Nov 30, 2012

Vietnam - Free apps pick Vietnamese users’ pocket

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VietNamNet Bridge – Under the mask of free services, mobile phone applications have been trying to pick the Vietnamese users’ pocket through different ways that users do not know.

Tien, a Hanoian, who has purchased an iPhone, some days ago--yesterday, brought the smart phone to a shop to have some software pieces installed. An officer of the shop advised him to set up some free apps which he said would be very useful to smart phone users.

Tien agreed on the installation after he was convinced that he would have to pay 200,000 dong for the installation fee to the shop in order to obtain the package of 100 copyrighted apps, and all of them are free of charge.

“Later, I found out that only several out of the 100 free apps are useful to me. Meanwhile, the others are all games or obscene funny stories,” Tien said.

He decided to come back to the shop, requesting to install the software pieces as ordered. However, he was told that these were not available.

“Even if I wanted to upgrade the software pieces installed before, I would have to pay a fee to the shop,” he complained.

A lot of complaints about free apps have appeared on information technology forums. A member wrote that he was so foolish when thinking that he would be able to use as many applications as he wanted and did not have to pay fee.

“In fact, they have their ways to charge users, especially for entertainment apps,” he wrote.

“You just could play the games for some minutes, and you would see a window which requests you to pay for the app, or the app would be stopped,” a user commented on Android Market.

He said that users may have to spend up to millions of dong for the free apps.

In many cases, the software pieces may make users’ computer pending. If users do not click the “agree” button, he would not be able to escape from the main screen.

“I got a lot of troubles with the software like these and I had to bring my phone to the shop, where I had to pay for the service of rescuing me from the troubles,” he said.

“I now keep away from the free apps. I would rather to pay money for copyrighted software to feel secure with my expensive phone. If you use legal software, you can foresee how much you have to pay. Meanwhile, if you use free software, you would still have to pay money, while you don’t know how much it would cost you,” he continued.

A member of Tinhte forum, said though he downloaded some Vietnamese apps labeled as “free apps,” he still lost 15,000 dong from his account every time when he ran the apps.

After downloading the apps free of charge, users would receive the messages which say they need to send messages to some certain addresses to activate the apps. Of course, users would have to pay for the messages.

Especially, the message sending and receiving occurred without any warnings that users have to pay for the apps.

In many cases, users have to pay money for every time they use the apps. This means that they have to pay money many times for the same apps. Meanwhile, the subscribers do not think that they do not have any more duties to the service providers.

“Most of the free apps are Vietnamese products,” he said.


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