01-02-14 04:17 AM
154 ... 4567
tools
  1. KermEd's Avatar
    The "I should not suffer as RIMs OS is the problem" argument I see above (a lot) does not hold water with me.

    If my app had a 100 percent failure rate to clients. I would remove it from appworld and escalate the issue through bbdev / Alec and bug reports.

    We as developers are also responsible to test our apps on each platform and Os release. If we do not we deserve the reviews we get. I list known bugs in my product descriptions. If a review complains about the bug. But the bug was in the description, then I don't feel bad removing that review.

    If the bug is in the review, and I haven't fixed the bug then the review stays OR I update the description. Works for me.

    Posted via CB10
    05-12-13 05:38 PM
  2. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    @Omnitech I've read all your responses and to tell the truth, I don't know what your position is with the OP's premise namely:: "Rim lets developers pull reviews they do not like! This has to stop!".

    Some of us argue that the first sentence is factually incorrect and that "Rim" vets requests to determine if they are "inappropriate" or not. We further argue that if "Rim" were doing their jobs correctly, "not liking" a review would not be sufficient grounds for having a review removed. The following instructions in our Vendor Portal clearly states the service that they are supposed to be providing to us:

    "If you feel that any of these reviews are inappropriate, click the "Approve Review" or "Deny Review" button and a ticket will be created for the BlackBerry World Manager requesting that the status of the review be changed."

    Notes:
    1. The "Approve Review" is required because a good number of reviews are automatically denied before we even see them.
    2. BBRY has not provided any documentation or guidelines that define the term "appropriate" so that we no idea what criteria will be applied when assessing our requests.
    3. There is no means for developers to explain why we think a particular review should be deemed "inappropriate". We have no input into the process at all other than clicking the "Approve" or "Deny" button.
    4. There is a general feeling that BBRY simply rubber-stamps requests as "approved" and we wonder why it takes up to a week for a request to be processed.
    5. Reputable developers acknowledge and abhor the fact that an unknown number rogue developers are abusing this process to the detriment of both developers and and consumers. To quote the OP, this has to stop! No ifs, buts or maybes, we want the process to be fixed.
    6. We agree with your proposed improvements that involve allowing consumers to view a history of denied reviews if they wish to do so.

    Given that you seem to disagree with all of our proposals and apparently your own as well, my questions for you are very simple. Do you think that all reviews are "appropriate" and the whole idea of denying reviews should be dispensed with? If so, in what way would this solution be more conducive to a healthy and balanced marketplace than fixing the review process?
    05-12-13 06:33 PM
  3. Omnitech's Avatar
    @Omnitech I've read all your responses and to tell the truth, I don't know what your position is with the OP's premise namely:: "Rim lets developers pull reviews they do not like! This has to stop!".

    First of all, does anyone honestly expect to get a highly nuanced sense of someone's position from a ~10 word topic headline?

    I do not 100% agree with the headline as written, as very few things in this world as far as I'm concerned are "absolute". But the OP has outlined something which is a legitimate issue, and from my experience this issue is a widespread issue in online review regimes all over the world, and I think people in general are starting to get rather jaded about online reviews as a result of it, which is a pity.


    Some of us argue that the first sentence is factually incorrect and that "Rim" vets requests to determine if they are "inappropriate" or not.

    I think that's semantic sophistry - in reality if a review gets removed due to a request from a developer which subsequently gets approved by RIM/Blackberry, then the statement is in fact true. The statement was not "RIM lets developers pull ANY reviews they do not like".


    Notes:
    1. The "Approve Review" is required because a good number of reviews are automatically denied before we even see them.
    2. BBRY has not provided any documentation or guidelines that define the term "appropriate" so that we no idea what criteria will be applied when assessing our requests.
    3. There is no means for developers to explain why we think a particular review should be deemed "inappropriate". We have no input into the process at all other than clicking the "Approve" or "Deny" button.
    4. There is a general feeling that BBRY simply rubber-stamps requests as "approved" and we wonder why it takes up to a week for a request to be processed.
    5. Reputable developers acknowledge and abhor the fact that an unknown number rogue developers are abusing this process to the detriment of both developers and and consumers. To quote the OP, this has to stop! No ifs, buts or maybes, we want the process to be fixed.
    6. We agree with your proposed improvements that involve allowing consumers to view a history of denied reviews if they wish to do so.

    Can you explain to me at this point, who this "we" is that you seem to be formally speaking on behalf-of?


    Given that you seem to disagree with all of our proposals and apparently your own as well

    How is it possible to conclude from what I've written here that I "disagree with all of our [whose?] proposals" and even "my own"???? This is just bizarre.


    my questions for you are very simple. Do you think that all reviews are "appropriate"...

    No, and I have no idea how anyone reading the few comments I've made here would or could make such a conclusion. For example, I've already specifically coined a term I've used here called "junk reviews". And I already brought up the issue of shill reviews by developers as well. Why would I have even made such references if I truly was so absolutist in my position that I think "all reviews are appropriate"???


    ...and the whole idea of denying reviews should be dispensed with? If so, in what way would this solution be more conducive to a healthy and balanced marketplace than fixing the review process?

    I have already pointed out that the review regime needs to be more transparent, and gave a SPECIFIC example of how to make it more transparent.

    I also agree with many of the points you made in the list above (which is why I quoted the list) in terms of things that need to be improved here. I've already mentioned several times that there are, in my view, problems with ALL the online app stores in terms of how they handle reviews. (Indeed, how they handle the entire app store experience in certain ways.)

    In the case of Blackberry World specifically, as with many other issues with Blackberry as a company, I think that after eliminating something like 5,000 positions over the last year or so, they are not surprisingly rather resource-constrained in several areas. Which likely explains at least some of the issues that are going on with Blackberry World. But by the same token, there have been a number of significant recent enhancements to BBW that greatly improve the experience compared to how things worked on the legacy platforms. So I do give them credit for those things.

    All I am saying, to make it as simplistic as possible, is that within the context of Blackberry World and its app review mechanism, given a choice between handing more power to developers or more power to users, I tend to lean towards the latter for the reasons I have previously stated. That in no way means I advocate "zero power for developers" or even "minimal power to developers", just that developers already have a plethora of ways to control their product's reputation in the marketplace, many of which have nothing to do with reviews in Blackberry World. Users have few such opportunities to speak of outside of the public review mechanism.
    BuzzStarField likes this.
    05-12-13 07:15 PM
  4. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    First of all, does anyone honestly expect to get a highly nuanced sense of someone's position from a ~10 word topic headline?

    I do not 100% agree with the headline as written, as very few things in this world as far as I'm concerned are "absolute". But the OP has outlined something which is a legitimate issue, and from my experience this issue is a widespread issue in online review regimes all over the world, and I think people in general are starting to get rather jaded about online reviews as a result of it, which is a pity.

    .............................
    All I am saying, to make it as simplistic as possible, is that within the context of Blackberry World and its app review mechanism, given a choice between handing more power to developers or more power to users, I tend to lean towards the latter for the reasons I have previously stated. That in no way means I advocate "zero power for developers" or even "minimal power to developers", just that developers already have a plethora of ways to control their product's reputation in the marketplace, many of which have nothing to do with reviews in Blackberry World. Users have few such opportunities to speak of outside of the public review mechanism.
    Thanks for the response but it leaves me cold - please tell me about all the options we have to protect our reputations. First thing is that developers have few opportunities to speak to specific problems raised in the reviews that customers post.. Customers with complaints shun using the support email address even though this is the only effective tool that we have to deal with their issues. Reviews may give them an opportunity to speak out but we can't use this channel to answer their questions or try to dispel misconceptions.and misunderstandings. If we have a plethora of ways to control the reputation our products in the marketplace.then I would appreciate you telling me about them.

    We don't control the distribution of our apps and we have no control over the operating system. But when something is amiss in these areas (refer to the OP's complaint) we get negative reviews from our users. We are frustrated because we have absolutely no power to deal with these problems. It would be cruel of you to claim that I have total control over my app's reputation under these circumstances.

    There are other good reasons why a user is unhappy with my work. Since we are human, we make mistakes and our apps may exhibit bugs. For me, this doesn't happen very often, and the bugs are never catastrophic. But when sh-- does happen, I would like to be proactive in communicating with my users concerning workarounds and fixes.There is no way that I can do this so I am subjected from multiple reviews from justifiably upset customers who wish to report the problem or tell me that I am incompetent. .If an update goes bad, there is no way to revert back to the previous version immediately - I have to wait for BBRY to approve my bug-fix version. This could take weeks so more bad reviews are inevitable. I am certain that better communication mechanisms would help me protect my reputation. Right now, I am defenseless.

    Now all this is getting very lengthy but I wanted to point out some very real issues that we face. We do not have a plethora of ways to control our reputations.
    Last edited by BuzzStarField; 05-12-13 at 09:51 PM.
    05-12-13 08:49 PM
  5. Omnitech's Avatar
    Well the chief method which you use to control your product's reputation is the product itself.

    Then there are things like customer support. And your business relationships with other entities such as Blackberry Corp, or even Crackberry. And of course the public image that you present on a site like Crackberry also has a significant bearing on how you and your products are perceived.

    Case in point: I bought 2 different versions of BerryBuzz/BeBuzz for my legacy Blackberry devices. It was one of the best of its kind for that sort of app as of a couple years ago.

    But over the last year or more, Bellshare's rep(s) have become difficult or impossible to communicate with, the products have seemingly gotten buggier, and they have apparently completely shutdown their web forum as well, making it difficult or impossible to even share with other users how to workaround issues that come up, because we now must spam public forums like crackberry in order to discuss their product amongst other users.

    For those reasons primarily, I now avoid Bellshare's products, unless they happen to make something which provides some capability that no other product provides. (I bit the bullet on this for BeWeather Pro because as far as I can tell it is the only weather app I could find that really takes advantage of the BB10 native development platform. But I definitely grit my teeth while buying it. And it would have been vastly easier for me to know for sure how it compared to competitors if BBW was better designed to give more useful comparitive data to potential customers.)

    In the case of Bellshare, I have noted many reviewers (either in discussions here on Crackberry or in reviews in BBW) who seem willing to give them a pass on almost anything because a couple of their products had gained a sort of mythic status to some people on the legacy platform. This is a case where one cannot necessarily take the positive reviews at face-value, because apparently many of those people are still in thrall to the "halo" of the previous product. (One of the various reasons I don't generally take review "star ratings" at face-value until I do a little more checking myself.)
    05-13-13 03:57 AM
  6. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    Well the chief method which you use to control your product's reputation is the product itself.

    Then there are things like customer support. And your business relationships with other entities such as Blackberry Corp, or even Crackberry. And of course the public image that you present on a site like Crackberry also has a significant bearing on how you and your products are perceived.

    Case in point: I bought 2 different versions of BerryBuzz/BeBuzz for my legacy Blackberry devices. It was one of the best of its kind for that sort of app as of a couple years ago.

    But over the last year or more, Bellshare's rep(s) have become difficult or impossible to communicate with, the products have seemingly gotten buggier, and they have apparently completely shutdown their web forum as well, making it difficult or impossible to even share with other users how to workaround issues that come up, because we now must spam public forums like crackberry in order to discuss their product amongst other users.

    For those reasons primarily, I now avoid Bellshare's products, unless they happen to make something which provides some capability that no other product provides. (I bit the bullet on this for BeWeather Pro because as far as I can tell it is the only weather app I could find that really takes advantage of the BB10 native development platform. But I definitely grit my teeth while buying it. And it would have been vastly easier for me to know for sure how it compared to competitors if BBW was better designed to give more useful comparitive data to potential customers.)

    In the case of Bellshare, I have noted many reviewers (either in discussions here on Crackberry or in reviews in BBW) who seem willing to give them a pass on almost anything because a couple of their products had gained a sort of mythic status to some people on the legacy platform. This is a case where one cannot necessarily take the positive reviews at face-value, because apparently many of those people are still in thrall to the "halo" of the previous product. (One of the various reasons I don't generally take review "star ratings" at face-value until I do a little more checking myself.)
    pleth·o·ra
    /ˈpleTHərə/
    Noun
    An excess of.
    An excess of a bodily fluid, particularly blood.
    Synonyms
    superabundance - glut

    When you use a word like "plethora" you need to back it up with numerous ways specific to BlackBerry World that we can use to protect our reputation.

    So far your list contains the following potential methods that I can use to protect my image
    1. My product
    2. The level of customer support that I porovide
    3. My relationship with BlackBerry Corp
    4. My relationship with CrackBerry
    5. My comportment in public forums like CrackBerry

    That's it. It's akin to saying that my reputation is safe if I do my job well, wisely use all of the resources available to me and never slip up. Two of the items that you list are external to BlackBerry World and, as such, have no bearing on the topic of this thread. In addition, I have taken great pains to tell you all about the level of support that I get from BlackBerry Corp. I have explained to you exactly how the current review process actually makes it impossible to provide a decent level of support when things go wrong.

    I think there is a good word to describe your argument.

    tau·tol·o·gy (tô-tl-j)
    n. pl. tau·tol·o·gies
    1.
    a. Needless repetition of the same sense in different words; redundancy.
    b. An instance of such repetition.
    2. Logic An empty or vacuous statement composed of simpler statements in a fashion that makes it logically true whether the simpler statements are factually true or false; for example, the statement Either it will rain tomorrow or it will not rain tomorrow.

    Edit: Case in point:- I want to provide support for a dissatisfied customer. Obviously this customer feels betrayed by the hundreds of positive reviews that have accumulated for the PlayBook version and has exercised his right to warn future buyers. I would like to tell this user how to get his money back and also find out why he was so disappointed. Please tell me how I can do so.
    ---------
    Title: sucks

    Created Date: May 15, 2013 2:19:08 AM
    (1/2 star)
    Release: 1.5.5

    Review Body:
    waste of time and money
    Last edited by BuzzStarField; 05-15-13 at 04:31 AM. Reason: Added example of problematic review
    UberschallSamsara likes this.
    05-13-13 06:22 AM
  7. KermEd's Avatar
    Fyi,

    I opened night ports - a simple freebie app I threw together for someone on here.

    Of the 200 reviews, 36 were positive good reviews auto denied by RIM.

    As a developer, I manually approved them all. But just wanted to share there are some devs who don't mind transparency. . And the feature sometimes works both ways.

    Posted via CB10
    05-17-13 10:02 PM
  8. Omnitech's Avatar
    Of the 200 reviews, 36 were positive good reviews auto denied by RIM.

    As a developer, I manually approved them all. But just wanted to share there are some devs who don't mind transparency. . And the feature sometimes works both ways.

    Do you have any sense about why they were "auto-denied"?

    I suppose I could understand if Blackberry doesn't make their criteria for that public, lest people exploit that to generate more fake "robo-reviews". But I'm always interested in what criteria they are using for such decisions. Might be worth pinging them about that, especially if you had a bunch of seemingly legit reviews that were denied like that.
    05-18-13 04:43 AM
  9. Omnitech's Avatar
    Ran across a good one a couple of days ago.

    The dev of this free "open source" app is shilling his own product:

    BlackBerry World - OpenExplorer

    Best Open Source File Manager
    By brandroid64 2013-02-19
    Most polished, complete, file manager available!
    MasterOfBinary likes this.
    05-18-13 04:48 AM
  10. KermEd's Avatar
    Do you have any sense about why they were "auto-denied"?

    I suppose I could understand if Blackberry doesn't make their criteria for that public, lest people exploit that to generate more fake "robo-reviews". But I'm always interested in what criteria they are using for such decisions. Might be worth pinging them about that, especially if you had a bunch of seemingly legit reviews that were denied like that.
    No idea.... they all seemed nice. Has one with 1 star but I approved it too.

    I suspect it is either based on history. Or maybe someone at rim approves reviews and likes to button mash.

    But odd anyway.

    As for devs + reviewing their own app, especially free ones, I am cool with that.

    Most devs do it so the app comes with 5 stars out the door and is more noticble than the handster and app generator apps. . Natural selection should take care of it if it's a bad apple IMO.

    But I know there are people who sell "Review" services. For xyz dollars they get you a bunch of reviews. Shady business that one.

    Posted via CB10
    05-18-13 12:04 PM
  11. z10fido's Avatar
    Nobody is making bb10 apps so rim has to suck up to devs. And as always nobody mention 120000 apps. You can have 100 TV channels doesn't meant there's anything on.

    Posted via CB10
    05-18-13 03:28 PM
  12. KermEd's Avatar
    Stupid shaw cable.

    Amen to that.

    Posted via CB10
    05-18-13 05:06 PM
  13. Er1nyes's Avatar
    I think this is the problem with the BBW store - it's poorly designed and badkly constructed. The franchiser (BBRY) allows franchisees (developers) to put up a virtual kiosk in order to sell their products (apps). The franchisees also have access to a virtual help desk which comprises two ways to get feedback from their clients. One of these tools is a support email address which the majority of clients avoid like the plague because it is inconvenient. The other feedback mechanism is a virtual public bulletin board where customers can post reviews.
    Actually I use the email almost all the time if I am having issues with an app. I want to get it fixed not just make a lot of noise and working with the developer is the best way to get it done.

    I have started a thread : http://forums.crackberry.com/showthread.php?t=807713
    about dodgy developers and ways to report them but as of yet I've not seen any way to do that beyond a bad review which, if this thread is anything to go by, the real dodgy dealers are not allowing bad reviews to be posted/seen!

    Knowledge is power... Posted via CB10
    05-20-13 05:30 AM
  14. baste07's Avatar
    if this is true... this has to change
    05-20-13 05:57 AM
  15. papped's Avatar
    if this is true... this has to change
    Has been true as long as appworld has existed. Also, not much surprise but this thread turned into a convoluted discussion with no action...

    Posted via CB10
    BuzzStarField likes this.
    05-20-13 11:50 AM
  16. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    Has been true as long as appworld has existed. Also, not much surprise but this thread turned into a convoluted discussion with no action...

    Posted via CB10
    if this is true... this has to change.

    CB administrators let members post whatever they like! These dodgy members don't even have to pretend that they have read one or two prior posts to get a sense of where the discussion is leading! This has to stop!

    (But like dodgy developers, dodgy members are with us to stay--- and we all suffer as a result.)
    05-20-13 12:36 PM
  17. so crow's Avatar
    I have posted reviews that don't even show up when I check back to see if my review is there why even bother with it leaving a review if it might not even show up.

    Posted via CB10
    05-20-13 12:44 PM
  18. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    I have posted reviews that don't even show up when I check back to see if my review is there why even bother with it leaving a review if it might not even show up.

    Posted via CB10
    This has been covered in previously in this thread, but just so you know, there is always a delay in posting a review in BBW so you need to be a bit patient. In addition, for some unknown reason, some reviews are automatically denied by BBRY even though they are perfectly legitimate reviews. Just the other day, I had to ask BBRY to approve a 5-star review that had been automatically denied. The automatic process is obviously meant to filter naughty words and such but there is no doubt that the system does not work as well nor as quickly as it should.

    The problem of dodgy developers who game the system has been discussed to death in this thread and others. Let me just say that I do not approve.
    05-20-13 01:21 PM
  19. Omnitech's Avatar
    (But like dodgy developers, dodgy members are with us to stay--- and we all suffer as a result.)

    baste07 also apparently likes to go around telling app developers here that their app isn't worth paying-for and it should be free.

    QED
    05-20-13 01:58 PM
  20. FortyTwoApps's Avatar
    Ironically enough, a 5 star review on my picture elements app was auto denied, and when I submitted it for approval, it got denied again!

    I'm guessing it was a mistake, as I had three tickets open at the time, and one of them should have been denied but wasn't (a release that was superseded by a newer release) so I'm guessing it was just a mix up. I submitted it again for approval, and I think it'll be fine.
    05-23-13 09:56 AM
  21. Martin Green's Avatar
    I realize this thread is old now, but I had to add to it since the sheer idiocy of this analogy is staggering. If I wrote a program and used a third party library to develop it, I would expect to be held accountable if I didn't adequately test that it worked properly. In this case the situation would be roughly parallel to a restaurant buying food from an unreliable source and thus inadvertently causing food poisoning.

    However, blaming a developer for OS or BB World bugs that prevent an app from running, or running correctly, is actually more analogous to eating in a restaurant that loses lights and heat due to a city wide power failure, and then leaving a review in a food magazine that nobody should eat there because you are forced to eat in the dark and cold. Users with this kind of belief system, that is, those who think it acceptable to attempt to ruin app developers financially for faults they are not responsible for, could not have anticipated, and cannot remedy themselves is the very best argument available for why the review denial process exists.

    You would be very surprised just how many malicious and malignant souls there are out there who delight in making trouble for ethical developers, much like that cantankerous old lady down the road who keeps calling bylaw enforcement about everybody on the street. Despite almost unanimous 5-star reviews I have had negative ones for an app of mine where the reviewer was incensed they should have to pay for an app they liked but believed they should get for free, despite thousands of hours of effort creating and maintaining it. I suppose you consider that to be fair.

    BlackBerry's review denial process is a response to the high level of abuse by reviewers on the other mobile marketplaces. It is not a perfect system, but neither are the Android and iOS marketplaces, where successful, entrenched developers can prevent any competitors from rising from the mud by actively posting flurries of false but devastating reviews against new applications with no opportunity for recourse by the victims.

    @goster48 I understand your frustration at not being able to register your complaint about an application you had trouble with, but your argument lost all moral weight when you advocated that it was acceptable to blame an app developer for a bug in BB10 or BlackBerry World.

    Let's be clear--I did not (and would not) state that all developers are "crooks". I think the vast majority are talented, honest, and hard-working. That's not the issue. The issue is honesty and fairness. If I go into a restaurant and get sick from a meal I ordered, the source might be something that the owner of the restaurant unknowingly bought from one of his suppliers. But, at the end of the day, we hold the restaurant accountable, and if we write a review of it stating that we got sick the last time we ate there, we would not think it fair if the owner worked behind the scenes to ensure that the review never got posted or published. I am not blaming the developer for the problem. It could well indeed be the OS. The issue is that he should not have pulled down honest reviews that mentioned what the app was doing to Z10s. It's as simple as that.
    12-26-13 10:45 PM
  22. Omnitech's Avatar
    I realize this thread is old now, but I had to add to it since the sheer idiocy of this analogy is staggering.

    And your clear bias in the other direction, implying that almost all negative reviews pertain to issues outside the developers control, is almost as bad. See below.


    However, blaming a developer for OS or BB World bugs that prevent an app from running, or running correctly, is actually more analogous to eating in a restaurant that loses lights and heat due to a city wide power failure, and then leaving a review in a food magazine that nobody should eat there because you are forced to eat in the dark and cold. Users with this kind of belief system, that is, those who think it acceptable to attempt to ruin app developers financially for faults they are not responsible for, could not have anticipated, and cannot remedy themselves is the very best argument available for why the review denial process exists.

    Not quite.

    First of all, users cannot be expected to understand the technical intricacies behind why something which claims to do X, doesn't actually do X. This is much different than your "power outage in restaurant" analogy where the facts and cause/effect are much more obvious to customers than it is likely to be when it comes to smartphone software.

    If your app doesn't do X, then don't claim it does and if it turns out there is an OS flaw that prevents all apps from doing
    X, if you keep making such a claim despite having the technical knowlodge that it's not possible on the current platform, don't complain when users point out the inconsistency.



    You would be very surprised just how many malicious and malignant souls there are out there who delight in making trouble for ethical developers... [...]

    I have had negative ones for an app of mine where the reviewer was incensed they should have to pay for an app they liked but believed they should get for free...

    Personally I'm not surprised at all and a "review" that complains an app should be free is invalid.

    However I have no issue with that. What I and many others have an issue with are the valid, legitimate, courteous and well-supported reviews that get axed. I have personally had that happen to my reviews on BlackBerry World for BB10 apps many times. I believe a policy allowing such censorship is obnoxious, deceptive and morally bankrupt.


    ...your argument lost all moral weight when you advocated that it was acceptable to blame an app developer for a bug in BB10 or BlackBerry World.

    To some extent a developer is married to the platform(s) they choose to develop for, in essence becoming a partner.

    If a platform is rife with reliability issues, developers who choose to partner with such a platform should be prepared for reliability complaints. If a platform is saddled with problems meeting its development milestones, developers should be prepared for complaints about promised improvements missing. If a developer doesn't want to be associated with such issues, they would be better off finding a different platform to develop for, one which better dovetails with their personal/company standards.
    12-29-13 04:15 PM
  23. Martin Green's Avatar
    That is nonsense! I NEVER stated nor implied that "almost all negative reviews pertain to issues outside the developers control", as you well know. Your bias is pretty obvious in that you feel a need to put words in my mouth.

    Although I didn't do so in my post here, so I don't expect you to know, I have stated clearly multiple times in prominent BlackBerry 10 developer forums that I am very opposed to review inflation by removing legitimate negative reviews. In fact, in a discussion in the BB10 developer forums just this week I stated that I am so opposed to it that even the rare times I have needed to remove a malicious review (only 3 times) I actually feel very uncomfortable doing it, even though each of those instances was very legitimate.

    BlackBerry posts a support contact link for all apps but many users don't bother to reach out to the developer before posting scathing reviews. In many instances, the user's complaint could be quickly and easily resolved. One of those three times I had to request a review removal, the review said... "The application opens, but nothing responds (paramètres, aide, updates). Very disappointing! After all, I paid for it!"

    I knew this was impossible since the app in question is free to download, and has two upgrade levels for purchase in-app that can only be paid for if the application runs properly. Unfortunately there is no way on BlackBerry World to respond to a review, nor any way to contact the reviewer. In this case however the reviewer belatedly realized a few days later they could contact me directly and sent an email to my support address. After a bit of discussion she admitted that she had confused my app with another she had purchased at the same time, and in fact had NOT paid anything for mine. We then spent about 10 days emailing back and forth, with me creating multiple test builds for her to sideload, till it was finally resolved that her OS installation was corrupted and she needed to reload the OS on her phone. Once that was done my app worked perfectly for her, and she ended up thanking me for the extensive time I spent with her figuring out why my app wouldn't run properly on her device. Even though her problems were not in any way my fault, I thanked her for her patience by sending her a free Premium level upgrade code.

    Unfortunately though, once posted, she had no way to remove or amend her original review. Without the review denial process anybody considering my app for download and purchase would have reason to believe it was a scam or that trying it was a waste of time.

    When BlackBerry rolled out the 10.2 OS release worldwide a couple of months ago, literally THOUSANDS of apps that made use of a framework to launch other apps, such the the Browser, camera, or email, were suddenly broken by no fault of the developers. Everyone spent several weeks scrambling furiously to figure out how to provide the same functionality without using the framework broken by BlackBerry. Any negative reviews posted during this time about the affected functionality would have unfairly tainted the reputation of hundreds or thousands of dedicated and ethical developers.

    As I said in my earlier post, the BlackBerry World review denial process is not perfect, and I have made suggestions in other developer channels about improving it to reduce unjustified review inflation, but developers SHOULD have an avenue to eliminate intentionally malicious reviews, subterfuge by competitors (which is surprisingly common, or maybe no so surprisingly), and reviewers just too lazy to use the published support resources for easily resolved problems.

    I am in complete agreement that no "valid, legitimate, courteous and well-supported" negative review should be removed, but I don't believe the practice is nearly as prevalent as you seem to be convinced it is. Take a look on BB World and you will see huge numbers of negative reviews that are left in place, and lots of apps have one or two star averages. If it was as easy to conceal legitimate negative reviews as you imply everything would have perfect 5-star averages. No ethical developer is advocating for removal of LEGITIMATE negative comments and reviews, just an opportunity to correct injustices when they occur.

    Both sides in this debate, developers and users, have legitimate grievances about the review process. On other platforms
    (iOS and Android) developers are completely at the mercy of posted reviews, regardless of their legitimacy, leaving them open to intentional abuse, angry misanthropes, and underhanded espionage by competitors. On BlackBerry World developers have some measure of recourse, with some admitted potential for abuse, which is not nearly as widespread as it could potentially be. In any case, this abuse could be minimized my tightened scrutiny of review denial requests by BlackBerry, so rather than argue to eliminate review denials, agitate for better oversight.

    And your clear bias in the other direction, implying that almost all negative reviews pertain to issues outside the developers control, is almost as bad. See below.





    Not quite.

    First of all, users cannot be expected to understand the technical intricacies behind why something which claims to do X, doesn't actually do X. This is much different than your "power outage in restaurant" analogy where the facts and cause/effect are much more obvious to customers than it is likely to be when it comes to smartphone software.

    If your app doesn't do X, then don't claim it does and if it turns out there is an OS flaw that prevents all apps from doing
    X, if you keep making such a claim despite having the technical knowlodge that it's not possible on the current platform, don't complain when users point out the inconsistency.






    Personally I'm not surprised at all and a "review" that complains an app should be free is invalid.

    However I have no issue with that. What I and many others have an issue with are the valid, legitimate, courteous and well-supported reviews that get axed. I have personally had that happen to my reviews on BlackBerry World for BB10 apps many times. I believe a policy allowing such censorship is obnoxious, deceptive and morally bankrupt.





    To some extent a developer is married to the platform(s) they choose to develop for, in essence becoming a partner.

    If a platform is rife with reliability issues, developers who choose to partner with such a platform should be prepared for reliability complaints. If a platform is saddled with problems meeting its development milestones, developers should be prepared for complaints about promised improvements missing. If a developer doesn't want to be associated with such issues, they would be better off finding a different platform to develop for, one which better dovetails with their personal/company standards.
    UberschallSamsara likes this.
    12-29-13 10:35 PM
  24. Omnitech's Avatar
    Although I didn't do so in my post here, so I don't expect you to know, I have stated clearly multiple times in prominent BlackBerry 10 developer forums that I am very opposed to review inflation by removing legitimate negative reviews.

    That's great, but don't go off on those of us who notice that your only post here comes across as a blanket rationalization for allowing legitimate reviews to be axed, and implies (by cherry picking examples) that MOST negative reviews are bogus.



    BlackBerry posts a support contact link for all apps but many users don't bother to reach out to the developer before posting scathing reviews. In many instances, the user's complaint could be quickly and easily resolved.

    I would venture to say that MOST reviews on MOST sites ANYWHERE that allow user feedback regarding products purchased are posted without any communication with the vendor because the characteristics of the complaint in most cases have little to do with matters that could be resolved with such communication.

    If I buy a personal care product and it causes my skin to break out, no amount of "communication" with the vendor is going to change that. If I buy a mapping app and it turns out not to contain maps of my locale, or if it displays invalid street information, no amount of "communication" is likely to solve that issue either.

    Since in my experience the VAST majority of app developers don't bother to reply to inquiries in a timely manner (and thus attempting to communicate with them is just a waste of time), here's my suggestion:

    1. Design the review process so that there is a 3-day cooling-off period on all reviews. If a developer fails to respond within the cooling-off period, the review stands.
    2. The developer has 3 days within which to contact the reviewer and ask if there is anything they can do to address the problems noted. The review is placed in "pending" state until a response is received, let's say 7 days. (Since users cannot be expected to be as invested in the transaction as the developers are.) The process of responding to such a query must be straightforward and unambiguous. (ie doesn't require manually addressing emails etc)
    3. If the reviewer does not respond within 7 days, the developer has the option to remove the review.
    4. If the reviewer does respond, and indicates that the developer's suggestions do not help, the review stands.


    One could tweak that with arbitration choices or comment options - ie instead of removing the review, posting a rebuttal instead.



    Unfortunately though, once posted, she had no way to remove or amend her original review.


    And here again your issue is with BlackBerry, not with reviewers, if the system in place is not well-designed.




    When BlackBerry rolled out the 10.2 OS release worldwide a couple of months ago, literally THOUSANDS of apps that made use of a framework to launch other apps, such the the Browser, camera, or email, were suddenly broken by no fault of the developers. Everyone spent several weeks scrambling furiously to figure out how to provide the same functionality without using the framework broken by BlackBerry. Any negative reviews posted during this time about the affected functionality would have unfairly tainted the reputation of hundreds or thousands of dedicated and ethical developers.

    As I wrote previously when you choose to partner with a software platform you are in effect going into a business partnership with them. Just like any other business partnership, if you don't respect the quality of the product or the quality of your partner's contributions, that's not your customers' fault. If you go into business to open a car repair shop and your partner has a habit of doing shoddy service work which brings a lot of customer complaints back at you as partner, that is not the customer's fault, it is your partner's fault. (And yours, by putting up with it in your business) Either do what is necessary to ensure that your partner lives up to your personal standards or get out of business with them, simple as that.




    Take a look on BB World and you will see huge numbers of negative reviews that are left in place, and lots of apps have one or two star averages.

    And this occurs everywhere. The hope is that the overall trend of reviews will reflect legitimate opinion on a product, and when the number of reviews is very high this is more likely to hold true. Unfortunately in a place like BBW where most apps only have a handful of reviews and many have zero, the impact seems more drastic when a stupid review comes along.

    Next time you post a comment it would help your general perception if you didn't just rail along sounding as if all the problems are the fault of the users. And usage of terms like "sheer idiocy" implying that posters here are idiots, isn't helping you much either.

    Oh and lastly: isn't it "interesting" that developers never seem to complain about one-word positive reviews like "Great"?

    Those could easily be shill reviews too. Just in their favor, which they don't seem to mind or contest. Ever.
    12-30-13 04:50 AM
  25. Martin Green's Avatar
    If you are going to argue, it helps if you don't make obviously false statements. Once again, my arguments have only ever discussed ILLEGITIMATE reviews, and I challenge to to show where I said that MOST bad reviews are bogus? Claiming a second time that I ever suggested otherwise doesn't make it so, it just weakens your case. In no way did I cherry pick, I discussed a specific scenario, that of intentionally malicious, provably untrue reviews. I believe developers should have a recourse in these cases to avoid the unfair damage to reputation and revenue these cause. You believe developers should just suck it up and bear the losses without recourse. We will never agree on this.

    As for this being my "only" post... in this thread perhaps, but I have been here since February and have participated in hundreds of conversations, both as a developer and a user.

    Your four points for improving the app review system are quite good. I'd tweak some of them a bit, but they are a good starting point, and something like them should be in place for all app marketplaces, not just BlackBerry World. A shame you initially called for totally removing review denials and didn't think to suggest just improving them until you were challenged by a developer. Both users and developers need a voice, and none of the app ecosystems do this equitably.

    Why would a dev complain about a terse but positive review? Again, you wouldn't know this because I posted in a developer forum elsewhere, but a few days ago I complained about ridiculously over-the-top positive reviews that are occasionally posted. I have one 5-star review that reads like I cured the poster's cancer and I have no idea who posted it. In discussions about the BB World review system with other developers I said that when I have enough total reviews to make up for it I would be removing that review since I feel that a suspiciously positive review is almost as bad as a negative one.

    By the way, regarding "shill" reviews... they are not just bad for users, but hurt other developers too. It may surprise you to know that BlackBerry investigates and removes these when discovered, and although they refuse to disclose specific enforcement actions taken, offenders are sanctioned and sometimes banned. Users, developers, and BlackBerry all have a mutual interest in eliminating shills. Are you aware that there are paid shill providers out there who will post hundreds of glowing iOS or Android reviews for a fee? This is unfortunately fairly prevalent and is far more likely to unethically skew an app's rating than allowing BlackBerry devs to remove unflattering reviews. Why aren't you speaking out about this?

    I have said what I have to say and I'll leave this argument to you and the others here. I would just ask that you stop claiming I have said things I haven't, and address my actual comments instead.

    That's great, but don't go off on those of us who notice that your only post here comes across as a blanket rationalization for allowing legitimate reviews to be axed, and implies (by cherry picking examples) that MOST negative reviews are bogus.






    I would venture to say that MOST reviews on MOST sites ANYWHERE that allow user feedback regarding products purchased are posted without any communication with the vendor because the characteristics of the complaint in most cases have little to do with matters that could be resolved with such communication.

    If I buy a personal care product and it causes my skin to break out, no amount of "communication" with the vendor is going to change that. If I buy a mapping app and it turns out not to contain maps of my locale, or if it displays invalid street information, no amount of "communication" is likely to solve that issue either.

    Since in my experience the VAST majority of app developers don't bother to reply to inquiries in a timely manner (and thus attempting to communicate with them is just a waste of time), here's my suggestion:

    1. Design the review process so that there is a 3-day cooling-off period on all reviews. If a developer fails to respond within the cooling-off period, the review stands.
    2. The developer has 3 days within which to contact the reviewer and ask if there is anything they can do to address the problems noted. The review is placed in "pending" state until a response is received, let's say 7 days. (Since users cannot be expected to be as invested in the transaction as the developers are.) The process of responding to such a query must be straightforward and unambiguous. (ie doesn't require manually addressing emails etc)
    3. If the reviewer does not respond within 7 days, the developer has the option to remove the review.
    4. If the reviewer does respond, and indicates that the developer's suggestions do not help, the review stands.


    One could tweak that with arbitration choices or comment options - ie instead of removing the review, posting a rebuttal instead.







    And here again your issue is with BlackBerry, not with reviewers, if the system in place is not well-designed.







    As I wrote previously when you choose to partner with a software platform you are in effect going into a business partnership with them. Just like any other business partnership, if you don't respect the quality of the product or the quality of your partner's contributions, that's not your customers' fault. If you go into business to open a car repair shop and your partner has a habit of doing shoddy service work which brings a lot of customer complaints back at you as partner, that is not the customer's fault, it is your partner's fault. (And yours, by putting up with it in your business) Either do what is necessary to ensure that your partner lives up to your personal standards or get out of business with them, simple as that.







    And this occurs everywhere. The hope is that the overall trend of reviews will reflect legitimate opinion on a product, and when the number of reviews is very high this is more likely to hold true. Unfortunately in a place like BBW where most apps only have a handful of reviews and many have zero, the impact seems more drastic when a stupid review comes along.

    Next time you post a comment it would help your general perception if you didn't just rail along sounding as if all the problems are the fault of the users. And usage of terms like "sheer idiocy" implying that posters here are idiots, isn't helping you much either.

    Oh and lastly: isn't it "interesting" that developers never seem to complain about one-word positive reviews like "Great"?

    Those could easily be shill reviews too. Just in their favor, which they don't seem to mind or contest. Ever.
    12-30-13 10:19 AM
154 ... 4567

Similar Threads

  1. Facebook pulling phone numbers. Do not want this!
    By clipskid in forum BlackBerry Z10
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 02-06-13, 11:54 PM
  2. Replies: 34
    Last Post: 05-26-11, 09:23 PM
  3. do not like update - want to go back
    By liz_hip in forum General BlackBerry News, Discussion & Rumors
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 02-22-11, 10:48 PM
  4. Anybody have one of those cheap headsets that they do not want?
    By bat masterson in forum More for your BBOS Phone!
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-05-10, 07:44 PM
  5. saving wepages so they do not appear in messages list?
    By sound191 in forum BlackBerry Bold Series
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-01-08, 10:43 AM
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD