Further App Store woes

Apple revolutionized App distribution and deployment and even management when it introduced the App store years ago. But the App store by design seems to have been created for an ideal customer. Let me explain. There are a lot of issues with the App store, a few of them are the race to the bottom in the App store pricing, the excessive use of in-App purchasing by developers, low payout for indie developers, etc. Other issues are things like terrible App store search and in-sufficient curation of Apps. Agreed that Apple is working on rectifying a few of these things and small but definite improvements have started to surface. But with all that said, the App store has a lot of improvements to be made.

Apple's App store revolutionized App distribution when it was introduced, but it has had its share of issues ever since

Apple's App store revolutionized App distribution when it was introduced, but it has had its share of issues ever since

This article (via 9to5mac) brings to light another major issue with the App store. I have used the Apple's refund system to get refunds on a couple of iTunes purchases when I accidentally purchased a some TV shows. With very few questions asked, I had no trouble getting them refunded. While this is perfect for the customer, it is also easy for the customer to take advantage of (a non-ideal customer). There are a lot of countries globally that are not used to valuing software as highly as hardware and who have relaxed moral standards when it comes software piracy and purchases. I am not going to discuss about what is right or what is wrong here. But my point is very simple, the Apple policy of putting customers ahead of developers has a tendency to backfire and it has in this case.

At least four developers cited in The Korea Times say that the problem is that people are repeatedly purchasing games and in-app content, asking Apple for a refund – which is normally granted without question – and then continuing to use the content.
— via 9to5mac

So, what is the solution to this problem? Well there are a few things to consider. CApple can adjust the balance of this refund process to make it a little less skewed towards the customers, i. e. make the refunds a little more stringent, allow and promote more interaction between the developer and the customer. Sometimes the customer might not have the answer he/ she is looking for with respect to the App, resulting in displeasure and might request a refund. But if at that time, the developer can clarify a few things, that might help them change their mind. This interaction can be made as anonymous as possible.

But in my opinion, the biggest thing that would help this situation is introducing "Trial Period" for Apps (this could also solve the race to bottom pricing issue as I have mentioned before) and make the refund process as stringent as possible. I mean, once you've had a chance to preview the App for a couple of weeks or something, the customer should make up their mind, right? In summary Apple's creation of the App store changed the World and I think it's in Apple's best interest to address these gaping shortcomings with the App store as soon as possible...