So, a competitor makes fake accounts and gives you 1 star reviews...

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by CBanga, Jul 15, 2009.

  1. CBanga macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2009
    I know I'm going to sound like the resident whiner, with my last topic focusing on piracy and how to tackle it as a developer, but here is another issue which I would love some feedback on with how your team combats a problem.

    Recently, we've had a competitor reach the top 10 in the US, mostly because he propelled past us after leaving fake reviews on our app pointing people to his app, while giving fictitious problems with the app in his review. I don't like pointing fingers, but when these accounts only have 3 reviews in their history (one 1 star review for us and 3 five star reviews for the three apps he has created), you start to get a little upset. It hits even harder when you see him climb to huge success that could have been yours if not for him lying about you.

    I made this quick YouTube video which details some of the lies in these fake reviews, in hopes of placing to rest some of these fake complains, but I fear it's not close to enough and too much damage has already been done.

    So what do you do when a competitor slanders your app? Do you play dirty as well or have you found an alternative plan of attack? I would love to hear your opinions.
  2. MadGoat macrumors 65816


    Jul 30, 2007
    Agreed ... Take your licks and just move on. If you can't handle it, you're in the wrong business.

    I congratulate you for making an app with no experience, yadda yadda. But you're really playing up this sob story way to much.

    I know you want to make money, and well, by all means make it, I for one wont be paying for your app since you've turned me right off of it with your cries for the sympathy purchase.

    *plays worlds smallest violin*

    I supported you completely in the piracy thread, but this is just sad.
  3. wowipod macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2008
    Ok so your saying this is sad. I think you are wrong. If you spent hard hours making an app that is then attacked by another developer so their app does better, I would be annoyed.
  4. colmaclean macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    If a corporation made incorrect/slanderous accusations in a TV/newspaper ad, they'd have lawyers onto them in a flash!

    If the allegations are true, is this any different?
  5. Mac N Tosh macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2009
    I think you combat the problem by simply making a better product, like all business...
  6. rKunda macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2008
    +1. Don't return in kind (as was suggested). Because there isn't an official mechanism to punish jerks in the app store, you'll simply have to take the crap, though it sucks, but you can try to beat them in the development game.
  7. braddick macrumors 68040


    Jun 28, 2009
    Encinitas, CA
    I'd think a winning formula for you would be:

    Less time making YouTube Videos and,
    More time improving your apps.

  8. mhuntoon macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2009
    as a consumer of apps, I think it's fairly obvious when one or two "attack" comments appear in reviews. I balance them out with the positive reviews (some of which are also faked by the developer in many cases) and try to find a middle ground. If an app only has a few reviews, this makes it much more difficult. My suggestion, if this is where you find yourself, is to promote your app - posting on message boards that allow you to and that pertain to the subject of your app, giving out promo codes with a fervent request for reviews (explain why as this request seems to be sadly ignored by many), etc.

    Don't get into youtube flame wars, open fake accounts yourself or have friends do the same to boost your app or trash the competitor, etc. It brings you down. Let the other guy focus on this stuff. The more time he/she does so, the less time they have to develop a better product. Focus your energies in doing so and he/she will disappear simply by having an inferior product.

    As lousy as it sounds, the "suck it up" suggestions are pretty accurate.
  9. iFerd macrumors 6502a

    Jul 20, 2007
    I'd be interested to know what is the evidence that it is a competing developer posting the trash-mouth reviews. Nasty and inaccurate reviews don't always come from a competitor.
  10. m4rc macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2003
    Use the space you have to describe your app to explain the facts, its one small review, if your app is good enough it will have more positive reviews than negatives anyway, so it won't matter. The best apps in the store have loads of bad reviews, but the sheer weight of good reviews make the bad ones seem irrelevant.

    If your app is that good it will do fine. If you are not getting the good reviews either your app is not as good as you think or its too expensive, so give it away for a while to get the publicity, you can't lose - if its truly a great app people will realise, take it for free, write good reviews and the demand will increase, when you put the price back on it will keep selling and you will make some money.

    Sorry but complaining about it won't work, its not good that someone has done this, but if you are going to keep going you need to know this and a lot worse is going to keep on happening, you just need to be so good you don't care. If your app is not good enough to survive make a new app or start a new career.
  11. MBHockey macrumors 68040


    Oct 4, 2003
    New York
    I agree with you OP that this is a problem, but it isn't as big as you make it out to be. I seriously doubt the sole reason, as you imply, for the competitor going past you on the App Store is because of the one fake review he left on your app. To attribute his success solely to that is a cop out.
  12. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    Don't you have to buy an app to be able to review it? Which means if he's posting all these fake reviews he's buying your app each time, right? Or am I wrong.

    Because if he keeps buying it, I'd shut up and enjoy his money.
  13. MadGoat macrumors 65816


    Jul 30, 2007
    While he may enjoy the $10-20 he would make from the sales to the fake accounts... imagine the impact of 10-20 1 star reviews to future sales?
  14. UrFatMom macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2009
    So... someone is giving you bad reviews. What can you do about it, and more importantly what do you think WE can do about it...?
  15. colmaclean macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Maybe Apple need to look into creating "Trusted Reviewer" and "Complete numpty" ranks for review posters.
  16. Unspoken Demise macrumors 68040

    Unspoken Demise

    Apr 16, 2009
  17. vettori macrumors 6502a

    Jul 10, 2008
    Italy, near Venice
    The review system has problems, I had some in the past and even recently.
    And a few bad reviews, expecially if the app is new or have a limited number of reviews, have a BIG impact on sales.

    My solution :

    1) let developers contact reviewers (keep the email address hidden, a contact form will be ok). Many bad reviews for my apps are from people that have not read the instructions or are complaining about something the app is not made for or similar issues.

    2) after 10-20 runs of an app, ask the user to rate it the same way it can be rated when deleted. This will counterbalance a lot of bad reviews of users that remove apps. Most happy users does NOT rate the apps.

    3) let developers report concern in all country stores
  18. HowEver macrumors 6502a


    May 10, 2005
    What did Apple say when you documented this problem for them?

    And if the answer is in your youtube ad, I'm not going to see it, as most won't, so you might as well answer here.
  19. TraceyS/FL macrumors 601

    Jan 11, 2007
    North Central Florida
    As an end user i would support all of these.

    I know that when i was testing on my Dad's Touch i didn't rate some apps as i deleted them. I felt that it wasn't fair to do so because it just wasn't something i was interested in once i saw it. But i like the after so many use option to review/rate.

    As someone hunting for a few particular types of apps this week, i have to say that i'm BEYOND frustrated with some of the write ups and screen shots posted. They aren't showing me what i need to see.... please show me the data entry screen. Often what you the developer sees as the "big thing" - isn't for me. I'm trying to see if i can use some something in a different way - so without knowing what you let me enter, i can't judge (Daily Tracker is the one that is frustrating me right now).

    I don't know what the OP's app is, but i agree with please use the space you have to showcase your app, have good screen shots, and make it easy for me to email you with questions (something else i'm having issues with this morning, i'm not joining a forum for a basic question).
  20. rKunda macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2008
  21. Slip Jigs macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2008
    No offense, but I watched half of that video and still have no idea of what you were talking about. I agree with most the other replys here - use your time to develop your app and promote it. If your app is better than the other, that video didn't convince me - you weren't looking at the camera, you showed fast views of the phone that was supposed to demo your app and it didn't work, and you said your programmers have no experience!

    If you are going to do a comparison to the other app, make it concise and logical and show plenty of screen shots.
  22. skubish macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2005
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7A341 Safari/528.16)

    1. Do you have absolute proof these reviews are from the competitor? Maybe these people like their app better?

    2. Who cares about reviews or stars? I have not but 1 app because of reviews on iTunes. I have bought 100s of apps and I usually check appvee, toucharcade, or IGN for legitimate reviews.
  23. Halamolo macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2009
    Why don´t you make then 5 star reviews with fake accounts or make your friends do them? And at the same time bash the other developers app.
  24. Rat-Boy macrumors 65816


    Jul 28, 2008
    I see a lot of people in here basically taking the "suck it up" approach to the OP.

    I bet your tune would be different if YOU were the developer.

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