Leher app was removed from PlayStore from 18 Jun to 22June due to an internal build supposedly having a policy violation in disclosure.[This build was approved by same team 2 days back on 16Jun without any warnings]
Given the CoronaVirus issue, playstore has been really slow in approving builds. In April & May we could only release twice.
In this case, we had to find the issue, fix the issue and then literally pray for this to be approved.
We filed an appeal, we removed the SDK which was mentioned(branch SDK), we had already changed the policy/disclosure.
After 24 hours of no response, we reached out to our friends in VC & Google, most were considerate but less hopeful. But they pitched in by making connections or forwarding the cause.
We received a response on Sunday 20th June mentioning that we re-upload a build-in compliance, remove all previous builds from the play system.
We complied again immediately. 24 hours later we got a reply that they will review this in 7+days, no timeline given.
This time we went all out with friends and connects, mailed everyone we could get hold of :
3 Heads of Something in Google India,
3 People in Developer ecosystem of Google India,
2 Heads of PlayStore Google India,
A couple of People in Google London,
A couple of People in Google Newyork[Heard that they handle reviews]
They all helped, expedited the process and finally Leher was back in play store on Tuesday Early hours 23 Jun.
Key Learnings: Build Relationships, Ask help – People are eager to help. Don’t Panic, keep hustling, don’t leave things to chance.
- Know which versions are still LIVE/available in various tracks on the Playstore.
- Keep these to minimum
- Act fast on policy warnings/rejections – Ensure you keep no reasons for doubt
- When a build gets rejected, the change on the playstore listing might also be reversed even if those werent connected directly
- Privacy & Data handling issues are a must focus on disclosures, even when you are integrating some very Standard SDKs
- Only use the functions that you precisely need from a SDK and be aware of them
- Read about the underlying open libraries that you use from GIT which maybe opensource, some of them maybe sending data/pinging some ips/addresses
- Learn from mistakes fast 🙂