SEOUL, June 25 (Korea Bizwire) — Google LLC will correct unfair subscription practices related to its YouTube Premium service in South Korea, Seoul’s telecommunications regulator said Thursday.
Local consumers will be able to cancel the YouTube Premium service immediately and will be eligible for refunds based on their remaining subscription period, the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) said after receiving Google’s voluntary corrective measures.
Previously, YouTube Premium users had to wait until the end of their monthly subscription period even if they applied for service cancellation, while paying service charges for that month.
The KCC said South Korea will be the first country where Google will apply service charging system based on the number of days used for its YouTube Premium service.
In January, the KCC imposed a fine of 867 million won (US$720,000) on Google for violating local telecom laws in the operation of its YouTube Premium service, pointing out that the tech giant didn’t properly notify users of the fact that the streaming service converts to a charged service after a one-month free trial.
In addition to service cancellation process, Google will clearly state the end date of the free trial of the YouTube Premium service when users register. It also will inform users via email three days before the free trial turns into a charged service.
Google plans to enforce such measures from Aug. 25, the KCC said.
YouTube, the world’s largest online video platform, has been operating the ad-free subscription service, since 2015 with a one-month free trial.
Premium service allows users to enjoy YouTube contents without interruption by advertisements. Users can also download content to enjoy offline and play videos in the background while using another app on their phone.