Apple Takes No responsibility for Third Party Apps

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by warburg, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. warburg macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    Apple will take no responsibility for third party apps, even though they are downloaded through itunes and Apple makes a hefty profit on them.

    I had downloaded the Lonely Planet City Guide to Berlin, which proved to be sketchy and seriously outdated. I was consequently glad to receive a message in the Applications section of itunes that the app had been upgraded, and I downloaded the supposed upgrade. To my surprise it totally wiped out the contents of the app on my iphone, leaving only the icon. When I tried to download the app again through itunes, a pop-up message informed me that it had been discontinued and was no longer available.

    I called Apple Customer Service and was informed that Apple took no responsibility whatever for what developers do with third-party apps. I find it remarkable since the apps are products sold by Apple through their own software. How many other retail outlets would adopt this attitude toward customers:confused:
  2. mavis macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
    Tokyo, Japan
    I wonder why they are so quick to reject apps if they're not actually responsible for them in any way ... :rolleyes:
  3. greatmaju macrumors member


    Aug 13, 2008
    A Little place i Call Terra
    Well, i think Apple only get 30% from the price of third party Apps. There could be something in the T&C's as well. And the fact that Apple doesn't makes the Apps.

    But the Lonely Planet Berlin Guide (£9.49 :eek:) Is available on iTunes. Tested for iPhone 3.0.

    Perhaps you should contact Apple saying that the App that you payed for through the iTunes store Didn't download properly.

    I'm sure you can download it again somehow. Though, to be honest, I only deal with the free Apps.
  4. iPhone 62S macrumors 6502a

    iPhone 62S

    Aug 18, 2009
    I'm not surprised they don't take responsibility for the apps, they don't make them do they?
  5. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    If you buy a CD by XXXX from Best Buy and after listening decide you don't like them. Do you blame BB for selling it or the band XXXX for the crappy content?
  6. MacToddB macrumors 6502a


    Aug 21, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    The analogy falls apart because the app has to be approved by Apple for it to be for sale, whereas BestBuy does not have a monopoly on CDs and doesn't have such an approval process. I was at a BestBuy when some guy tried to return an opened CD of the Beatles "1" (a compilation of their #1 hits) because he already had all the songs, on different CDs. I wanted to say "Dude, the Beatles haven't recorded new stuff in, oh at least 5 years."

    However, I agree that Apple cannot take responsibility for the app's feature set. Could you imagine the approval delays if they did?

    On the other hand, Apple does allow refunds ('Report a problem') so they at least take financial responsibility, since they took your money, and the developer only gets 70%, eventually, and doesn't know if you bought the app, so a developer can't really be expected to perform a refund.

    It would be unrealistic to make Apple take more responsibility than refunding your money (i.e. supporting the actual app, explaining how to use it, fixing bugs).

    If your complaint to Apple was that the app was outdated, I really don't expect (or want) Apple to be checking how recent the restaurant reviews in Berlin were before they approve such an app. If the complaint is that the app will not install (doubtful, because they DO test that) then a refund would be justified. But I don't expect Apple to excuse user error. And the app is for sale, released May 18th, and nobody else seems to have your problem. Not a single 1 star review.
  7. return7 macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2008
    Apple doesn't make a very large profit from the App Store itself. They make their money from hardware. Some numbers on this were published some time ago.

    Anyway, that's REALLY crappy on the developer's part to screw users like that, though. They could have AT LEAST either left it up there or stopped selling it all together, leaving users with the old version. :mad:

    Edit: Dev was doing the right thing after all. Some miscommunication/interpretation of OP's msg. :)
  8. PatrickRS macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2008
    I don't blame Apple one bit for this policy. The idea that a mere approval process can somehow foresee, and take responsibility for, the foibles of unknown multitudes of developers is unrealistic, to say the least.
  9. caligurl macrumors 68030


    Jun 8, 2009
    this is a case where you request a refund.... and screw the developer who has to pay the whole price... not just their percentage (assuming it's a paid app)
  10. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    I you change that to music CD at Wally World, it would likely hold, since they do approve music for sale. And won't sell the CDs if they don't pass their process.

    Still doesn't mean you won't think you bought crap, a CD won't work on your Mac, or is a mini-CD that destroys your slot loader.
  11. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    Why would Apple take responsibility, the approval process is merely a filter.
  12. foob macrumors 6502


    Feb 17, 2009
    They shouldn't take responsibility for apps but they should take responsibility for purchases. E.g., if you paid for something that is not available, you should get your money back.

    However, it sounds like you paid for it and used it for a while although you didn't like it, then it was discontinued. I don't see a refund there.
  13. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I can see the frustration but frankly I'd only want to hold apple responsible if the app had malicious code. I'd expect that to be caught by their filtering/approval process.
  14. Creative One macrumors 6502

    Creative One

    Apr 25, 2009
    How much time and money would it cost to train support on every single iPod app that is submitted?

    Common sense please. :rolleyes:
  15. warburg thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    I didn't say it wasn't posted as an app, but obviously you didn't try downloading it. If you do try, you will receive a pop-up message that it has been withdrawn by the developer and is no longer available.

    Apparently, you didn't read though my post. I did contact Apple Customer Service and was told (by a supervisor) that Apple takes no responsibility for third-party apps.
  16. warburg thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    I wonder if there isn't an international misunderstanding in some of the replies to my post. In the US, generally speaking, if you buy a product and it proves to be defective, the retailer from whom you purchased it will make some form of redress.

    I received a mesage through itunes that there was an update to the Lonely Planet Berlin City Guide. All of you are familiar with these app updates. When I downloaded the supposed upgrade and synced my phone, I discovered that the contents of the app had been wiped out and only the logo remained. I went back to itunes and tried to download the app again (since this is free once you purchase an app) and a pop-up appeared saying that the developer had withdrawn the app and that it was no longer available.

    My question is that since Apple sells the app on itunes and the message for the upgrade was sent through itunes, aren't they responsible for what they advertised but did not deliver?
  17. nehunte macrumors 6502


    Apr 30, 2009
    1. Not an advertisement

    2. Apple wasn't the company that didn't deliver. The app maker was.

    The app store is essentially an online retailer. Are you going to blame Amazon when you buy your Three Wolves t-shirt from a shirt producer that sells them on Amazon, only to find out they sent you a shirt with three puppies howling at a bouncy ball? Didn't think so.
  18. MacToddB macrumors 6502a


    Aug 21, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    I did some research.

    It sounds like they did an update which caused upgrades to crash.

    It appears to have been fixed in another update awaiting Apple's review, as of 2 days ago.

    Regardless, the developer seems to be doing the right thing if you contact them with proof of purchase (go to My Account / Purchase History):
  19. warburg thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    Yes, it's back. Thanks much for this. I believe, nevertheless that this thread raised some interesting questions. I did use the wrong word—"advertisement"—to refer to the itunes message that an app has been upgraded. I suppose that "incentive" would be more accurate. How many people would ignore the message that a free upgrade to one of their apps is available? Isn't Apple somewhat responsible for such messages appearing on itunes?
  20. MacToddB macrumors 6502a


    Aug 21, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    I think the problem is that the upgrade process caused problems. The new version of the app was fine, and tested/approved by Apple, but the process of upgrading caused an issue where the app crashed. That's hard to debug and not really something I would expect Apple to do.

    One way around it is to delete the app and reinstall.

    Regardless, the developer seems to have a fix on the way.

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