312983)

Admitting and reversing a bad decision is an excellent thing per se, but as long as purchased videos ("downloaded to own", in their own terminology) will still expire, ever, the more fundamental wrong has not been made right.

Company admits Mistake: film at 11 (5, Informative)

griffjon (14945) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311105)

This is one thing I do respect Google (and a pitiful few other companies) for - admitting mistakes. So many hassles and PR disasters could be averted by just admitting you FUBARed and are willing to make amends. Hell, our foreign policy could learn from that, even.

Re:Company admits Mistake: film at 11 (1, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311217)

Hell, our foreign policy could learn from that, even.

Hell, our President could learn from that, even.

Re:Company admits Mistake: film at 11 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20311337)

No, history keeps showing us over and over that he can't.

Re:Company admits Mistake: film at 11 (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311681)

I agree. On the other hand, sometimes... people make it hard [gadling.com] .

Scourge of unnecessary hyperbole (1)

g0at (135364) | more than 6 years ago | (#20312433)

So many hassles and PR disasters could be averted by just admitting you FUBARed

I agree that Google's initial offering was erroneous and distasteful, but do you really feel that they fucked up beyond all recognition?

b

Re:Scourge of unnecessary hyperbole (1)

edumacator (910819) | more than 6 years ago | (#20313119)

Damn you...you beat me to my line...

How do you Fix something that's FUBAR? (1)

Noishe (829350) | more than 6 years ago | (#20314149)

It it's FU beyond all repair, how do they fix it?

good PR (0, Troll)

Zashi (992673) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311155)

How very unevil of google. Hm....

Re:good PR (1)

clamothe (704740) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311353)

Obviously it's good PR. This doesn't have to mean that they did it for the good PR rather than for their customers, as you seem to be suggesting.

Re:good PR (1)

catbutt (469582) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311637)

What's your point?

Does it matter if they did it for the PR, because they want to keep the customers happy so they can make more money off them, because they think they can get better employees for cheaper if those employees think they are working for a company that is non-evil, or if they just do it because they think it is the right thing to do?

Seriously, what difference does it make? If you dig deep enough, it's pretty hard to find anything anyone has ever done that you can't assign a selfish motive to, if you really want to dig deep enough.

Re:good PR (1)

Zashi (992673) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311711)

Wow, /. readers read way too much into stuff.

There have been lots of stories of google doing... questionable things lately and this is refreshing and welcome, reminiscent of the good ol' google days.

Re:good PR (1)

catbutt (469582) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311753)

sorry, it sure looked like you were jumping to the cynical response. Maybe I'm a bit hair trigger on such things, because everyone seems to want to bash google at every opportunity.

Not exactly .. (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311163)

... and extending the life of purchased videos another six months.

I think he means "extending the life of rented videos another six months." I wish companies would just be clear on the fact that you aren't actually buying anything, if the seller can revoke your privilege to use it at any time. I'm really tired of government and corporations trying to undermine the idea of "property", of what is mine and what is not.

Re:Not exactly .. (1)

Ochu (877326) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311477)

I'd love if Google had designed it this way. This is really, really bad for promoters of DRM, of which Google, conspicuously, isn't one.

Re:Not exactly .. (2, Interesting)

AusIV (950840) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311901)

I have to wonder if the six month extension exists specifically so some third party can create a workaround for the DRM, allowing people to keep their videos forever. Google obviously can't release such a thing without violating contracts with the media providers, but they might be able to make it very easy for such a thing to get produced.

Re:Not exactly .. (1)

TheSkyIsPurple (901118) | more than 6 years ago | (#20312787)

I can't find the reference, but didn't Apple say that if they ever shutdown the Apple Store they'd release keys to permanently unlock the purchased content?

Re:Not exactly .. (1)

MarsDefenseMinister (738128) | more than 6 years ago | (#20313651)

Actually, it's the other way around, and you're just not looking at this the right way. Without any government, it's up to you to safeguard your property. Otherwise, you rely on government to keep record of title, and enforce your right for you.

In this case, you paid your money for a service, not a product. The contract was clear, and if you didn't understand what you were buying, well, too bad. It's an incentive to be smart, that's for sure.

Now if Google wants to call the process a "purchase" then that's fine. You must know that you're purchasing a right to view, not the right to what's viewed. Again, if that's not clear, read your contract for the purchase again.

If there was some actual theft, then it's up to the individual to get a lawyer and take Google to court.

But, please don't blame government and corporations for what is essentially a failure of a person to read a contract and be responsible for themselves. The response will just be MORE government, and no amount of government is going to keep fools and money from being parted. I'd even argue that fools deserve to be parted from their money.

Re:Not exactly .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20313995)

Normally, I'd agree with you about rental/purchase.

In this case, however, because they refunded the purchase cost, it's not so clear. Either they were normal purchases, but with Google's right to cancel the sale added, resulting in the refund. Or they were rentals, or more like "demos", that just so happened to cost nothing because of the refund.

If they had been pure rentals, there would have been no refund. That's what I would expect from any other company in this business. That's where I agree with you.

I wonder if it was on purpose (2, Interesting)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311317)

I actually wonder if Google planned on revoking the DRM movies the whole time.  It's not hard for me to imagine myself thinking that way if I was the head of Google--give a first class lesson on why DRM sucks, that even normal people (albeit those who would buy movies via Google!) could understand.

It's like everything you buy has a long, long string literally attached to it; and at any time your new tv could start jerking toward your front door, outside, and back up the street to corporate headquarters.

Re:I wonder if it was on purpose (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20311465)

what the fuck is up with the TT, you fucking assknob. Mommy not show you enough attention?

Re:I wonder if it was on purpose (1)

CoughDropAddict (40792) | more than 6 years ago | (#20312357)

All I have to say is that Slashdotters come up with the most bizarre theories.

Fronting a bunch of cash to launch a product, planning all the while to eventually shut it down, going through the hassle of refunding all the purchases, all to... teach the public a lesson? I'd love to see the meeting of middle management where that gets suggested.

Re:I wonder if it was on purpose (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 6 years ago | (#20312931)

Why on earth would you clue middle management on such a thing?  Or for that matter, consult them about anything?

Better yet, why have middle management?

It was a half-joke, ya know.

Re:I wonder if it was on purpose (1)

MenTaLguY (5483) | more than 6 years ago | (#20312511)

Frankly, that theory about Google's DRM plan is just dumb. But your strings-attached metaphor for DRM is very good! (One of the best I've heard, in fact.)

Re:I wonder if it was on purpose (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#20313467)

It's like everything you buy has a long, long string literally attached to it; and at any time your new tv could start jerking toward your front door, outside, and back up the street to corporate headquarters.

If Google wanted to keep the money and the sale, all they would have had to do was exchange the string tethered one for one without the string. A simple exchange for DRM free copies would have sufficed. I presume this was not up to Google to offer. The actual content copyright holders probably nixed the deal. I hope Google passes the refund bill back to the copyright holders. There is no way Google should be stuck with the bill for the copyright holders policy. If Google is stuck with the bill, I could see Google learning from the mistake and as a policy simply refusing DRM content in any shape in the future.

The reason they used Checkout in the first place.. (4, Informative)

bomanbot (980297) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311389)

..is also given in the article:

We planned to give these users a full refund or more. And because we weren't sure if we had all the correct addresses, latest credit card information, and other billing challenges, we thought offering the refund in the form of Google Checkout credits would entail fewer steps and offer a better user experience.
Well, they have a point that Checkout credits would entail fewer steps, but I think Google tried to avoid a bit of work here as how I understand it, with Checkout credits, the Google Video users themselves have to make sure the refund gets to them, but with the credit card refund, Google has to make sure everyone gets their refund.

Still, they admitted their mistake and corrected it, which is good.

Re:The reason they used Checkout in the first plac (2, Insightful)

Kashra (1109287) | more than 6 years ago | (#20312939)

Except the blog still says that users have to start the refund process, by providing up-to-date information for themselves. So its still in the user's hands.

Still, wish I'd bought some Google videos, now. :)

An Interesting Precedent (3, Insightful)

Naerbnic (123002) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311503)

I think that this decision on Google's part makes a very interesting precedent for any other vendor of DRMed goods. In order to have good customer service, Google is refunding all the money they've previously gained while they were in business. Although as other have stated, that may not be much, it's almost certainly caused them to lose whatever money they thought they had earned through it.

The message this sends to other companies in a similar business seems clear: "Don't ever leave the business so that your customers can't access their media. If you do, and you plan to ever do business again, it will cost you more than you earned throughout the entire process. Customers are effectively loaning you their money for as long as they can play their content."

What does this mean? I'm going to guess that if they listen to this message that they will glance nervously at each other as they slowly change over to non DRM content. Since that seems to be the trend currently, I would suppose that this can only accelerate it.

A precedent others need not follow (1)

MattW (97290) | more than 6 years ago | (#20312995)

Google is doing the right thing. Do you think the RIAA or even Apple would? I think not. Just because Google sets a good example doesn't mean everyone will follow; I'd read those terms and conditions carefully, because I expect most of the drm-laden crap you buy has escape hatches in case of emergency built into the T&C so they don't have to refund jack.

Re:An Interesting Precedent (1)

Artifex (18308) | more than 6 years ago | (#20314127)

Actually, I suspect the consumers get last place in the line of creditors when these ventures fail, as many will. So some of them may not care much.

Still Not Convinced (2, Insightful)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311591)

Yes, the apology and refudnd was good, but as far as I am concerned it should never happened anyway, not as an oversight, not as a policy. Google shouldn't be a company that needs to be told that that sort of thing is bad practice, it should know it anyway. However, the people they double refund is a very nice touch which most companies wouldn't have done to make up for a mistake- I just wander what caused the complete round about turn, sounds like they found someone in a position of power who was too money orientated got replaced.

Re:Still Not Convinced (2, Insightful)

faloi (738831) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311653)

I just wander what caused the complete round about turn, sounds like they found someone in a position of power who was too money orientated got replaced.

Based on my time in the corporate world, I'd guess they were close to having something else marketable in the video world (as part of their "refocusing"), and that it would hit soon enough that they figured people wouldn't have completely forgotten about their last...faux pas.

My betting money says that if they weren't about to launch something in roughly the same space (or partner with someone in the same space), they wouldn't give two hoots about any lingering bad PR.

Re:Still Not Convinced (1)

eck011219 (851729) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311905)

Come on -- Google is huge, but it's still a fairly young company in largely uncharted territory. They screwed up, and instead of playing hardball about it, they copped to the mistake, gave their customers back more than they bought, and apologized. There is no other company of that size that I know of that has ever done that (without being ordered by a court to do so). Of course it never should have happened. But companies are run by people, people make dumb mistakes sometimes, and the measure of a person OR company is how they recover from stuff like this. This is as good as you can possibly expect (if not better) from a huge corporation. They're actually not evil.

Nor are many other corporations who are just trying to get by, but the whole admission of guilt thing seems to be beaten out of people in business school for some reason. Or for several understandable reasons. Whatever. They done good here, and we needn't nitpick about whether it should have happened in the first place.

Re:Still Not Convinced (1)

John Nowak (872479) | more than 6 years ago | (#20313783)

Whatever happened to the word "oriented"? I'll have to conversate with someone about this.

Re:Still Not Convinced (1)

xerxesdaphat (767728) | more than 6 years ago | (#20314623)

It's the proper spelling, you daft twat. `Oriented' is just a variant spelling popular in US `English' -- use `orientated' if you don't want to look foolish everywhere else.

Re:Still Not Convinced (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 6 years ago | (#20315511)

Dude, I like the Mingus .sig. We should go to the Chinese massage parlor one of these days and get oriented. =) First one's one me.

Re:Still Not Convinced (1)

John Nowak (872479) | more than 6 years ago | (#20315831)

*ahem* Carry on then!

Interesting... (1)

MrUbiquitousness (1145879) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311883)

Now, business savvy people know that what Google offered originally was nothing worth offering, and it's even in the post, they knew the proper course of action.

If I was in Google's shoes I would have done it exactly as they did, offer some reimbursal that they knew wouldn't fly; for 2 reasons:

1. If enough people did bite and just take it, they save some cash
2. If people don't, they can just say, "Oops, we screwed up", offer what they should have in the first place and then get the extra attention and praise for really coming around and don't what's right and smart.

All companies should be doing the right thing up front, rather than later, or years and years later, in the case of some companies...

Re:Interesting... (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 6 years ago | (#20311955)

While I do agree, my thankfulness that Google lived up to its name far far outweighs annoyance that they didn't immediately offer a full CC based refund.

whatever else they are at Google ... (1)

quixote9 (999874) | more than 6 years ago | (#20312351)

they're not stupid

Buy videos from google? (1)

moracity (925736) | more than 6 years ago | (#20312457)

Who's been doing this and why? I've never even heard of it.

Here's how the other companies would've done it... (2, Funny)

sprior (249994) | more than 6 years ago | (#20312683)

Sooner or later all DRM companies are going to shut off content people thought they owned.

Microsoft will simply say that your out of luck and what are you going to going to do about it.

Steve Jobs would announce that the devoted will now be able to buy all their content over again, but it'll be even cooler this time (and the crowd will cheer him over it).

Google says "oops, our bad, here's a refund. In fact here's a DOUBLE refund".

Re:Here's how the other companies would've done it (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 6 years ago | (#20313515)

me i would say that it should be law that your drm method has a Non Revokeable permanent unlock code for just this kind of case (or have say 3 different folks split the method of breaking your drm with instructions to release if you don't do ACTION every 3 months)

Definitely not evil yet (2, Interesting)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 6 years ago | (#20312827)

I know periodically Google gets involved in things that seem to show they're drifting to the dark side of giant ass-raping corporatism, but amazingly obvious pro-customer decisions like this show that there is at least a significant amount of "not Evil" left in the heart of Google.

This is the kind of behavior you expect from a local mom and pop store or some other small business who wants to make you happy more than they want to screw you out of $5 just because they can.

Seeing that Google is taking care of end-of-product-lifed customers is going to make people a lot more comfortable taking a risk on future Google products. I know that if they do something else I'm not sure will last but sounds good, I'll go ahead and buy. I don't think I would have before.

Not good enough! (4, Insightful)

TechnicolourSquirrel (1092811) | more than 6 years ago | (#20313103)

If you have invested in time in amassing a collection of Google videos (I know, I know, but hypothetically speaking), neither Google nor anyone else should have the right to reverse that sale at their leisure, forcing you to re-amass the same collection by other means. Even if they compensate you extra -- that isn't the point. A collection-refund-recollection process is not what you signed up for. The only fair thing to do is to offer software to remove the DRM so that everybody can keep whatever they collected. Nothing else even comes close -- not even Google's sweet little maneuver where you cancel a DRM service and threaten Draconian consequences, and then move up the compensation and the disconnection deadline a few days later, so that everyone will talk about how nice they are (gee, being nice is easy, all you have to do is threaten to be a bastard before you do what you were planning to do anyway) -- so that the public will focus on that instead of focusing on the matter at hand: Google just unilaterally revoked thousands of already-completed sales. This is wrong. The amount of compensation is just an attempt to make up for the wrong, but it doesn't make it any less wrong.

Re:Not good enough! (1)

Umuri (897961) | more than 6 years ago | (#20313219)

Except they didn't?

Correct me if i'm wrong, but google did not SELL videos. It rented them. Are you going to say that OMFG, blockbuster is doing it wrong, why won't they let us keep the videos, we already paid for it!
Sorry, just seems a little bland argument to me. Again, if i'm wrong please say so.

Re:Not good enough! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20313601)

Correct me if i'm wrong, but google did not SELL videos. It rented them.
Well thats just semantics. Google did rent videos for limited amounts of time, but you could also choose to get a kind of lifetime rental where you pay once and then get to watch the video whenever you want, presumably until you die. People who did that are the ones that are mad now.

However since Google is now refunding the money they paid, I dont see it as a big deal anymore.

Re:Not good enough! (2, Interesting)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#20313545)

Unfortunately, the DMCA makes that illegal. Providing software to bypass a copy protection system is against the law (in the US); I believe this applies to even your own products. But regardless, it doesn't matter as they'd have to go to every single content publisher and get their permission to remove the copy protection rather than just pull the license and give a refund, which is logistically insane.

Re:Not good enough! (1)

mike2R (721965) | more than 6 years ago | (#20315889)

Would it make it any better if they offered their customers a pony?

For fucks sake, these things happen. They've come up with the cash to compensate people - finally (I quite agree the original Google Checkout thing was unacceptable, but they've compensated people for messing them around with that too).

Look, this is as good as it gets for consumer customer service. If you expect more you're just going to spend most of your life angry, dissapointed, and with people avoiding you because you winge about meaningless crap all the time.

If people had downloaded the video ... (1)

aeschenkarnos (517917) | more than 6 years ago | (#20313121)

... then it would be no issue whatsoever. Pay. Download. Watch. No problems.

This still doesn't change how I feel... (3, Insightful)

Afecks (899057) | more than 6 years ago | (#20313901)

Everything stands in my comment [slashdot.org] other than the monetary issue. I still think this is a pretty evil thing to do and shows you exactly what "defective by design" means. Could you imagine Wal-Mart coming and repossessing your DVDs because they don't want you watching them anymore? Would you really care if they slapped some money on the table as they were leaving?

Re:This still doesn't change how I feel... (1)

Durrok (912509) | more than 6 years ago | (#20314891)

You should have known what you were getting into in the first place. If you didn't then consider this a lesson in "Why DRM is bad" and move on. It's akin to getting pissed at a hot stove when it burns you... wait that's not a car analogy. Never mind.

Re:This still doesn't change how I feel... (1)

Afecks (899057) | more than 6 years ago | (#20314935)

So in other words, I shouldn't have been wearing a skirt if I didn't want to get raped.

Re:This still doesn't change how I feel... (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 6 years ago | (#20315535)

No, it's more like you shouldn't pay a rapist to rape you if you don't want to get raped.

Want to have permanent access to something? Maybe a stream isn't the your best solution, and you should take your business elsewhere. How in the hell you can equate that to rape is beyond me.

Re:This still doesn't change how I feel... (1)

Zephyr14z (907494) | more than 6 years ago | (#20315765)

Fucking right I would care if they slapped some money on the table as they were leaving. Especially double what I payed to begin with. Then I could take double my original business elsewhere.

Email sent to customers (1)

ViennaSt (1138481) | more than 6 years ago | (#20314319)

We recently emailed you to let you know that Google is ending the
Google Video download to own/rent (DTO/DTR) program, and that
you'd receive a Google Checkout bonus equal to or greater than the
total amount of your Google Video purchases.

Since then, we've received feedback from people dissatisfied with
our approach to phase out the Google Video download to own/rent
program, so we've decided to take additional steps to address
these concerns:

1. We will fully refund your credit card for the total amount
    of your Google Video purchases.
2. We're going to continue to support playing your videos
    through February, 2008. We won't be offering the ability to buy
    additional videos, but what you have already downloaded will
    remain playable.
3. The Google Checkout bonus you've already received is yours
    to keep. You can use your bonus at the following stores:
    http://www.google.com/checkout/signupwelcome.html [google.com] . Your bonus
    expires on October 31, 2007, and the minimum purchase amount must
    be equal to or greater than your bonus amount, before shipping and
    tax.
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