The Chinese Windows Phone Store's billing breaks, Microsoft working on a fix
The Chinese side of the Windows Phone Store has had a bumpy time lately. For the last a few days, Chinese users have been experiencing problems when trying to purchase apps. Many found it impossible to download any paid app; you go through the payment process only to get an error message. The money gets accepted by the Windows Phone Store well enough, but the app license never comes. Some fairly persistent folks have tried repeatedly, paying $3 for Angry Bird Seasons in three shots. Yet they still failed to get the app at the end of the day.
This is pretty bad. Windows Phone Store hiccups at times, as we know. Normally it's not a huge problem, as app delivery failure always go hand in hand with billing failure. But Microsoft has seriouly riled a number of Chinese users with the unilateral app purchase failures this time.
Chinese site WPDang managed to get an official reply from Microsoft China earlier today:
"Windows Phone Store (Chinese region) suffered a service glitch from Feb 22 through 24. The impact was that some users could not download apps and games that they've already paid for. Now the glitch is patched, and we will fully refund everyone affected. The refunding will be returned to your AliPay account within 3 to 5 days. Please feel free continue shopping in the Windows Phone Store now. Should you have any other problem, please contact us through the Microsoft Windows Phone Support page."
It should be noted that because credit cards are not household items in China, Microsoft is working with AliPay (consider it "China's homegrown PayPal") to smooth out the app purchase problem in the Windows Phone Store. Therefore the refund process is going to be a bit complicated. Microsoft is now reaching out to affected users through email, phone calls, and its online support forum to process refunds case by case.