04 janeiro 2013

Why you should not buy from Fanzter

All things considered, we all buy iOS Apps. That's right, we, the platform users once less favoured by the Gods of Software, very well known as the "weird computer users" are now a very shiny milk cow to a lot (and I mean a lot) of software developers. Yeah, we buy apps by the dozen and everybody seems happy about it. Yeah, we pay a few bucks (once, cents) and we play or work or simply trash the hell out of software. Yeah, we're iOS users and we feel like Kings of the World.

But, then, once in a while, there comes a bump on our merry software road. You buy an App, you are pretty fond of it and one day, out of the blue, the company disappears or, more commonly is bought by another company. That's exactly what happened to me and one of my iPhone Apps. The culprit's name is Summizer, a Twitter trend search code that was sold by a software developer once named Mustache. Years rolled by, a lot of work was produced using it, God I wonder what other piece of compiled bits and bytes could be more productive to my goals. I loved it (I still do even if it is no longer working) since the dawn of iOS6.

We all know the bottlenecks of a major Operating System release. Things should be tested, things will stop working, users will get (really) pissed of by the nuisances. That's life, and a user's life is pretty full of these moments. Summizer was just one of those less happy stories. It just stopped working regarding vertical scroll, seems no big deal but in fact it was, as it prevented me to continue to hold a few consecutive watchdog searches on that huge information yard named Twitter.

Users will try to get in touch to the developer, been there, done that, just to know that the company has been sold. In this particular, Summizer the App, continued to exist, maintaining the very same name, under the authority of a new owner named Fanzter. Pretty cool, hum? Let's get things running and use a Fanzter support ticket in order to let them know that there are problems with their software.

As a matter of fact, they were quite aware of it. Swift answer "Please hold for an iOS6 update, it will solve the problem" and they did, a couple of weeks longer than expected. Yeah, I am gonna ride it again, baby!. Things are never so simple. The day I've got an email from Fanzter saying that the update was available, it did not showed up on my devices. Took me a couple of hours to clear that out, I was pretty sure I had bought it (yeah, legally!) but as I use a pair of iTunes Store accounts and I am constantly switching from the US Store to the Portuguese counterpart, perhaps it was my fault. It was not. Another link on the Fanzter support chain "Hey guys, I have no update showing up, I did bought this app, how can we solve this?".

It seems they will not solve this. Fanzter's answer is frustrating.

"Hello Pedro,
It appears you may have purchased Summizer when it was offered by Mustache Inc. It was purchased by Fanzter and rewritten and updated for newer iOS devices, and released as a new app. The original Summizer is not supported by Fanzter. Please check out the current app!"

No guys, I will not check the current app. Yes guys, you answered me questions about the earlier Summizer version. I bought the Summizer App before you brought the Mustache company. When you bought it, you bought the customer base, their products and their activity. I am sorry if you regret that but it's not my fault. You maintained the name of it for a reason, it keeps beeing named Summizer, right? Does the same thing than it did before, right?". That's not my fault. I am not angry about the value, I am angry about the lack of atitude towards customers. After all, if you do this with a cents app, what should I expect in the future?

You are about to lose a customer.

Worst than that you are about to lose a customer's trust.

5 comentários:

Anónimo disse...

Hi Pedro,

I am one of the people behind Summizer at Fanzter.

I'm sorry you feel this way. I just wanted to say that I understand your frustration. When we bought the apps (way back in 2009), the App Store and Apple's developer program had some limitations that they've since worked out. But back then, we faced a tough choice and opted to make it easier for our small team to manage the suite of apps we publish.

On top of that, we've rewritten most of the apps we purchased, so that they represent a significant upgrade, not just bug fixes as you're implying.

I understand that this may not change how you feel, but I wanted to offer up our perspective. If you would like to talk about this further, please drop me a line via our support address and we'll see if we can help you out.


Fanzter Inc.

Unknown disse...


KIT0 disse...

Isso faz-me lembrar o que aconteceu em Dezembro com a famosa WhatsApp: basicamente tudo o que é 3GS para baixo (ou era 3G?) deixou de poder utilizar a aplicação que pagou porque os moços só fazem a partir de um certo firmware..

Mais, acontece o mesmo que lhe aconteceu, pedem para actualizar mas depois não existe actualização nenhuma...

E quem me vai devolver os 79centimos pagos? Pois..

ALEX disse...

Eu já perdi a conta as apps pagas que; ou deixam de ter supporte ou simplesmente desaparecem, como o caso do NDrive (uma app que custou 29.99 euros e não 79c).

Pedro Aniceto disse...

O caso dessas apps de maior valor não merecem um "report a concern" na Store?