05-11-12 12:31 AM
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  1. Momstheword8's Avatar
    I have been watching the app Battery Watch for a couple of weeks now. I had downloaded it and it did not work for me. I wanted to see if others were having issues, which they were. There were several 1 star reviews, but I was surprised that the ratings stars continued to stay at 4.5.

    Today when I looked at the reviews, all of the previous days reviews that were negative had been removed. I thought that, although unlikely, perhaps the app had been fixed and BlackBerry wanted it to have a fresh start. Nope, same old app that does nothing for me.

    I saw someone else posting through this forum mentioning that he had a negative review deleted about another app. What concerns me greatly is that I RELY on all comments, both positive and negative to help me decide where to spend my money. I am really reluctant to purchase any paid apps now, knowing that the ratings might be skewed.

    I think this may have just started recently. Has anyone else noticed this? What is the best way to let BlackBerry know that things not acceptable?
    Akuji_ism likes this.
    05-08-12 12:59 PM
  2. aikmanr's Avatar
    App developers can deny reviews. However, ALL review count towards an app's star rating. Denied reviews are simply not shown to the public.
    05-08-12 01:03 PM
  3. BlackStormRising's Avatar
    I thought "Grow a Pear" was a good tagline for the Stunt Pear. AppWorld didn't agree. Too Bold?!
    05-08-12 01:14 PM
  4. PatrickMJS's Avatar
    I agree with the word from Mom. The reviews should be left for all to read. It is total B S that the dev's can delete reviews posted by users. If they want to "deny" a point made in a review, I have no problem with the devs being able to post a response to a user review.
    05-08-12 01:41 PM
  5. anon(1035135)'s Avatar
    Yes, do not go by the reviews. They are managed by the developer which tampers with the integrity of the whole review process. How the knuckleheads at RIM came to the conclusion that this was best is beyond me.
    05-08-12 01:47 PM
  6. Dekerta's Avatar
    Developers can apply to have a review denied, but the denial must be approved by App World staff


    Yes, do not go by the reviews. They are managed by the developer which tampers with the integrity of the whole review process. How the knuckleheads at RIM came to the conclusion that this was best is beyond me.
    I agree that the review system could be better, but there has to be a way for developers to remove certain reviews. Some people leave negative reviews for problems that have nothing to do with the app (such as App World errors or problems with their phone).

    Personally, I think the best thing RIM can do is implement a way for developers to respond to negative reviews instead of just deleting them.
    Last edited by Dekerta; 05-08-12 at 02:01 PM.
    Michelle Haag likes this.
    05-08-12 01:55 PM
  7. rotorwrench's Avatar
    App developers can deny reviews. However, ALL review count towards an app's star rating. Denied reviews are simply not shown to the public.
    This is correct. The star rating stays accurate, but associated reviews are managed by the dev.
    05-08-12 01:57 PM
  8. niazdokrat's Avatar
    well to be fair to developers (i have also denied some reviews) some reviews are just a waste of time. e.g for one of my apps the majority of the reviews were 4 or 5 stars when the app was free. when i charged .99c for it i suddenly kept getting 1 star reviews complaining about the price( not the app!! ) . Since us devs cant find out who the review is from, we cannot contact them. I also got one review for 1 star that just said "doesnt work" which contradicts all the other people that gave it 4+stars and provides no one with any useful information.
    I have also occasionally seen spam get through into the reviews also.
    05-08-12 01:59 PM
  9. gregorylkelly's Avatar
    well to be fair to developers (i have also denied some reviews) some reviews are just a waste of time. e.g for one of my apps the majority of the reviews were 4 or 5 stars when the app was free. when i charged .99c for it i suddenly kept getting 1 star reviews complaining about the price( not the app!! ) . Since us devs cant find out who the review is from, we cannot contact them. I also got one review for 1 star that just said "doesnt work" which contradicts all the other people that gave it 4+stars and provides no one with any useful information.
    I have also occasionally seen spam get through into the reviews also.
    A 4 star review for a free app may legitimately equal a 1 or 2 star review for a charged app. I definitely factor in price when reviewing. The "Doesn't work" review, well I'll agree with you there, but not on the price reviews.
    Sprawl likes this.
    05-08-12 02:15 PM
  10. Sprawl's Avatar
    A 4 star review for a free app may legitimately equal a 1 or 2 star review for a charged app. I definitely factor in price when reviewing. The "Doesn't work" review, well I'll agree with you there, but not on the price reviews.
    BINGO!

    Apps that get 4 or 5 stars as free have a significantly different standard than one i had to pay for.

    A free app that does what it's supposed to, which has a few bugs or inconsistencies I can overlook because I paid nothing for it (remember the adage, you get what you pay for).

    But if you expect me to pay for an app, I'm going to critique it with much finer points as I'm paying for it, and I expect attention to detail since you're making money off it.

    If you start charging for a previously free app and the user base starts giving you 2 starts instead of the 4 from before, It's a good indication that your application is not worth the fee.

    As a shopper,. I would rather you leave every single review, good or bad available. I want to see that ONE guy who says "doesn't work". I want to see those 2 star reviews. Every bit of info is going to go into my decision making. Cause guess what, that ONE guy who couldn't get it working, might indicate a potentially rare problem, But at least I'll know it's there before I buy. The only reviews that should be removed are the Spam. everything else should be left as is (unless it's clear indication someone trying to skew reviews with trolling)
    Last edited by Sprawl; 05-08-12 at 02:30 PM.
    PatrickMJS and BoloMKXXVIII like this.
    05-08-12 02:26 PM
  11. Chrysalis1156's Avatar
    I take the reviews with a grain of salt. If there are a bunch of "this app sucks" posts and then the reasons are listed, I'll consider them. If it just says "this app sucks" and nothing else, I figure it's a troll. But as to your question, yes, I've seen negative reviews removed for as long as I've had a Blackberry. While I think the dev should be able to remove the ones that are obviously spam, the honest negatives should remain. Btw, I usually find I accomplish more by contacting the dev before posting a negative review. Often times there's a fix or something I'm not understanding.
    05-08-12 03:08 PM
  12. Innovatology's Avatar
    App World has a feature for devs that allows them to ask RIM to remove a review. It is meant to be used for the (few) cases where this would be justified, such as spam, or bad language. However, some devs are abusing the system to just remove all negative reviews, and RIM does not check whether the removal request is valid. There are valid cases for review removal, but those should be validated on RIM's end and not simply approved by default.

    Full disclosure: for our Files & Folders app we've asked for 7 of the 231 overwhelmingly positive reviews to be removed. These were due to an App World issue months ago (not a fault of our app), bad language, incorect info that could cause damage to other users, and in a couple of cases even on request by e-mail of the author of the review. We don't base that on star rating though: we've even removed a 5-star review because of bad language directed at the competition.
    Last edited by Innovatology; 05-08-12 at 03:11 PM. Reason: typo
    05-08-12 03:11 PM
  13. Momstheword8's Avatar
    I'm with you all on the crap reviews, but a comment as simple as "doesn't work" tells me something, especially if I see several of them. I tend to take all reviews, good and bad with a grain of salt, but look for repeating trends within them. Safety in numbers, I guess.

    And not to be cocky, but I wonder if the starred ratings really do change. For a couple of weeks I have watched that App expecting the stars to go from 4.5 to. zilch, as there were many negative reviews, but the stars DID NOT BUDGE.

    I'm really quite new to BB, coming over from the "other side" (Apple) when I felt that the PlayBook made more sense to me than the iPad in many ways. I could be wrong, and correct me if I am, but I never felt that Apple's reviews were tampered with on the negative side. There were some positively inflated review that stood out like a sore thumb, but AFAIK devs don't pick and choose their reviews.

    I I were a developer, I would welcome criticism and critique as it can only help me isolate what the public wants. And if I receive a slew of negative reviews, and manage to correct the issues, hopefully the positive reviews will show the paying public that I'm on the ball and willing to give them what they want.

    And that's my 2cents worth.
    05-08-12 03:45 PM
  14. costas1966's Avatar
    I also feel all the reviews should stay. The dev should be able to respond, just like a seller on eBay.

    I think that anyone who is interested in an app (especially free) is going to take the "this app sucks" comments with a grain of salt, and form their own judgement.

    The ability to control which reviews are viewable, and which are not is not in the interests of the BB community, and defeats the whole rating/review process.

    It makes me leery and distrustful of the reviews.

    Just my .02.
    05-08-12 04:04 PM
  15. smokeydbear's Avatar
    I can't believe that this is Rim's policy. The negative reviews are the most important to me. Corrupts the entire review process. this will make me hesitant to buy apps. If they are going to continue such a policy we buyers should have the right to a refund.

    Sent from my BlackBerry 9810 using Tapatalk
    05-08-12 04:08 PM
  16. mjlott's Avatar
    This is good to know. I wouldn't necessarily think of them as being deleted though, more like early retirement...
    05-08-12 04:12 PM
  17. silversun10's Avatar
    in a perfect world all reviews should be left; however we don't live in a perfect world, you just cannot leave any and all comments, in fact that could be misleading as well, have you ever seen a bulletin board where everything goes? not pretty.
    PatrickMJS likes this.
    05-08-12 04:21 PM
  18. PatrickMJS's Avatar
    in a perfect world all reviews should be left; however we don't live in a perfect world, you just cannot leave any and all comments, in fact that could be misleading as well, have you ever seen a bulletin board where everything goes? not pretty.
    Silver Sun 10, good point. I guess I would agree with you IF there was someone at RIM enforcing a policy of deleting spam, rude, illegal, offensive reviews but not allowing reviews to be deleted just because someone says something negative about the app.
    Innovatology likes this.
    05-08-12 04:27 PM
  19. Jamaicangirl81's Avatar
    they need to have something implemented where the bad language can be censored.. i'm sure a lil program or script or whatever they call it can be written quickly for it. i can appreciate negative comments so i know maybe not to waste my time getting it. (though if they are free.. i'd get it aanyway and see for myself)
    05-08-12 04:28 PM
  20. peter9477's Avatar
    A correction for several posts above: the star rating does NOT include deleted reviews. While the star rating that we devs see inside the "vendor portal" does happen to include all reviews (for whatever reason), the one that users see in App World definitely includes only the approved reviews. And yes, that means you cannot trust either that the visible reviews or the star rating give an accurate picture.

    I agree with most of what's been said. The system is defective as currently implemented, and needs improvement. There are legitimate reasons for denying reviews, but in many cases a response mechanism would be better. There's also a very strong need to allow users to edit their reviews, and for developers to contact reviewers (anonymously would be fine) to address their concerns (for those who misuse the review system by reporting problems only that way rather than to the support email).

    We've long heard that improvements are in the works, but at this point I don't know if we can expect to see any changes until around when BB10 launches, if even then.
    Momstheword8 likes this.
    05-08-12 04:32 PM
  21. bbfan1040's Avatar
    If someone posts a bad review, I think they should have to check a box indicating if they contacted support.
    Also, any developer can have friends post good ratings for them or post bad reviews about their competitors. We are all human.
    Check the total # of reviews against the reviews remaining. Too many missing reviews may be a bad sign.
    I rely on the reviews somewhat before buying. All good reviews scares me. Short bad reviews I ignore.
    The current review system seems reasonable to me. It helps me. It could be improved.
    05-08-12 06:00 PM
  22. Artwerks's Avatar
    I've also noticed that about 1 out of 3 reviews for my app are automatically denied by RIM, so I have the option to have them reviewed for approval. Such denied reviews usually blame RIM.

    Examples of automatically denied reviews (first review is 3 stars, second one is 5 stars) :
    If you do not see the subtitles while playing the video still, restart your Playbook and it will work.
    you need this for read subtitles
    I've also deleted a 5 star review which was clearly meant for another app. I agree that the review system doesn't work. A developper can't comment or contact the reviewer, and a reviewer can't update his review following an update that corrects a problem. I still have at least two neutral reviews (about 2-3 stars) which are focusing on an issue that was fixed in a previous update, but the reviews were unbiased/true so I don't see any issue with leaving the reviews there as the description states the issue was fixed.
    05-08-12 07:11 PM
  23. cletis's Avatar
    Axiom 1: The current App World review system allows developers to hide any and all reviews as they please, with no approval required from RIM. All requests are honored without question; it is a rubber stamp process.

    Axiom 2: RIM needs to attract as many developers as possible in order to increase demand for its products.

    Axiom 3: Increasing the attractiveness of App World as a distribution channel tends to increase the number of apps in App World.

    Theorem 1: Allowing developers to remove any review they desire with no oversight process increases the attractiveness of the BB/PB platform(s) to developers; partially achieving the need defined in axiom 2.

    Theorem 2a: The more apps an individual developer deploys in App World, the more they are likely to continue to deploy more apps.

    Theorem 2b: The more experience an app developer gets, the more their apps tend toward higher quality.

    Theorem 2c: Increasing the number of apps in App World tends to attract more developers. (Positive feedback loop.)

    Theorem 3a: Some reviews truly should be removed; they are misleading to other potential purchasers, or mean-spirited trolling, etc.

    Theorem 3b: Some developers unfairly game the system by removing negative reviews which are entirely accurate and do not meet any legitimate removal criteria.

    Conclusion 1: The removal of reviews which legitimately should be removed benefits developers, consumers, and RIM.

    Conclusion 2a: The removal of negative reviews solely to artificially inflate the apparent reputation of an app in order to increase sales benefits developers.

    Conclusion 2b: The removal of negative reviews solely to artificially inflate the apparent reputation of an app in order to increase sales is detrimental to consumers, since it can inaccurately shift reviews toward the positive end of the spectrum.

    Conclusion 2c: The removal of negative reviews solely to artificially inflate the apparent reputation of an app in order to increase sales also benefits consumers. How? From the above axioms and theorems, I develop a basis for arguing that the practice of allowing devs to remove reviews at will has a positive benefit for consumers by improving the attractiveness of the platform for existing and new devs alike, and therefore tending to increase both the quantity and quality of available apps.

    Is this an overall sad situation? Of course it is. But RIM is trying to pull itself out of the muck by its bootstraps, and this is one cynical, deceitful, and disingenuous way to try to gain some traction on the slimy slope on which they find themselves. And it is not completely against the interests of us consumers, when one considers my argument above.
    Last edited by cletis; 05-08-12 at 11:05 PM.
    Innovatology and PatrickMJS like this.
    05-08-12 07:27 PM
  24. rational_mind's Avatar
    Good thread! Important thread!

    ALL contributions - negative, positive, reflective - I have read so far are constructive...

    the thread is important b/c we, the PB users and fans, need more devs and apps and we are constantly seeking something GENUINE to fit our individual needs.

    that said, my heart and mind are on the side of the freedom of expression if we are to uphold the values of the civilization we live in... this simply means I agree with those who called the current review process (allowing the devs denying the unfriendly reviews) flawed.

    here's a personal review example/experience.

    by nature i am a slow, deliberate, reflective type. i never rush to download or characterize or even express an opinion. i wait, listen and then move.

    So, to make the long story clear, i recently wrote a review for an app. it was my first BB review EVER. to respect the developer and the blackberry reviewers, i wont name the app...it was denied.

    my honest thoughts and what i considered an investment into a constructive feedback were censored, excluded, deleted.

    the natural reaction from THIS end is to distrust both the app developers and the reviewers...and if the changes are long coming - to ditch ALL the Blackberry toys I got.

    Why?

    because, the alternatives are all there and not too difficult to switch to.

    my 2 cents...
    05-08-12 08:15 PM
  25. Innovatology's Avatar
    they need to have something implemented where the bad language can be censored.. i'm sure a lil program or script or whatever they call it can be written quickly for it.
    There is already a script that automatically denies reviews with bad langauge. The problem is that it doesn't work. It often gets it wrong. The dev must then request approval, which sometimes takes up to a week to be processed. A few examples of reviews that were denied for reasons I can't even begin to imagine:

    "Can't live without it - Really adds value to your Playbook. Very easy to access and manipulate local and cloud information. If you try it you will buy it."

    "my favorite app -i use this for my photo slideshow, better than all the others. An improvement would be to over-ride the screen dimmer when showing photos. Also have a repeat option."

    "simply love it... - 100% recommended....however, i wish it could switch to my flv player when i was clicking on my flash files....other than that, its an amazing product...."
    05-09-12 12:05 AM
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