I hope that Google will soon change its policy of automatic termination and stop destroying developers’ dreams and labors to build something within the Android ecosystem.
I am a full-stack programmer and I first thought of creating an app 5 years ago. However, for various reasons, I put it off. Two years later, the stars aligned and I began working on the application.
I’ve made many mistakes along the way, but have learned a lot. As a developer, I had to learn new things, like creating my own brand, social networks, videos and ads, as well as how to create promotional videos and adverts. My account and the app I created have been removed after almost two years of development, collecting feedback and improving it.
To make a long story brief, because I moved to another country, my developer account needed to be updated to comply with all tax rules. Google doesn’t allow you to change the country of an existing payment profile. You must create a Google account first, then pay for a developer account. Then create a payment profile, transfer your app to the new account, and then create a payment profile.
After I had completed all of the above steps, I decided to change my developer name to not mislead anyone. This, according to the Google Play documentation should be fine. Here is a small excerpt:
1. These steps will help you create a new payment profile. When creating your profile, pay attention to which country you choose.
2. Transfer your developer name. You can use the same developer name as on your old profile on your new profile. However, you will need to change your profile name first. You can change the developer name in your original profile.
What I did was exactly what you see in the snippet. I changed my developer’s name on my first account and then changed it on my second one after a few minutes. This is probably where I made my mistake. This is probably the place where my mistake is.
The next morning, I received an email from a merciless Googlebot:
It was unbelievable to me that my account and my application had been closed. I appealed immediately, stating that both my account and my app belonged to me. I also stated that I had followed Google’s documentation and didn’t want to mislead anyone. It may take up seven days for the appeal to be approved.
They pushed back for 20 days and they have not responded to me since.
I also created 10 Support tickets over the 20-day period, chatted with real people to explain the situation and asked how long I should wait to get a reply. Guess what? Nothing. You will get the same answer every time. It’s just a copy of their policy. If you insist on it, you’ll just get: “We understand your pain, we’re sorry, but unfortunately, we can’t help you and can’t provide any contacts for reaching the Policy team out”. There is no way to contact anyone to review your case.
They call themselves a support group. Their support is a mockery, not actual support.
We are here, and I am shocked at the lack of customer service from Google. I’m even more worried that any future accounts I create may be deleted without warnings. There is literally nothing I can do.
Answering the questions of users who purchased my app, or can’t find it on the Google Play Market, and apologising to them, it is clear that I hate Google for feeling helpless for almost 2 years of work. No one cares, because of the attitude of Google towards developers, who get a lot of cash and build the Android ecosystem.
Last but not least, I hope the people who read this letter will share, comment and like this story. This will help the Google team do the right thing by restoring my developer account and application.
UPDATE: March 28, 2022
My voice seems to have been heard. I’ve been reactivated. The app is still under review. It should be available on Google Play afterward.
Google Play support is still disappointing. I need to consider a backup plan. But right now, I want to thank everyone who has read this article, directly or indirectly.