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Contributor
mellisdesigns
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎03-23-2011
My Device: Blackberry Playbook

Big Issue with Free to Paid App

Hey Guys

 

I ran into a big problem with the app store a couple of days ago. My App PIPO was doing very well in the app store. I had a great Free Week deal going on and amassed a lot of downloads. After a week a made the app a purchasable app, meaning it cost money to download.

 

It was great had a lot of people who downloaded for free and gave great reviews. After getting some feedback, I decided to give a quick update to PIPO to fix some minor bugs.

 

THE BIG MAJOR PROBLEM

The people who downloaded the APP in its free season were now being forced to purchase the product before they could update. This puts me in a really precarious position because after promising a free week period for people who got in early, I was now forcing my free users to purchase for the update.

At no point in time did I set a price for updating in the portal and now have some very angry users who are giving the app purposely bad reviews for what happened.
I have lost the credibility of an app that was doing extremely well and I have also lost any chance of these trusting me again.

 

Blackberry what happened and why did this happen? I need explanations!

 

Concerned Mitch

MELLISdesigns

PIPO 

Developer
silver20
Posts: 455
Registered: ‎03-04-2011
My Device: Paper cup

Re: Big Issue with Free to Paid App

Had the same problem.  Wasn't sure if a particular app was best as a free promotional tool, or a direct money-maker.  Started it as paid, nada.  Switched to free, it took off.  Tried paid again after it had a lot of good reviews and some standing in the listing -- nada.  So, updated to add value.

 

Users said they were notified of an update but were then told the app wasn't available; or else said they were told they had to pay for it.  Switched it back to free right away, but that had killed it; there were few reviews after that, the download count was slashed, it just broke the momentum and it never recovered despite the good added value of the update.

 

So, it's a lesson learned.  For anything you might want to try both ways, publish a separate free version, and alternately publish/unpublish the two versions.  You lose the benefit of the free downloads counting toward position when it's switched to paid, but that's not something we're necessarily entitled to anyway IMO.

 

FYI, I tried again a few times switching it to one or the other, and basically what I've found is that every time anything is switched, be it price or licensing model, it's costly for the developer and really hurts the app.

 

In future I'm trying to guess the right best price and model to begin with and then just leave it.

 

Contributor
mellisdesigns
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎03-23-2011
My Device: Blackberry Playbook

Re: Big Issue with Free to Paid App

Hey silver20, thanks for letting me know. Its so bad, I mean all I can do is learn from it and let the app fly. But it really does hurt the developer in such a bad way. The only thing I can do is just move onto the next. So sad!
Developer
silver20
Posts: 455
Registered: ‎03-04-2011
My Device: Paper cup

Re: Big Issue with Free to Paid App

I hate clutter in the portal as much as anyone, but you could just nix the ruined app and republish under a different name; even if similar, there are examples of people who republish over and over, and every time it goes well into Top Paid for a while.  Some people have posted the same thing like 3 times or more, and someone even seems to have gotten another vendor ID and started republishing the same stuff over again, with identical icons -- one's in Top Paid right now.

 

So the app doesn't have to be dead, maybe it can be resurrected.  New people buy BB's and have no clue what came before, just start over building a customer base.

 

 

Contributor
mellisdesigns
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎03-23-2011
My Device: Blackberry Playbook

Re: Big Issue with Free to Paid App

This is something I do in my free time. I am not going to change anything. I more feel pissed off at myself then anything. Sometimes its all just about being nice to a community and then it just blows over your head. It makes me not want to try to do good things! anyway im gonna stop being emo and continue doing what I love, which is making fun and entertaining apps.
Contributor
johnhattan
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎12-15-2010
My Device: Playbook Emulator

Re: Big Issue with Free to Paid App

Yeah, ditto here. I made Duck Tiles free for a week, then I posted an update and got punished for it. 

 

https://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/33862

Developer
jtegen
Posts: 6,541
Registered: ‎10-27-2010
My Device: HTC One, PlayBook, LE Z10, DE Q10

Re: Big Issue with Free to Paid App

Some users a very price sensitive event if it is just $0.99 price tag. We increased one of our apps to $0.99 and I was surprised by how many people complained. There were tons of features added and they still complained about $0.99. Next time, I will just upload it as a different app and change twice as much.