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vettori
Jul 12, 2008, 04:39 PM
Hi,

I'm an Italian Developer. My app is in the store.
Some guy have left an unfair review (one star) with unjustified reasons.

Since my iTunes account is valid only in the Italian store I can't reply or report a concern.

Can someone with U.S. account do it for me (the app is Shopping List) ?

We all developers should ask Apple to make our accounts valid on all the stores, at least to report concerns on our app reviews! I've sent an email but I think that we should all say something to be heard.

Thank you



netdog
Jul 12, 2008, 04:41 PM
What is your app?

Cromulent
Jul 12, 2008, 04:42 PM
Some guy have left an unfair review (one star) with unjustified reasons.

Not really your place to say what a justifiable reason for a customer not liking your software is. You may find it unfair and not very reasonable but the customer obviously thought it was justified otherwise he wouldn't of bothered. What app is it anyway?

vettori
Jul 12, 2008, 04:47 PM
The app is

Shopping List


Really, if it was a "real" review I had no problem. But it says:

This is stupid. reQall is way better and free.

But reQall is a lot different to my app ! It seems to me that these review should be "filtered" by someone because if the iTunes store accept anything one enters it can be a source of unfair competition!

Thanks

TonyHoyle
Jul 12, 2008, 04:51 PM
Well reQall has a shopping list, and it *is* free, so the review, although harsh, isn't actually saying anything that isn't true.

If your app is good you'll get lots of good reviews to counterbalance the bad ones - it's self correcting and doesn't need anyone 'filtering'.

admanimal
Jul 12, 2008, 04:54 PM
I have to say that a lot of the reviews I have seen have been garbage. For example, one app had a one star review with the comment of "this app seems nice, what does it do?" I also saw some irrelevant comments for the AIM app, like a one or two star review with the comment "why don't they make an msn app?"

As a developer, I wish there was a way I could at least respond to the comments. I have been lucky that my app got 3 thoughtful reviews, but I would like to respond to the reviewers comments, letting them know that their suggestions have been noted and in fact are already implemented in the next update.

vettori
Jul 12, 2008, 04:58 PM
@TonyHole
I think this is not true.

Even with Notes you can write down a shopping list, is free and you can prefer it to a complete full featured shopping list app.
I think one can't say that Notes is way better and the other apps are stupid.
Moreover a one star review on store launch is not the best way to show in the store...

One should compare *similar* applications. You can like or not like an application. But that review is simply unfair.

I'm also courios about if, to make a review, you must have buyed an app or not...
If not, be prepared to have the store filled with this type of reviews.

There are only my opinions, and I like to hear other developers about this.

TonyHoyle
Jul 12, 2008, 05:32 PM
Well since the other app has a specific shopping list mode it does encompass your app - this isn't like comparing to a general notes application.

That's kinda beside the point though.

You'll have to learn to not take reviews personally... The software world is harsh. You can't control how everyone else sees it.. probably 90% of everything written will bomb and never be seen again. Rarely, you hit upon something that catches the imagination of a reasonable group of people and becomes a success. That's life (I've lost count of the number of apps I've written that have gone nowhere.. I got lucky and one app now pays my salary - but it *was* pure luck - that said, I'd never look at a review of it because I don't like them either).

Look at the download count.. if it's going up nicely you're OK, otherwise you might need to make some changes.

vettori
Jul 12, 2008, 05:43 PM
Thanks TonyHole,

I only hope that Apple will let developers at least report a concern even if they don't live in the store country.

jplan2008
Jul 12, 2008, 05:53 PM
I'm also courios about if, to make a review, you must have buyed an app or not...
If not, be prepared to have the store filled with this type of reviews.

There are only my opinions, and I like to hear other developers about this.

I'm a consumer, not a developer, but here are my 2 lira (or is it just Euros now):

You don't have to have purchased an app to review it, I agree this is a mistake. There are tons of reviews all over the app store saying "I would never pay X dollars for this app! Rip-off!" and I agree these aren't helpful. So I marked the review you mentioned as "not helpful." I'm not going to "report a concern," because that's really for something totally inappropriate, or hateful, etc. And I'm not going to post a review, since we both agree that reviews by people who haven't downloaded and tried an app aren't helpful, and, ummm... to be honest, I'm not going to pay $3.99 plus 7.5% sales tax for a shopping list app.
I know you didn't ask for any advice, but since you threw out your app and the comment to it on this forum, I'd suggest: 1) if your app is better than the other shopping apps in certain respects, then highlight those aspects in the description and screen shot; 2) people in the U.S. are very unforgiving of non-native English speakers, so ask a native English speaker to proof-read and revise your description (here, even saying "shops" instead of "stores" will put some people off -- we're very insulated language-wise; 3) speaking of language, also market any additional uses for the app -- I'm not sure if with all the language support, you can have multiple languages or not -- if you can, market it as also language practice -- learning names of foods and everyday items is useful to a language learner; 4) sorry, but consider (drastically) lowering the price. That's not to say your work isn't valuable, but you have to remember there are already over 300 paid apps competing with yours, and thousands to come soon (yes, you're competing with totally different ones -- if I have a budget of $30, then I'm going to be thinking about "Super Monkey Ball" when I consider your app, even if they're obviously totally different apps). I think you'll make up the difference, and then some with increased volume. I don't mean to tell you how to run your business, just giving you a U.S. consumer's point of view.

vettori
Jul 12, 2008, 05:57 PM
jplan2008,

thank you very much for your comments.

AngryPotato
Jul 14, 2008, 11:21 AM
Same boat here... people who have not even downloaded the app are putting in stupid reviews like "Uhh, this is dumb."

I have an idea, if you guys are game, I will do it.

We are sort of competitors on the AppStore, but we also are comrades.

What if we create a network of developers, and we go through and give each other positive reviews on our apps?

So you give my apps a positive review, in turn, I give yours a positive review. Since we don't have to purchase them either, we can do this.

Then we balance it out...

Give me the names of your apps, I will review them with 5 stars, you do the same for me ;)

If you guys are game, I will put up a website to make this easy for us to do.

-Potato

phxbbrown
Jul 14, 2008, 12:11 PM
Yikes. So to combat bad reviews by people who haven't even seen the app we should leave good reviews by people who haven't even seen the app? I prefer the earlier suggestion that we just take these knocks as part of life. And the one of marking such reviews "not helpful" because they really aren't.

Bill

AngryPotato
Jul 14, 2008, 12:32 PM
Yikes. So to combat bad reviews by people who haven't even seen the app we should leave good reviews by people who haven't even seen the app? I prefer the earlier suggestion that we just take these knocks as part of life. And the one of marking such reviews "not helpful" because they really aren't.

Bill

Well it's a fight fire with fire thing. If Apple would adjust their policy so people who have not used the app cannot rate it, it would solve the problem...

Thanks for your opinion, any others?

vettori
Jul 14, 2008, 03:13 PM
@AngryPotato,

Now I'm asking the users that writes to me to ask support to leave a review if they like the app.

I don't think that adding five stars review is the solution. I think that

1) Apple should modify the review process so that you can leave a review only if you have bought the app;

2) We developers should be able to report concerns in EVERY store, not only our country store;

3) We developers should be able to send emails to reviewers or at least comment on reviews.

For example I have a review where an user says that the app is killing his iPod. Even when my app is closed the iPod don't work. When he removed the app all went fine... A bit strange uh ? Maybe there were other problems ???

Enuratique
Jul 14, 2008, 04:37 PM
@AngryPotato,

Now I'm asking the users that writes to me to ask support to leave a review if they like the app.

I don't think that adding five stars review is the solution. I think that

1) Apple should modify the review process so that you can leave a review only if you have bought the app;

2) We developers should be able to report concerns in EVERY store, not only our country store;

3) We developers should be able to send emails to reviewers or at least comment on reviews.

For example I have a review where an user says that the app is killing his iPod. Even when my app is closed the iPod don't work. When he removed the app all went fine... A bit strange uh ? Maybe there were other problems ???

Honestly, these are good suggestions. There were already reports (http://www.tuaw.com/2008/07/13/unfair-practices-in-the-app-store/) of shenanigans with respect to application naming to game it so that your app would show up first if sorted by name. Apple appears to have quickly responded to this ruse. Have you tried filing these ideas as an "enhancement" report for iTunes at Apple's Bug Reporter (http://bugreport.apple.com)?