05 May 2015
About a year ago, someone in the United States going by the iTunes handle “iPhoneReviewer#2” spent nearly five dollars—three of which ultimately was paid to Makalu—to purchase a copy of our location bookmarking app, Rego.
Shortly thereafter, he (or she) posted a three-star review in the App Store. While the app is “great for making multiple lists of places to go”, it needs “iCloud syncing and an iPad version.”
Eight months and two Rego updates later, he returned with a two-star review, noting that he’s taking a star away since we still haven’t provided him with iCloud syncing and an iPad version.
Finally, a few days ago, he returned with the worst rating possible—one-star. Acknowledging that Rego is still “great for making multiple lists of places to go,” the Today widget—which he received for free in our most recent update—has a bug when Reduced Transparency is enabled, and we still haven’t introduced iCloud syncing and an iPad version.
And so through his one-star review, he’s communicating to anyone who might be considering the purchase of Rego—“this app couldn’t be any worse.”
It’s well-known by now, that almost nobody is making money selling apps. We certainly aren’t with Rego, as it has cost far, far more to develop and maintain than we could ever hope to recover through sales. We do it as a labor of love—it’s an app we built for our own needs, and continue to maintain to the extent possible out of respect for those who bought it.
To offer an iPad version of Rego—which we would love to do—would require a data synchronization solution. While iCloud syncing wouldn’t impose additional costs to Makalu (other than development), there are a number of reasons why it wouldn’t be a good solution for Rego, leaving 3rd party solutions or something developed in-house as the remaining options. If one-time sales of the app don’t come close to covering our development costs, we’d certainly have to discover an entirely new business model to cover the cost of syncing. (Rego competitor PinDrop tried, and, unable to cover their costs, naturally went out of business.)
So with that backdrop, I hope it’s understandable how irritated I get at people like iPhoneReviewer#2. In his view, his $5 (subsidized) purchase of our app not only entitles him to what was offered at the time, but also entitles him to his expectations of what the app should become in the future—expectations formed without the slightest understanding of their implications. And if we don’t deliver on those expectations, and within a timeframe suitable to him, then by-god he’ll retaliate by harming our sales through one-star ratings.
To iPhoneReviewer#2, I just have one thing to say—fuck you.
People like you make app producers like us rethink how we spend our time and energy. (Thank goodness you’re in the minority.) My wish is that you request a refund from Apple, and delete Rego from your device. And if it’s too late for Apple to give you a refund, then contact me and I’ll give you a refund. I don’t want you as a customer.