09-04-2010 12:20 PM
Dear RIM I am writing to ask you please revise the way the review rejection process works. It seems occasionally a user who has never contacted support, and who, frankly, is incompetent leaves a bad review. RIM then agree to reject it but the lower star rating stays. When you go from 5 stars down to 3 stars because of ONE review it cuts sales by around 80%!! I cannot continue to invest so much time writing apps when just a few days after releasing an app I can have sales reduced to almost zero by an incompetent and vexatious user. If you agree to deny a review then please restore the star rating - we developers depend on it! I also ask that you allow us to make a comment when requesting to deny a review as it's not always obvious why we want to deny it. Please do get back to me on this Thanks Gareth Owen
09-04-2010 01:26 PM
Perhaps RIM should contact developers about a review that appears to be a support issue and allow them to resolve the matter before any negative review is left.
The last few days are the only time I've made a decent return from apps (following a new release) and just two days later some **bleep** has left a zero star rating for something which support could have resolved.
We haven't sold a single copy since the review was left, previously we were selling several every hour! That's not a sustainable business, two days of reasonable sales after submitting an app.
09-04-2010 09:17 PM
Frankly I doubt RIM cares that much about developers given the lack of resources being applied to our issues. There's a fair amount of marketing to developers but not much in the way of concrete improvement.
As I mentioned on a previous post, I had someone give me zero stars and complain about not being able to run the application.
The problem was the app didn't download correctly, and once he'd followed my suggestions (he left his pin in the review) he was able to re-download and run the app.
The worst aspect of this negative review was that the issue was due to App World problems and not my app.
For whatever reason I am unable to deny this negative review. I've clicked a dozen times on the Deny Review box but they're not actioning my request.
Clearly they don't have the resources to respond to every review, but they should not present negative reviews if they represent only a small fraction of the overall response.
I have 75 reviews of one app, only two or three of which are negative, but the last negative review is still presented at the top of the page. The reviews should be presented with some kind of weighting.
09-05-2010 03:55 AM
I completely agree. I also get a number of people with BlackBerry problems blaming the app!
In the last 24 hours I've had two users leave negative reviews who had their GPS switched off or were stood indoors and still expected it to work. Down to two stars and now selling nothing!
09-06-2010 12:34 AM
It also appears customers realize this issue and some capitalize on this. I have received several bad review threats from App World customers and never from customers of other resellers (Handango, Mobihand, etc.).
09-06-2010 08:49 AM
09-06-2010 04:18 PM
I think there is a fundamental reason why reviews are such a big problem: reviews almost completely determine your app's success in App World. This has nothing to do with how a user perceives your app, so the ability to deny or respond to reviews won't help. Rather, App World's app listings by default sort apps by "popularity". Popularity is determined entirely by the reviews: neither sales nor downloads affect this ranking. If you get hit by even one bad review, it kicks your app down possibly numerous places in the ranking. And we all know that apps that are low-ranked will never be viewed by most App World users.
The review system also results in gaming of the rankings. I've seen apps that offer a free subscription (a month, say) or other incentives to users who submit positive reviews. This outright solicitation of positive reviews is equivalent to paid or bribed reviews, and leaves a bad taste in my mouth personally. It also means that we can't successfully compete on App World without such distasteful gaming. I'm not making excuses for my own low-ranked apps, but it is eye-opening to observe that the download rate of an app with many reviews is 2 orders of magnitude higher than that of an app with one review. In my case, my problem is not negative reviews -- I use Try&Buy -- but simply the lack of any reviews at all.
If RIM could delink or at least weaken the affect of the review system on App World ranking, it would reduce the damage of a flawed review system and the distortions from an excessive need to solicit positive reviews.
09-06-2010 04:41 PM
I often ask myself why a review system is even necessary if the app has a free trial.
If there is a free trial, the user can determine for themselves if the app is worthy with no financial risk.