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  1.    #1  
    So, my app is in the App Catalog, and someone gave it a poor review. The reasons given would be valid reasons for a poor review (advertised feature missing), but I do not believe that it is a bug, and that the person is just overlooking the feature.

    Is there a way to reply to a review so that I can work with the reviewer to either determine that there is a bug, or to clear up confusion on why they thought the feature was missing?

    If it isn't a bug, I'd like to be able to point out where the feature is to the reviewer so that they can get the most out of my app. If it is a bug, I'd like to know more so I can fix it.
  2. #2  
    There is no way currently to reply to a review. It would be nice if we could.
  3. #3  
    You could use a "Report a Bug" Button. I also implemented a "Ask for help" Button in my Apps. That keeps most users from giving a bad review. But I must admit an answer function in app catalog would be awesome. Even better in combination with Palm's profile so users will be notified in case of an answer.

    Regards,
    Julian
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by JuJulian1987 View Post
    You could use a "Report a Bug" Button. I also implemented a "Ask for help" Button in my Apps. That keeps most users from giving a bad review. But I must admit an answer function in app catalog would be awesome. Even better in combination with Palm's profile so users will be notified in case of an answer.

    Regards,
    Julian
    Yeah, but the problem is a lot of people are just dumb and rather than idk, emailing the dev and finding some way to contact them, they'd rather leave a crappy review. I don't think that will ever change no matter how many flashing lights you stick in the app, so it would really be best if Palm implemented some way for a dev to get in contact with a reviewer (if the reviewer chooses in their profile to let them be contacted).
    screwdestiny
    PSN Twitter Last.FM
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by jdiwnab View Post
    Is there a way to reply to a review so that I can work with the reviewer to either determine that there is a bug, or to clear up confusion on why they thought the feature was missing?
    I've seen developers respond to reviews by writing their own review of the app. You can address the specific problem in the review itself.

    In other words, write a review of the app saying "I'm the developer of the app, to the person that gave the app a low review, did you check, this and that, or here's my support email, let's see if we can get the problem fixed."

    You can always "update" your review so that it appears at the top again for others to see.

    Not the best way but still visible to others.
  6. #6  
    Yup. That's the best way I found to replying to reviews.

    Problem is: some bad reviewers want to vent, and they write the bad review and never come back.

    I responded to a bad review, explained how the feature they complained about was always in the app, they must have missed it, and explained that you can always read the help section or even email me if there's any problems.

    Haven't heard anything back from the person. : /.
  7.    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by Trekker View Post
    I've seen developers respond to reviews by writing their own review of the app. You can address the specific problem in the review itself.

    In other words, write a review of the app saying "I'm the developer of the app, to the person that gave the app a low review, did you check, this and that, or here's my support email, let's see if we can get the problem fixed."

    You can always "update" your review so that it appears at the top again for others to see.

    Not the best way but still visible to others.
    This is what I'll probably end up doing. I was trying to avoid "reviewing" my own app because that would be rather bias. I was hoping that there was some way to request, maybe through Palm, to contact the user, or request to contact the user. I'm about to release an update with some new features, so I might just wait until after that...

    Thank you.
  8. #8  
    Quick, everyone rush over to Feedback & Feature Requests | Palm USA and request that we get developer-customer communication capability in the next version of the app-catalog.

    Now, I must know, though. What exactly is your app? I'm mostly curious because this thread popped up very shortly after I gave a less-than-favorable review to an app...
    danNielson.com - Slalom - twitter - facebook
    A posted thanks dies with the thread. Clicking the button lasts until the admins get bored with this site and throw it in the recycling bin.
  9.    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by unfairSurprisery View Post
    Quick, everyone rush over to Feedback & Feature Requests | Palm USA and request that we get developer-customer communication capability in the next version of the app-catalog.

    Now, I must know, though. What exactly is your app? I'm mostly curious because this thread popped up very shortly after I gave a less-than-favorable review to an app...
    The particular app in question is my astronomy app, JdiSky. However, I did post the original question a few days ago, and thought the question had died because no one responded for several days.

    If you do happen to be one of the (now) 2 negative reviewers, I'd like more information so that I could either fix the problem or point you in the right direction. I'm not so concerned about the negative reviews as that someone bought my app and is having problems.
  10. #10  
    Sorry, haven't tried your app. And by my comment about the thread popping up, I meant you started it literally minutes after I submitted my review for another app which, at the time, was the only review for that app.

    Also, something you might want to consider. Make a visible help button right on the main screen, (i.e. Music Player Remix 2) and possibly setup a first-run dialog that gives a quick run-down of how to go about obtaining support... Or in other words, a dialog with a big arrow pointing to the help button... Also, when you do get in contact with customers, sign all your communications with a link back to the app catalog and a request that, if their issue has been solved, to please reflect that in their review of your app.
    danNielson.com - Slalom - twitter - facebook
    A posted thanks dies with the thread. Clicking the button lasts until the admins get bored with this site and throw it in the recycling bin.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by unfairSurprisery View Post
    Also, something you might want to consider. Make a visible help button right on the main screen, (i.e. Music Player Remix 2)...
    I hate that we have to do this, but it may be a smart thing to do. I don't like duplicating options in different places (help page in the menu as well as a button on the main screen), but unfortunately, some people may not think about the help option in the menu.

    Quote Originally Posted by unfairSurprisery View Post
    ...and possibly setup a first-run dialog that gives a quick run-down of how to go about obtaining support... Or in other words, a dialog with a big arrow pointing to the help button...
    Now THIS is a really good idea. A first run dialog would be awesome! The only problem is, a multi-page first-run dialog could get very annoying, so you have to be careful as to what all you put in one of those. Choose wisely!

    Quote Originally Posted by unfairSurprisery View Post
    Also, when you do get in contact with customers, sign all your communications with a link back to the app catalog and a request that, if their issue has been solved, to please reflect that in their review of your app.
    THAT is a REALLY good idea! I never thought of it, but that makes perfect sense. If someone is satisfied with your response/service, they will definitely feel obliged to tap the link and throw up a quick one or two liners with 5 stars, complimenting the developer on their service. That would be perfect.

    Thanks for the ideas!
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by malpha View Post
    Yeah, but the problem is a lot of people are just dumb... {snippage} ...they'd rather leave a crappy review.
    Another problem is that some developers (NB: I do not include jdiwnab in this) absolutely refuse to believe that there could possibly be a bug in their software and assume that the user is "just dumb" and cannot figure it out for himself.

    What is wrong with a "crappy review" as long as it states facts? Are we to have some species of censorship that prevents people stating unpalatable truths or evidence-based opinions?

    I am the person who left the second of the unfavourable reviews; I stand by what I wrote: it was true. It turned out that it was a bug, which jdiwnab has since fixed. I have since had a reasonably cordial exchange with jdiwnab on the thread devoted to his software, suggested improvements, and offered to send him algorithms that he lacks.

    What this "just dumb" user would like to see is some facility whereby, if an app does not work as stated, I can delete it from my phone and get a refund. Will the developers lobby for that facility, I wonder?
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by Tetenterre View Post
    Another problem is that some developers (NB: I do not include jdiwnab in this) absolutely refuse to believe that there could possibly be a bug in their software and assume that the user is "just dumb" and cannot figure it out for himself.

    What is wrong with a "crappy review" as long as it states facts? Are we to have some species of censorship that prevents people stating unpalatable truths or evidence-based opinions?

    I am the person who left the second of the unfavourable reviews; I stand by what I wrote: it was true. It turned out that it was a bug, which jdiwnab has since fixed. I have since had a reasonably cordial exchange with jdiwnab on the thread devoted to his software, suggested improvements, and offered to send him algorithms that he lacks.

    What this "just dumb" user would like to see is some facility whereby, if an app does not work as stated, I can delete it from my phone and get a refund. Will the developers lobby for that facility, I wonder?
    1) I'm saying this as a developer: If you experience a bug, you shouldn't leave a bad review. A lot of developers can't even view the reviews (either don't have devices or aren't in the "official" countries), not to mention it isn't an area for support. Developers cannot respond to reviews, and as a result, must purchase their own app just to leave a review. If the developer doesn't have a help link or mechanism in the app, check the App Catalog page for their app. If the links at the bottom don't take you to a support page, then leave a review because at that time they have a bug and no support.

    2) On behalf of all developers, I would like to thank you for taking the time to talk directly with a developer of software. I know some of my users have experienced the occasional issue (and even some big ones that weren't caught in the extensive testing that I -- and my beta testers -- do) without reporting it to me directly (and they left reviews asking for support).

    3) I must disagree with the "delete it and get a refund" policy. The reason I say this is because that opens the door to piracy (someone can buy every app, copy them, delete them, and upload them). Not to mention most developers don't like that policy (hence why EA Games has their own store on Android--to avoid the 24 hour return issue).
    Arthur Thornton

    Former webOS DevRel Engineer at Palm, HP, and LG
    Former webOS app developer (built Voice Memos, Sparrow, and several homebrew apps and patches)
    Former blogger for webOS Nation and webOS Roundup
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by Tetenterre View Post
    Another problem is that some developers (NB: I do not include jdiwnab in this) absolutely refuse to believe that there could possibly be a bug in their software and assume that the user is "just dumb" and cannot figure it out for himself.

    What is wrong with a "crappy review" as long as it states facts? Are we to have some species of censorship that prevents people stating unpalatable truths or evidence-based opinions?

    I am the person who left the second of the unfavourable reviews; I stand by what I wrote: it was true. It turned out that it was a bug, which jdiwnab has since fixed. I have since had a reasonably cordial exchange with jdiwnab on the thread devoted to his software, suggested improvements, and offered to send him algorithms that he lacks.

    What this "just dumb" user would like to see is some facility whereby, if an app does not work as stated, I can delete it from my phone and get a refund. Will the developers lobby for that facility, I wonder?
    If you're leaving a crappy review because:

    -You don't have enough space to download the app and the download failed.

    -The app is a trial and you don't like that.

    -The app doesn't do something that it flat out said it did not do before you bought it and now you feel you have been deceived and wasted your money.

    -The website the app pulls data from is down for the day and you didn't think to check before leaving your crappy review.

    -Because you didn't read the very well written directions that state where features are and how to access them specified very clearly in the Help file.

    -You like the Xbox360 more than the PS3 or some other such nonsense.

    -Because you have a legitimate bug and rather than inform the developer directly so that they may fix it (since it's assumed you would like to use the app and thus have it work), you don't inform the developer and leave a crappy review.


    Then yes, you are "just dumb" because you are too lazy to inform the developer of the bug so that they may fix it (many would be eager to do so and have provided email/website/forums/twitter to encourage you to do so).

    Now, if you are leaving a crappy review because the app:

    -Doesn't do what it says it does to the point it is very obviously deception.

    -The instructions on how to use it are poor and you're fumbling in the dark.

    - Because the developer has not responded to your issue.

    - Because the app is flatout bad in one way or another...UI, features, behavior...especially in comparison to another app.

    Then I have no problem (not that I matter much anyway). Generally, when I rate an app, if there's a few problems but the basics are down and the dev has been responsive about fixing them, adding features, what no, I will leave a 3 star review because the dev has earned the benefit of the doubt. This goes up as bugs are fixed, features are added or down if no response.

    I am not a developer, but I have been in charge of writing things up for people, putting things on, and just basically been at my wits end doing unpaid volunteer work for ungrateful and unhelpful peers that when people whine and don't offer meaningful feedback and effort on their part, I have zero respect for them because they obviously have zero respect for myself and the efforts I have went through to do my job. This lessens as you charge more and more for your work of course, but I still believe in human decency and helpfulness before being flatout angry.
    screwdestiny
    PSN Twitter Last.FM
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by malpha View Post
    -The app doesn't do something that it flat out said it did not do before you bought it and now you feel you have been deceived and wasted your money.
    -You like the Xbox360 more than the PS3 or some other such nonsense.
    -Because you have a legitimate bug and rather than inform the developer directly so that they may fix it (since it's assumed you would like to use the app and thus have it work), you don't inform the developer and leave a crappy review.
    It is like you checked out my apps' reviews when you were writing this

    At least those 3 exist for 2 of my apps (Gamer Friends for PSN and the Lite version), and I know you use the paid version.
    Arthur Thornton

    Former webOS DevRel Engineer at Palm, HP, and LG
    Former webOS app developer (built Voice Memos, Sparrow, and several homebrew apps and patches)
    Former blogger for webOS Nation and webOS Roundup
  16. #16  
    I wish there was some way. I have an app that someone downloaded, but doesn't know what it is for, even though it says what it's for in the descriptio, FFXIV. He gave a bad score cause he doesn't know what to do with it. It's like someone downloading that halo reach stat app and giving it a bad score cause they don't play halo reach.
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by arthurthornton View Post
    1) I'm saying this as a developer: I Developers cannot respond to reviews,
    No, but they can read them and presumably (because they do so), they can leave descriptive blurb about the app. Merely stating that a possible bug has been reported and is being investigated would probably have been sufficient to prevent me leaving a subsequent unfavourable review for the same reported problem. I suggest that it is entirely reasonable to assume that, if there is no fix or comment on a reported bug, that the report has been ignored.

    3) I must disagree with the "delete it and get a refund" policy.
    Now why doesn't that surprise me?

    I'd be interested to hear what remedy you do propose if a user spends money on an app that does not do what the vendor says it will do?

    The reason I say this is because that opens the door to piracy


    I'm sorry, but that is a bit of a lame excuse, to put it mildly. Are you really suggesting that a purchase price of 0.79 is sufficient to deter someone who is intent on pirating a bit of software?

    Not to mention most developers don't like that policy
    See comments to your "3)" above. The current system is weighted against users who purchase software that does not do as it should.


    Quote Originally Posted by malpha View Post
    If you're leaving a crappy review because:

    [snippage]

    -Because you have a legitimate bug and rather than inform the developer directly so that they may fix it (since it's assumed you would like to use the app and thus have it work), you don't inform the developer and leave a crappy review.


    Then yes, you are "just dumb" because you are too lazy to inform the developer of the bug so that they may fix it (many would be eager to do so and have provided email/website/forums/twitter to encourage you to do so).
    I disagree. A review is, I suggest, one of several entirely legitimate routes that a customer can use to communicate with a developer. It is also, from a user's point of view, the only way to communicate to other users that the app does not work as advertised, in order to try to forestall them from wasting their money. Doubly so if the bug (or lack of advertised functionality) has already been reported and but been neither fixed nor commented upon in the descriptive blurb.

    Generally, when I rate an app, if there's a few problems but the basics are down and the dev has been responsive about fixing them, adding features, what no, I will leave a 3 star review because the dev has earned the benefit of the doubt. This goes up as bugs are fixed, features are added or down if no response.
    I rate an app based on its functionality -- I am reviewing the app, not the developer.

    but I still believe in human decency and helpfulness before being flatout angry
    As do I. Why do you assume that a poor review is done out of anger? I suggest that it is also decent and helpful to try to prevent others making the same mistake that I did.

    Again I have to ask, why do so many (not all) developers appear to feel threatened by users telling the truth?
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by Tetenterre View Post
    No, but they can read them and presumably (because they do so), they can leave descriptive blurb about the app.
    No, some developers are not in countries that have app catalog access, therefore they cannot leave their own review. This information can be accessed from MyAppBox and other sources though, thanks to the palm open feeds/

    Quote Originally Posted by Tetenterre View Post
    Now why doesn't that surprise me?

    I'd be interested to hear what remedy you do propose if a user spends money on an app that does not do what the vendor says it will do?
    Palm's policy is no refunds. That's just how it is, and if you pay money for an app that doesn't do what it says, you can report it to Palm through the usual channels.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tetenterre View Post
    I'm sorry, but that is a bit of a lame excuse, to put it mildly. Are you really suggesting that a purchase price of 0.79 is sufficient to deter someone who is intent on pirating a bit of software?
    I tend to agree here. Pirates' gonna pirate. It would take divine intervention to stop them. If you make a high quality app, enough people will pay, and the pirates will always make up a tiny minority.

    I disagree. A review is, I suggest, one of several entirely legitimate routes that a customer can use to communicate with a developer. It is also, from a user's point of view, the only way to communicate to other users that the app does not work as advertised, in order to try to forestall them from wasting their money. Doubly so if the bug (or lack of advertised functionality) has already been reported and but been neither fixed nor commented upon in the descriptive blurb.
    No, a legitimate communication route would allow for two way correspondence. If and only if the developer does not include contact information anywhere in or around their app that their is an excuse to post a negative review of the type we are discussing. Palm FORCES you as a developer to include contact and support info so that's covered.

    I rate an app based on its functionality -- I am reviewing the app, not the developer.
    I assume that you are a conscientious reviewer who updates their reviews following bug fixes. However, many do not causing potentially buyers to hold on to their money based on outdated review that pick on bugs that havent existed for 2+ versions.


    Let's face it, Palm have really screwed us over with their repeated failure to improve the app catalog. There are threads over at the Palm Dev forums about this that are as old as the original Pre. Chuq has posted a few times that they are looking into improving it, and he even gives you the opportunity to report reviews that are invalid to be considered for removal.

    There is only one step I take against this. I now make my apps as bug-free and feature complete as possible. I made the mistake of not performing rigorous testing on my first app and it flopped (no-one even gave it one review).

    With my new app, I had one low-scored negative review that has seen been updated thanks to a simple bug fix, and one high-score negative review that was high because the user liked the app, but criticised another small bug (this seems more appropriate than 1-star reviews with no information on why this rating was given).

    Let's hope that Palm make some serious improvements to the app catalog and submission process in the future so that users and developers are not so alienated as they are now.
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by semprance View Post
    No, some developers are not in countries that have app catalog access, therefore they cannot leave their own review. This information can be accessed from MyAppBox and other sources though, thanks to the palm open feeds/
    No point in mentioning that, I already did and he skipped over that in a push to his own flawed beliefs.

    Palm's policy is no refunds. That's just how it is, and if you pay money for an app that doesn't do what it says, you can report it to Palm through the usual channels.
    And now, so is Android's. That means nobody is willing to allow refunds.

    I tend to agree here. Pirates' gonna pirate. It would take divine intervention to stop them. If you make a high quality app, enough people will pay, and the pirates will always make up a tiny minority.
    Actually, it is amazing how it can affect piracy. It really depends though. If your app is a very popular app, it will be pirated regardless of price.

    But if people could request refunds for apps by deleting them within 24 hours, the piracy rate would go up significantly. Can you return your used copy of Windows? How about Microsoft Office? Or what about 99.9% of other software? Why should an app be any different? It costs less.

    No, a legitimate communication route would allow for two way correspondence. If and only if the developer does not include contact information anywhere in or around their app that their is an excuse to post a negative review of the type we are discussing. Palm FORCES you as a developer to include contact and support info so that's covered.
    I wholeheartedly agree.

    I assume that you are a conscientious reviewer who updates their reviews following bug fixes. However, many do not causing potentially buyers to hold on to their money based on outdated review that pick on bugs that havent existed for 2+ versions.
    I have experienced this in my app as well. People are so quick to leave a review and then are apparently incapable of updating said review.

    Let's face it, Palm have really screwed us over with their repeated failure to improve the app catalog. There are threads over at the Palm Dev forums about this that are as old as the original Pre. Chuq has posted a few times that they are looking into improving it, and he even gives you the opportunity to report reviews that are invalid to be considered for removal.
    I agree.

    There is only one step I take against this. I now make my apps as bug-free and feature complete as possible. I made the mistake of not performing rigorous testing on my first app and it flopped (no-one even gave it one review).
    I've always done this and there was a bug that sneaked past me and my beta testers. It was a pretty big bug and because of Palm's submission system, I couldn't get the fix out for over a week.

    Let's hope that Palm make some serious improvements to the app catalog and submission process in the future so that users and developers are not so alienated as they are now.
    I hope so too.
    Arthur Thornton

    Former webOS DevRel Engineer at Palm, HP, and LG
    Former webOS app developer (built Voice Memos, Sparrow, and several homebrew apps and patches)
    Former blogger for webOS Nation and webOS Roundup
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by semprance View Post
    No, some developers are not in countries that have app catalog access, therefore they cannot leave their own review.
    I know that. This is why I didn't suggest that they should leave a review. If you re-read what I wrote, you will find that I suggested that they amend the descriptive blurb about the app. It is clear (merely from browsing the app catalogue) that developers can and do upgrade their blurb when it suits them to do so.

    if you pay money for an app that doesn't do what it says, you can report it to Palm through the usual channels.
    That is a recourse for reporting. What I was asking @arthurthornton for was what he suggested as a remedy. (I note that he has made no suggestions.)

    No, a legitimate communication route would allow for two way correspondence.
    Users leave reviews, developers leave descriptive information in the blurb about the app. How is that not 2-way correspondence? (Unless, of course, one of the parties chooses not to read what the other has written.)

    If and only if the developer does not include contact information anywhere in or around their app that their is an excuse to post a negative review of the type we are discussing.
    I repeat, why is it that so many developers seem to feel threatened by people making truthful statements in reviews? IOW, why don't they want other potential users to see truthful statements? {rhetorical}

    I assume that you are a conscientious reviewer who updates their reviews following bug fixes.
    If I am still using the app then yes, of course! Why wouldn't I? However, if I am not still using it, then I am not going to know if the developer has been bothered to fix the bugs (no incentive to do so, since he can still hang on to our lucre) -- but the developer can note, in the descriptive blurb, that the bug is fixed.

    There is only one step I take against this. I now make my apps as bug-free and feature complete as possible.
    What I don't understand is why all developers don't do this as a matter of course. Oops, no, I'm fibbing -- I do know -- it gets in the way of making the maximum amount of lucre as quickly as possible from the duped user.



    Quote Originally Posted by arthurthornton View Post
    No point in mentioning that, I already did and he skipped over that in a push to his own flawed beliefs.
    Please try to restrict yourself to the truth when you make your unpleasant, petty, snide remarks. You mentioned that developers cannot leave reviews (incidentally, that's not entirely true -- it is blindingly obvious that some use sock-puppets to leave 5* reviews/ratings of their own apps). As you already know, what I suggested was amending the descriptive blurb about the app (developers do this, so please don't try to pretend that they can't); please stop pretending that I made some other suggestion -- your various pretences render you indistinguishable from a ****wit.

    But if people could request refunds for apps by deleting them within 24 hours, the piracy rate would go up significantly.
    Evidence? If so, please cite primary reference. Or merely scare-mongering to protect a market that is heavily weighted in favour of unscrupulous developers and against ripped-off users?

    Can you return your used copy of Windows? How about Microsoft Office? Or what about 99.9% of other software?
    If they do not comply with the Sale of Goods Act, 1979, then yes, I can.

    Why should an app be any different? It costs less.
    An app shouldn't be any different; it should also comply with the Sale of Goods Act, especially with respect of being Fit for Purpose and of Merchantable Quality. Unfortunately, an app is different in that it would be both difficult and uneconomical, because of the way apps are marketed, to attempt to get the Palm App Catalogue to comply with its obligations (when selling in this country) under the Sale of Goods Act.

    I suggest that the moral question here is not the one you asked, but: "Why should app developers be permitted to get away with things that are not permitted to the vendors of other goods?"
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