Before I get started in raking Apple through the proverbial mud, let me make it clear that in general, I like Apple products. I have owned 1 Ipod mini(or whatever the starter Ipod was called back then), 2 iPod Nanos, 2 iPod Touches, and 2 Ipads. Their physical products have always possessed the best technology and are consistently reliable. So it is with reluctance that I am forced to reveal this major negative of the Apple business model. When you like a product or company you usually want to do everything you can to support them.
However, the bottom line is, that whenever a I see a company committing business acts that are not consumer friendly, I speak up about it. You need only look through the archives of this website and you will find articles about similar experiences with Microsoft and Samsung. I guess it was only a matter of time before Apple ended up here, as all big companies at some point tend to forget that the customers are the bottom line, not their bank accounts.
I can understand how their business policies developed. What I cannot understand is why they never evolved. If you recall Apple got started in music business by deciding to create a way for customers to download music and charge them for it. At the time they were doing that, a business model of ALL sales being final made perfect sense. After all, everything they were selling was simple DRM protected music files. Files which they had complete control over quality and delivery.
Then over the years, they added other media file types. Movies, TV shows, and a few games. All of these products were completely controllable by Apple. Then at some point in time, they decided to let third-party developers in on a piece of the pie. Mainly, to make more money but as a side effect consumers got more choice. However, now Apple was not in control of every product that was sold. These apps they did not create and it became more and more apparent that they did not have the manpower or want to invest the resources required, to fully inspect every single app for quality control. While at the same time they still maintained the business model of ALL sales being final. It was at this point, when Apple was no longer fully in control of the quality of the products they were offering for sale, that their business policies should have evolved to reflect this new era of app sales. However, they did not change those archaic policies and that left the onus of quality to fall firmly upon developers, who had no interest in doing anything other than, creating and selling apps.
This was apparent in the number of new apps showing up in the market place that did not work at all. These apps simply crashed. Granted, for a while it did seem like a lot of the developers took the time to actually recode the apps and fix them. However, this gradually gave way to a new breed of app developers. This new breed was only concerned with putting out as many apps as they could each year to generate sales. If the app did not work properly, they simply abandoned them or re-branded them with a different name and resold them to more suckers( oops, I meant customers). There was no concern about customer satisfaction, why bother? These consumers could never return a product for refund.
Seeing this trend happening in the app store and having gotten ahold of a number of apps that did not work. I began to be very patient in my deciding to pull the trigger on purchasing an app. But over time it became clear to me that even reviews could not be relied upon, for the decision-making process. Here is just one of many articles, on this subject.- http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/20/technology/finding-fake-reviews-online.html?_r=0
So now you cannot trust the reviews to lead you in the right decision, or even to tell you if an app developer is actually making any real progress,s toward fixing a problem(s) with their apps. I learned over time, if you are patient, some apps actually do get fixed, and thus you do not have to throw them out, along with your money.
I finally got the point where I had to say something about this to the general public because I simply got tired of losing my hard-earned money on unscrupulous and fraudulent app developers. It got to the point of simply being beyond my comprehension of how Apple could stand behind this Archaic business policy of NO Refunds. With a business policy like this in place, not only are they showing they have no faith in the products they are selling, they are also stating, in no uncertain terms, that they don’t give a shit about customer satisfaction. Furthermore, they are stating to app developers : Go ahead and develop whatever you like, we will sell it for you and won’t ever return any money back to the customer, no matter how many bad reviews your app receives.
I discovered this was exactly how things are still working within Apple, when I attempted to get a refund on an app I purchased about 9 months ago. I have never been able to use this app. I patiently waited for the app to be fixed but it never was. In fact, they even claimed to be adding a new feature called audiob.us support. But when they did, it would end up recording only one track at a time, if it even worked for you. My main reason for buying this app was to have a DAW to record music I created using audiob.us. Even if the app did not crash on my iPad 3, it would not serve for this function. A true implementation of this feature would be to create a track for every app being used inside of audiob.us. I asked for a refund OR store credit of the $50.00 this app costs me. I was told That “All sales are final, no refunds”.
Looking over the reviews for this app, it seems pretty apparent to anyone that this app has issues, and anyone who purchased it should be given the opportunity for a refund. I was patient, I gave them time to fix their app. I was not asking for anything extraordinary or unusual. I was asking for a working product or a refund in the form of cash or credit. Yet, Apple stands there, arms propped up on its hips and spouting like some small child, “No! You can’t have it, its mine now.”
If Apple cannot grow up and take responsibility for the products they sell, then customers need to be aware of this and do whatever it takes to protect themselves from companies that do business like this. I will be extremely careful before I make any more apple app purchases. I will have to research the product, in multiple places on the internet, knowing that reviews cannot be trusted. Hell, I might even have to download them illegally and test them out, before purchasing anything anymore.
I would suggest that all of you do the same thing before you make any purchases, from any company, that does not stand behind products they sell you. I have included screenshots(Simply click on any of them to view the full size screenshot) of just a few of the reviews this app has received and a pdf of their Official reply to my request for a refund or store credit, for this non-functional app they sold to me as proof, that what I am saying is 100% true.
Of course, if you feel like you have money to burn, completely ignore everything I have just written.
These screenshots were taken from the 6 most recent pages of reviews in the App Store. Thus it clearly demonstrates that problems with this app still exist.
Have a great day!