An offer to fake my App Store reviews!!

Now, I’m not a naive man, but even I was taken aback and I have to say, affronted, by the email I received today. My latest app has been on the store for just three days and today I received the following email:


  I am a private contractor and I would like to present you an offer regarding Rating & Reviewing service. It is no longer a secret that apps have more chances of being purchased if they have positive feedback. That is why I’m sure my service will help you improve your sales after you choose one of the following packages.

    3 ratings (votes)  and  2  reviews –  9 USD

   5  ratings (votes)  and  3  reviews – 14 USD

  10 ratings (votes)  and  5  reviews – 24 USD

  20 ratings (votes)  and 10 reviews – 39 USD

  30 ratings (votes)  and 20 reviews – 65 USD


We can negotiate other packages too, of course.

Just let me know if you have any questions. Payment is made via PayPal.

I don’t need the payment up-front, only after the service so there is absolutely no need for you to worry.


Kind regards


I was, and am, gobsmacked! This is my first chargeable app (Bargain is free) and I get this. Can I expect others? Can I expect bad reviews (which I imagine I won’t have to pay for) if I refuse his offer?

He says “It is no longer a secret that apps have more chances of being purchased if they have positive feedback.” – well, it was never a ‘secret’. Any company would be very happy to receive endorsements from satisfied customers, but what would they feel about taking this approach? I would love to see some, ideally positive, reviews for my apps but I want them from real customers who have actually downloaded my apps. I could not sleep at night knowing that I’d paid $65 to have 20 reviews for my apps – it goes against everything I believe.

It certainly makes me think about what I’ve read on the app store over the years about some very odd app reviews that are either a grammatical nightmare, offer no supporting evidence or are so minimalist it’s hard to wonder what value they are to anyone – these are negative as well as positive ‘reviews’. Are there companies offering to “bad mouth” other competing products for a similar fee? It really is quite shocking when you think the whole thing through. As there is no “Try Before You Buy” on the app Store you, just like me, will rely on magazines and reviews on the App Store to guide your choice.

I will make it very clear right here: I will never accept offers and certainly no payment to have my apps “reviewed” or “rated”. Any app reviews or ratings appearing against my apps on the App Store will have been provided by customers who have actually downloaded the app in question and felt moved to comment.

Right – I’ll go and sit down and calm myself now…

The death of Steve Jobs

What a sad, sad day.

Apple are inviting comments via email on their website at so I sent this earlier today:

Until today, I have never cried for the death of someone I’ve never known personally. I knew it was coming, but not so soon. So soon.

His Stanford address says so much about who he was and why Apple is the company it is. It is so rare to find vision, passion for perfection, philosophical reflection and a maverick attitude and sales savvy all in one person, but Steve had the lot.

Such a loss to his family, the Apple, the tech world and every one of us that uses a product from Apple or one that has been influenced by them. And that’s a lot.

Gone, yes, but forgotten, never.

You may wish to send them your thoughts.

Update: Comments sent in to Apple can now be viewed here.

Some people really are so ungrateful!

I’m sorry but I just had to comment on some people’s attitude to Apple’s “12 Days of Christmas”.

Apple, out of the goodness of Steve’s or the company’s collective heart, or perhaps a desire for a little soft-edged PR, have made an item on the iTunes store free for a day over each of the 12 days of Christmas. I came a little late to the party, but some of the things available for free download were:

  • Broken Sword for iPad (I’d already bought it and really enjoyed it)
  • Charlie Chaplin’s classic film “Modern Times”
  • Mirror’s Edge game by Electronic Arts
  • An EP by Michael Bublé
  • A song and video by the Kings of Leon
  • … and seven more.

Who could complain about 12 free items from iTunes? Well, apparently quite a lot of people (all of the comments below are from actual reviews – atrocious spelling is original – of items available for free in the 12 Days of Christmas):

“My iPhone 3GS cost me £400. My iPhone 4 cost me £500. My iPod touch cost me £200. My MacBook Pro cost me £1200. So if Charlie Chaplin is the best present you can reward me with for my loyalty then I’d rather you didn’t bother.”

“Who wants to watch this bull?!”

“Give us a decent app tht we want, give us 1 of the top grossing not 1 of the prices of crap tht u can’t sell so u give it away for free give us something like backbreaker2 or other games or movies ect….,tht we actually want !! (were is ur christmas spirt) so plzz give us wht we want and by tht I don’t mean a dam holy book tht I’ve never seen before like on day 4 I think :).” (A strange mix of appalling spelling and yet getting the apostrophes in the correct place!)

“How about giving a descent film ituns”

“What the hell is wrong with u? Why the hell would i want this? Cater 2 us young ppl! Not the sadults…happy new year!!!”

“Better gifts please Apple”

“On the sixth day iTunes gave me this Sh*t.”

“All of the stuff on the 12 days of Christmas is really rubbish the only thing that wasn’t to bad was the Cheryl cole single. The stuff really needs to improve.”

and finally


What is extraordinary, apart from the deplorable state of the grammar and spelling, in these ‘reviews’ is the sheer nastiness of some people. Some, especially the person listing their expenditure on Apple products, feel a sense that they are entitled to something that they want. The idea that Apple, or any company, offers a product for sale and you decide to complete the transaction by choosing to buy at the stated price is clearly not enough. These people feel that they must have more of just what they want and for free.

I’m sure if next year Apple decided that they would no longer run the 12 Days promotion, then these same ungrateful people would be saying that now Apple were really “CHEAP SCATES”.

The bigger issue of course is that these people probably have a desperate sense of entitlement to whatever they want in other areas of their life too …

Happy New Year.