General Question

XCNuse's avatar

Apple unfair, or unaware of the unjust tactics in the App store?

Asked by XCNuse (1187 points ) August 4th, 2008

So the other day millions complained because the free program “converter” changed its price from free to 99 cents and made it to top sold in the App store, and then was updated, and charged people without their knowing!

Today, not very long ago, two more apps did this, Jirbo’s Break, and Bootant.com’s BreakClassic

Both of these were free, and now are 99 cents, thankfull they weren’t updated so I immediately deleted them so I won’t be charged in an update.

But this is just ridiculous, is there a website out there with a petition for the App store stating if an App is FREE it should stay free forever??
I don’t know if this slipped by Apple, but changing something mid game like that and then not being informed you are being charged is ludicrous.

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18 Answers

megalongcat's avatar

I doubt it slipped by Apple; it sounds like something they would do.

AlexChoi's avatar

Did it charge them when they updated? ... sounds like an oversight

kevbo's avatar

I’ve noticed quite a few free apps suddenly become pay apps. I don’t think any app should have to stay free forever (there are a number of regular software apps that start out free and then given a price when they reach version 1.0 or 2.0 or whatever), but if there is a price for upgrading that should be made undeniably clear prior to purchase.

Thanks for bringing up this topic. I will definitely pay more attention.

Skyrail's avatar

Sounds like any company typically, especially Apple for charging users, but they’re under no obligation to keep free software free. Yes they should certainly ask people (in terms of when updating) if they want to upgrade to the new version, and if so it will cost them so much. Otherwise it’s just wrong, although if it’s a standard charge there may be something somewhere that states that extra charges maybe incurred during the usage of the their software, but I don’t know, I’ve not checked :)

Randy's avatar

I appreciate the heads up as well.

loser's avatar

Wow! Didn’t know about that one, thanks for the info!

eambos's avatar

If you downloaded the app when it was free then you don’t have to pay when they give it a price. I downloaded all the apps you mentioned during their free period, and the upgrades were also free.

jirbouser's avatar

Hello everyone. Your question is a good one, and the answer is people are never charged for for anything once an application is moved from free to a for sale game. All updates are free as well.

jirbouser's avatar

Also, I remember Jirbo specifically letting users download this for free as a reward for being early adopters. I believe it was free for a whole two weeks. Plenty of time to get it. I got mine :-)

AstroChuck's avatar

I was just going to back up jrbouser. To be fair to Jirbo it said that it was free for a limited amount of time. I don’t know about the converter though.
I doubt Apple is trying to sneak anything by people. But perhaps I am naïve.

Lovelocke's avatar

Jailbreak your iPod. Problem solved. Official updates are nice, but all unofficial updates have been made to duplicate official ones, even the “icon wiggle” thing that people have gone nuts over.

XCNuse's avatar

@AstroChuck:
http://www.tuaw.com/2008/08/04/the-netshare-debacle-apple-explain-yourself/

Well, this was just resolved a few hours ago or so, there was an email that got lost in transition it appears.

Owell, it’s hard to blame Apple, the app store is monumentus alone

I just don’t like these “free for a limited time” deals, it becomes confusing when they become updated, and you click on “update all” and wonder why you put in your password a second time only to find out you’ve been charged unknowingly.

eambos's avatar

But you aren’t charged… If you downloaded the app when it was free then the updates are free.

richardhenry's avatar

Yeah. If you look at the individual app, it says that you need to pay for it. But if you click on update all, you aren’t warned. The UI should really warn you before you’re billed for an update.

Their not trying to sneak it by people, that doesn’t earn you a reputation and more money in the future. Apple is very open about how much things cost. They simply designed a poor UI that didn’t pay-for updates into account.

Expect to see an update soon, I reckon.

jirbouser's avatar

Yup, you definitely never get charged for ANY updates, EVER. It is simply not true. If you get it for free and the price changes to $10, you still get every update for free, forever.

XCNuse's avatar

That can’t be true, in the app store updater on my ipod touch when I click on them individually it says “free” or the price of the update.

You sure that can’t be changed?
Good to know if that’s true!!!

Also, FYI: 2.0.1 was just released and speeds up tons of things and makes it a load less buggy and slow, finally stuff is back to 1.1.4 speeds hurray!

Maybe this will help with all the crappy ratings from little kids complaining because they haven’t ever turned off their ipod touches…

Tone's avatar

The NetShare situation is different. That app was posted and then removed several times, but it was always $10. I haven’t heard or anyone being charged for an update to a free app that became a paid app, but if that did happen, it would be a bug in their system, and not some malicious attempt by Apple to get your money. That upgrade path (app changes price between updates) is exactly the kind of thing that could be missed in testing.

Not that it should have been, of course, Apple has plenty of resources to do very thorough testing.

jballou's avatar

Sounds more to me like the app developers are exploiting a loophole in the App Store upgrade model.

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