Fraudulent App Store applications

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by Arnold Rimmer, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. Arnold Rimmer macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2010
    Hi folks,

    Yet again i have been ripped off from another developer who's application promises certain functionality and simply does not after it has been paid and downloaded.

    Its not very often this happens to be honest, last time it was 59p this time it was £2.99 and quite frankly i am tired of it.

    I will assume that some of you have been ripped off or feel slightly annoyed that your apps have been left for dead after paying £3 for an app that is now useless after 4 months due to not being supported on iOS4 or iPhone 4 retina.

    This is an outrage in my opinion, particularity when the developers are still creating new apps or PRO versions of the apps that do support these features and then don't offer you a discounted upgrade for example?

    So their is a new facebook group designed to point out fraudulent developers and applications and help us filter out the rubbish and keep our fellow iPhone users safe.

    If you have been ripped off or know anyone who has please join the group and list the apps and the proof etc and hopefully we can clean this messy unfaithful store up once and for all.


    Arnold Rimmer
  2. johnrs macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    Nottingham - UK
  3. Arnold Rimmer thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2010
    One example is/was Hippo Remote.

    I purchased the paid version after reading the description, it advised of profiles, etc and i was happy to complete the purchase based on that information.

    The free version only had basic functionality but the paid version according to the description had the functionality i wanted and was looking for.

    However after purchasing the app i was surprised to learn that the advertised features were not available, i contacted the sales support and they said that i need the next version up? So i screen dumped the sales description and sent it to them and they advised that it was a generic copy of the sales description for the entire app? Meaning they list all features even if that version does not contain them? WTF?

    Anyway, I then had to buy the next version up and was not refunded or discounted for the other product they mis sold to me.

    This is the equivilent to walking into Starbuks and paying £2.99 for a Latte, then upon recieving the drink it only contains Milk and then being advised that you require the next version up at £4.99 and then being charged the full £4.99 again? Eh? no? How about just me paying you the difference? Considering it was not clearly stated that my Latte was actually Just a Glass of Milk without the Coffee??

    This has happened time and time again and quite frankly i am sick of it.
    It has also happened with VNC Pocket Office, News applications and Network apps.

    My total loss is only about £15 but its not the point, I am sure others have lost similar amounts and that could be worth millions.

    The app store descriptions are regularly complained about on the app store and we should try and defend our positions as buyers to ensure quality is provided to us.

    Apple are notorious at not providing refunds as well which, in its self is very concerning.
  4. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Let's Golf! is another one. I got it for free during the Christmas present thing Apple did last year, but that's beside the point. There's loads of people who paid for it, and it simply doesn't work on iOS 4. The reviews say all..

    And now, they have Let's Golf 2! which supports iOS 4, which is another £2.99. There's new features, but we shouldn't have to pay £2.99 for an update when their original app just doesn't work.

    They still sell the original on the App Store - so anyone who's using iOS 4 is going to be fuming when they pay for it.

    They should be supporting iOS 4.. there's absolutely no reason not to. They are just scamming people..
  5. Arnold Rimmer thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2010
    Exactly Kilamite!

    This is my point. We buy it then we get told to buy again? And were left with redundant applications?

    If you can join the group and post it in there that would be great, I am currently sending the link to a Digg, Mashable and a few friends who host small/medium sized blogs to get this information out.

    It seems common practice to defraud customers in the app store and sell non functioning applications then bring out a "New and improved" version but with no way for previous customers to "upgrade" even though technically it is not an upgrade at all. Its just giving us back the functionality we had in the first place!

    If you can maybe pop a link on your on face book wall or post in others forums i believe we can Shame these developers into either allowing an upgrade path, partial refund, upgrade facility's etc or at the very least advise them that we will not stand to be ripped off.

    I'm not trying to be a martyr or anything im just annoyed that some guy is earning hundreds of thousands of pounds/dollars by literally laughing at us for buying an app that was a complete scam/lie.

    Hopefully we can drive the app store from the obscure vision of Quantity over Quality. Apple usually strive for Quality over Quantity but in this instance they seem to let the scammers in and keep out the great developers who offer us incredible features!

    Apple may boast of having 100,000+ apps but the danger lies in that fact that a large percentage of them are scams specifically designed to steal from the trusting innocent buyer.

    I will be adding a list of Known scams to the group soon, plus proof or evidence for those that i can (thanks to Google cache :) and getting this out to as many people as i can to help get a single repository where we can go to check for known scammers prior to parting with our hard earned cash. It will also hopefully scare these developers away from doing this again!
  6. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    Sorry - but you got the App for free and now you are complaining that to get the newer version you have to pay? You are not the "audience" that should be complaining. YOUR complaint has no merit. Sorry. You aren't affected by the change. At all. The app is 2.99 - which would be the first time you BOUGHT the app.

    So contrary to your belief, it IS the point - not beside the point.

    That being said - no doubt SOME developers are doing what they can to maximize profits.

    But overall - I think it's a small minority. Because their livelihood depends on word of mouth. This thread can be "dangerous" because it invites people to gripe and make accusations. The very wording of "scam" or Fraud" most of the time doesn't apply.

    Just because you don't like the pricing structure - or the fact that to recoup costs, developers have to charge for different versions does not mean they are committing fraud or are scamming.

    Advertising functionality that doesn't exist is definitely dishonest unless they list that those features are coming to the app and will be included in that purchase.

    I am NOT a developer - but I don't begrudge them trying to make some money for their work and ingenuity. Most of these apps are VERY affordable for what they do. And people still complain that an app cost them .99 or 1.99. Seriously? And then on top of that - they expect after paying .99 that they will get updates forever? No other business has that model. It's not economically viable.

    If a developer is continuing to expand their product and offer more benefits (not just fixing bugs) then they should have every right to charge more or for a different version. It's GREAT that many don't. And keep adding great features and enhancements for free.

    Then people want to complain that an icon isn't updated within 24 hours after the iPhone 4 comes out and expects developers to "jump to it."

    Add to that the people that get free downloads and/or codes on this forum who don't bother to thank the developer, leave a review or even take 2 seconds to post that they've used a code is obnoxious.

    Anyway - my .02
  7. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Doesn't matter if I paid for it or not - the app is a paid app, and it doesn't work. Simple as that. I am affected by the change - I have an app, regardless of whether I paid for it or not, it doesn't work on iOS 4 and they expect me to pay £2.99 for an update, just so it works on iOS 4. My complaint is valid.

    I don't expect updates forever. I expect the app to work. They still sell this app on the App Store. It doesn't work with iOS 4. If I bought an app 2 months ago, I'd expect the developers to update it to work on iOS 4. I'm not paying for bug fixes. If the developer wants more of my money, then he can release a new version that has new features. Simply making your app "iOS 4 compatible" does not warrant a paid update!

    Agreed - I've no complaints against developers releasing new versions of their apps with added features. But this is far different from refusing to fix bugs that prevent their application from working properly in a new iOS release and instead expecting users to pay for an update just so the app works again.
  8. Arnold Rimmer thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2010
    I totally agree with Kilamite on this, and i'm surprised you don't see the point he is making?

    He's not saying he wants free updates or that the next version (Version 2) should be free or even subsidised to him for any reason.

    He is saying that he bought an app in good faith, that app worked fine and he played it happily. It cost £2.99.

    Then when iOS 4 was pushed out the application stopped working HOWEVER the developer was not dead, was not bankrupt, was not out of business etc INFACT the developer is happily creating apps right now that are the EXACT same game only with iOS 4 compatability?

    Therefore the developer SHOULD (even by your own omissions samcraig) have the decency to support his paid subscribers and update the code to support iOS4 as word of mouth and good rep is part of his business etc... (as you quite rightly said)

    This is no different to buying a MAC and apple updating MAC OS and your hardware/software manufacturer not releasing a patch or driver so support the changes. Yes sometimes this happens, however its rare in the MAC and PC world for this to occur, but when it does there is a huge uproar about it and/or we aviode buying from that vendor again.

    By your definition samcraig your saying that if and when apple choose to upgrade the software on their devices, determines the length of time we are allowed to use our apps?

    I don't think so...
    I would agree if it were a completly differnt OS such as Windows 7, Vista, XP etc with a complete rewitre of the Kernal etc however this is not the case!

    If that developer can create working iOS4 apps and charge for them, he can continue to support his other applications in his business. What prospect does that have toward buying his app again... im sure if you see how he treats his old customers, would you want to be his new one?
  9. LSUtigers03 macrumors 68020


    Apr 9, 2008
    Let's Golf works fine for me and has always worked. My brother and I play it all the time. We both have iPhone 4's and have no issues.
  10. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    If it doesn't work for OS 4.0 - then yea - the developer - in their best interest should update for free. They aren't OBLIGATED.. but sure - again it's in their best interest.

    My big(gest) objection was the notion that Kilamite was using the same argument regarding a free app he got. Sorry - but he's not justified complaining that for HIM, Personally, He now has to shell out money for an upgrade. In concept - if it's an OS compatibility issue - then it should be updated for free (see my note above. But he's complaining that he has to pay $2.99 for an app that he got for free.

    And my point is - THAT is not a debate or an issue. He was FORTUNATE enough to get an app that cost 2.99 for free. So if he now has to pay 2.99 to use the app - then he's had the app as a free demo the whole time and should appreciate that. HE, specifically, is entitled to nothing.

    There is a difference between what you and I are discussion (which we agree on mostly) and what he's complaining about in one instance. You understand that, right?
  11. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    It works if I restart my iPhone and play. But, once I quit the game, and reload it, it crashes at the menu screen (sometimes before). Only way to be able to play again is to restart my iPhone. And yeah, when I say quit the game, I mean double tapping home and closing it.

    Ah I see - I can't be part of this discussion because a paid app I got for free doesn't work. :rolleyes:
  12. mKTank macrumors 68000


    Jul 2, 2010
    Try closing it from the task switcher.
  13. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Can you not read?
  14. Arnold Rimmer thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2010
    Kilamite's point is still correct IMHO,
    Whether you pay for an app or not, due to a sale, a competition win or any other possibility, you expect the product to work.

    Again, if you won a free DVD or MP3 player from BestBuy and it did not function as advertised and their reply to you was.. "well, you got it for free so you cant complain" is completly irrelevant!

    We have all bought apps (im sure) that don't function as they say they do, we know they are all over the app store (such as these gimmicky fake iphone trackers etc) its riddled with sh*te applications.

    We have probably all lost at least 59p (99c) between us and its time for this to stop.
    The longer we accept it the harder it will be to get a decent app from the bogus bull that has flooded the store...

    Whatever we believe, whatever we feel, we all have at least 1 app that no longer works, doesn't work as advertised, or is just total sh*te and that same developer will be writing new applications and charging for them, so why not support your excising members is the point.

    So lets name and shame these thieves and also praise the ones that do well.

    Applications that literally blew my socks off with awesome support were UK Traffic, Office2 and Note Master and i have tweeted and blogged regarding that.

    However these others developers who create scams and bullsh*te apps are getting away scot free? Why? Lets do something about it....
  15. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    And this is why I say this thread is "dangerous." You're ready to get the pitchforks, tar and feathers encouraging others to do the same. I am not saying that there are a few developers out there that might fit your bill. Others might not know there's a real problem or simply have moved on. Maybe they've lost interest in their app. Maybe they are hard at work on a new app. Who really knows the motivation.

    I "fear" that this thread will turn into people condemning some developers blindly. It will turn into a thread complaining that some apps don't have retina display graphics yet, etc.

    If you've been around the computer industry long enough, you'll note that there have been plenty of software packages that have just simply stopped being supported and/or phased out as Windows (for example) has gone from 3.1, through Windows 7. Or that sometimes - the "fix" come WAY down the line because the company is focusing on other software and/or has limited resources.

    In the scheme of things - OS 4.0 hasn't been in the wild all to long on actual working phones. Have a LITTLE patience. Have some courtesy to at least email/contact the developer to gauge their update plan before "shaming then"
  16. Arnold Rimmer thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2010

    First of all there are no pitch forks here?
    It states on the first page and on the facebook group that EVIDENCE MUST BE PROVIDED and if evidence can be provided that an app is a scam i'm honestly quite surprised you would not want to hear it and pass that information to your fellow friends?

    Second, i have been around the IT industry for over 30 years! I am a highly Certified Novell, MS and Adobe Master... Every time i have seen failure to update or provide support for an application the developer has been lambasted! Take creative and their driver farce for example fixed by a user... Adobe supporting there old badly programmed Flash and in all honesty doing well in that battle, MS with legacy support, etc etc etc

    Third, Yes software is sometimes left behind, but listen to your own advice... If the developer doesn't fix it, if people complain, someone will.
    Whether its Daniel and his creative drivers, Microsoft and there Virtual Windows XP (in Win7) for backward compatibility or Apple and a virtual machine...

    Somebody somewhere will support it if there is genuine concern...

    We should not worry about a developers feeling while they raid money from our accounts for their bad work.

    and if they are updating or creating a new product, give us a time scale and answer the support emails or at the very least. UPDATE THE APP DESCRIPTION ADVISING THAT'S THE CASE!
  17. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    Here's the thing. I'm reading your posts and understand your points. I don't think you're giving me the same courtesy.

    I'm not arguing against you and the developers who are genuinely scamming people.

    What I've been saying is that this thread can be dangerous. Because - unless you're new here - people like to throw others "under the bus" because they can't read, have little patience, etc.

    So you're potentially going to get a lot of people who THINK they are being scammed or feel that a developer isn't "legit" when in fact they are. And that's because there's such a level of entitlement to a lot of people who post here. Do you read App reviews? There are tons of people who give negative reviews who don't read App descriptions.

    As many as there are "scammers" - there are legit developers who get throttled in reviews or on threads because people are too stupid (yes I said it) to read the app description and understand what the app can and can't do AND if there are any KNOWN ISSUES that are being addressed.

    So I don't disagree with the premise of your post. I just think it's potentially "Dangerous" as I've been posting.
  18. Arnold Rimmer thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2010

    I am most definitely extending you the same courtesy, However, i just don't agree that a thread or group like this is "Dangerous" i infact beleive that to be a slightly over dramatic response.

    If the app store if full of negative reviews (as you say) based on on NO factual evidence than by your own definition my group and post should help counter act that by only allowing people to post if they can provide EVIDENCE of such activity. For example buying an app, testing it, proving it does not do what it stated it could do and posting the evidence of this and therefore proving the app and developer as fraudulent.

    If a developer doesn't want to get caught out, don't do it, its quite simple...

    Plus, i believe some apps are far more "dangerous" than a group pointing out fraudulent developers/scammers etc...

    This is no different from a "positive" or "Best app or 2010" post as it could just attract developers paying people to leave positive reviews?

    They are both as "Dangerous" as each other and i don't believe it to be "Dangerous" at all.
    If people create positive or paid reviews for "The best app" threads, to allow them to get to the top of the list, then my argument could be that the little indy developer gets pushed out and crushed by the big advertising corps etc ...
    and the simple fact is...
    That happens, every day!
  19. bobab8ey macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2008
    I can see the arguments for both sides here. fwiw, I'm leaning towards caution, as I think the number of developers with intent to defraud customers is very small. Calling them "thieves" seems a bit over the top, as there are potentially other circumstances involved (some possibly beyond their control).

    But that's not my point.

    At the risk of throwing gasoline on the fire, does Apple not share some blame with this "thievery" you claim? They are getting a cut of the developer's profit via the App Store, and therefore involved at some level. And if the practice was really that bad and rampant, wouldn't Apple remove their app listing due to some violation of the developer's program TOS and possibly refund your money?
  20. Arnold Rimmer thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2010
    I agree,
    There are some that are bogus, and others that blatantly try to steal money by conning people via a false description. What i have seen lately is a trend to reduce apps in the sale from 3.99 to 59p knowing full and fine well that the app does not work under iOS 4 in a desperate attempt to make cash... however lask of iOS 4 support is not stated in the description... therefore we buy an app for 59p only to realise after its been purchased that it will not even load. Fantastic.

    That's blatant thievery!

    Yes apple should also be held accountable Hence the "App Store" mentioned in the group and the thread... plus that every app that has evidence of false advertising etc will be reported to apple via the group? I fail to see how this is harmful in any way? If you are in BestBuy and it says "GPS locator, Find any Mobile Phone with this GPS CELL LOCATOR" and you buy it.

    And In no way does it state or say that it is infact an entertainment product only, and it is even located in the utilities section of the store and not in the entertainment section at all...
    Then you get it home,
    open it,
    and it is infact
    A plastic fake computer with no internals that does nothing... Would you really not report them to the trades description act?

    Im sure as ***** i would.
    For the record i have NEVER purchased these types of apps as im not that stupid (sorry to those who did) however it just easily validates my point.

    Calling someone a thief, who blatantly mis lead customers via an app description or otherwise is "a bit over the top" but calling this thread "Dangerous" is acceptable? Really?
  21. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    There's a difference as I deliberately put dangerous in quotes. It's the difference in intent of the word choice. It's a tonal difference.

    VERY different than using words like scammers and thieves.

    And did you not write "Apple may boast of having 100,000+ apps but the danger lies in that fact that a large percentage of them are scams specifically designed to steal from the trusting innocent buyer."

    The danger lies..

    And then you spoke in hyperbole... "a large percentage of them are scams specifically designed to steal from the trusting innocent buyer"

    I don't believe a large percentage are scams at all. And you just said that your FB group and this thread are to weed out the smaller amount. This is why I think your FB and this thread are "dangerous."

    You are misleading people as well. You're implying that there are a ton of apps in the appstore which are scams. And then you say "There are some that are bogus, and others that blatantly try to steal money by conning people via a false description. "

    So which is it - some or "a large percentage"

    The tone of your post and kilamites is of pitchforks and tar/feathers. That's my objection.

    You might be trying to do something worthy - but your "voice" is coming across a bit over-the-top/rabid. And your hyperbole makes you less credible and yes, this thread more "dangerous" as I have maintained.
  22. bobab8ey macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2008
    All I'm saying is that you've got to be careful who you include on your fb page, because some developers might not 100% deserve to be there and could take issue with your writings. You're potentially setting yourself up for libel and/or slanderous lawsuits from them.
  23. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Lawsuit over a bad review..? Don't think so.

    If I say on here, don't buy Apple products, they rip you off, you think Apple will sue me?
  24. bobab8ey macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2008
    No, but lawsuit over calling someone a "thief" and that their marketing practices are intentionally deceptive...I'd rather lose 99 cents to find this out the hard way, rather than risk several hundred or several thousand defending myself from it in court.

    A company that has multiple billions in cash reserves will not. But a developer who has a majority of their income riding on said apps? It's not worth my time and money to stir them up...

    Again, OP can do what he wants. I was just offering my opinion on the matter. He felt he got ripped off and it left him with a bitter taste in his mouth. If it were me, I'd ping Apple first by reporting the app(s) in question and see what their response is. If Apple doesn't see fit to remove the offending app, then bad-mouthing the developer in a public forum might not be the best way to go...
  25. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Not familiar with freedom of speech? If a developer has bad practise, I can freely exploit that. Calling them a thief.. ok not the right words to use, but to outline their flaws and show their poor commitment to paid applications, what's wrong with that?

    If a developer refuses to update a paid app and expects users to pay for the new version just so it works on iOS 4.. that is poor practise, and that developer should rightly so be exploited. Buy an app from this developer, and it is not future proof.

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