I have an app with lots of downloads and 4.8* reviews on the Play Store for over the last 2 years. In the last update we submitted they decided to check the Privacy-URL as well. This URL was temporary offline due to website maintenance. The reaction for google was to not only reject our app update but also to take the existing app offline (unpublish?). No grace period, no questions ask, just point blank removal from the store. I fixed this issue within minutes after getting informed about the removed from the store and submitted a new App binary to get a new review going.
Normally the reviews process in 1 day, this time it's approaching a week now. All this time our app is still offline.
At the moment we're getting lots of questions from potential new customers that can't find our app since we're approach a week of being unpublished.
I e-mailed Google appeal board this to get clarification on this lightly taken desicion to take our company down.
This happened twice already. Can you imagine how frustrating this is to a start-up that tries to build a winning app? To be off-line, getting lots of questions from users? Or has Google become this kind of organization that can't reflect on their own practices anymore and we have to deal with Google as a unpredictable black box that can decide to remove your app for any reason at any time without even asking a question?
Could you please really respond to this, and more importantly escalate this to management, because I really think this is a big 'sin' and it happened 2 times to me already. This never happened to us with Apple by the way where our app is listed as well.
Since my app is in review now which can take up to 7 days, can you at least make sure my last version of the app is back in the stores ASAP, that is removed for NO reason?
I just hope to get clarification if this is a common practice or that this was a mistake from an employee, I hope it's the latter one and appropriate actions are taken towards the employee. You can't take out business whenever you want.
There reply just stunned me. I have no words.
Thanks for your reply. We can process an app deletion only if the app meets all of the following criteria:
App must be in good standing (not rejected, removed, or suspended)
App must have 0 lifetime installs
App must not be in review
App must be unpublished for 24 hours
As the status of your app is “pending”, we are not able to delete com.kiter at this time.
Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns about the Play Console.
Instead of responding to my complaint/concerns they are sarcastically interpreting my question as if I'm asking to get my app completely deleted. So yes, Google has become this company where detached robot people are executing boring jobs, not giving a single shit about their actual customers.
My question, is Google in the wrong here and can I sue them with good chances for illegitimate app removal + the financial impact of that on our company?