Last week, Google went on a cleanup spree and deducted large chunks of Play Store credits that people had raked over time in Opinion Rewards. Our tips mailbox quickly filled up with reports of balances unexpectedly shrinking by tens of dollars, while Google stayed mum on what appeared to be a widespread concern. The company just broke its silence on this issue with a short explanation appearing for many within the Rewards app.
In a prominent banner in the Opinion Rewards app, Google addresses the abrupt drop in balance, while reiterating that all credits earned through surveys are supposed to expire after a period of one year. These survey rewards have always come with a year’s validity, but Google didn’t bother to enforce that until last week when it wiped out any balance that outlasted its expiration. The banner points to an updated Help Center article, where the new Help! My credit disappeared section has a brief note suggesting ‘adversely affected’ users wait another week for an update. It’s not clear if that means some or all credits will be reinstated, or if Google has a way to make it up to those who lost a big sum.
Left: Banner in Opinion Rewards app. Right: Updated Help Center.
Meanwhile, Google is also working on a way to notify you about the credits expiring soon, as stated in another section of the help page. As of now, you can only check nearing expiry dates through the Payments method head in the Play Store. Spending some of the remaining credit has helped push the balance expiration further by a few days for some users, as the oldest credits get used up first.
Where do you carry your phone?