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.
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…