KEY POINTS

  • Apple is being accused of pushing subscription auto-renewal to an app
  • The app developers said they've tried that before, but it didn't work for them
  • The devs said Apple is rejecting app updates because of this issue

Developers behind a popular app are accusing Apple of forcing them to auto-charge those who try out their app once the trial period ends.

The developers behind Down Dog, a popular yoga app for iOS and Android, are accusing Cupertino tech giant Apple of pushing subscription auto-renewals once the trial period ends. The app devs made the claim via a tweet, which included a screenshot of a message from the iPhone maker.

Down Dog, in the tweet, said Apple is rejecting its latest update for the iOS version of its app because they do not auto-charge users, or push automatic subscription renewal, at the end of the trial period. Auto-charging users, according to the developers, is something they will never do.

“Wow! Apple is rejecting our latest update because we refuse to auto-charge at the end of our free trial,” the devs posted.

“They can choose to steal from their customers who forget to cancel, but we won't do the same to ours,” they continued. “This is a line that we will not cross.”

In the message, Apple told the developers that it “noticed” that the app is offering a free trial period to users without using App Store Connect, the company's subscription platform. The company is urging Down Dog to offer its trial period using the platform to ensure that users will be automatically billed once the trial period ends.

Apple noted that users can cancel the subscription to avoid getting billed. Down Dog, however, doesn't want to use the feature for a few reasons.

Down Dog, in succeeding tweets, said they experimented with auto-charging trials before, but doing so led to a decline in the number of users using the app. It allegedly also resulted in a “huge” number of users asking to be refunded because they weren't supposed to subscribe but forgot to cancel it before the trial period ended.

In addition, many who asked Down Dog for refunds don't believe it when the devs tell them that Apple “won't allow” the app to issue refunds. Apple's own website for requesting refunds also tends to return an error message after logging in.

US tech giant apple said that all of its stores in China "and many of our partner stores" have been closed Apple Photo: AFP / Josh Edelson