Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Dash App Removed From Mac App Store

It’s high time that Apple made up for a recent dearth of dumb App Store rejections and removals.

Bogdan Popescu:

Yesterday I sent Apple a request to migrate my account from an individual one to a company one. Once I verified my company with its D-U-N-S Number, they notified me that some features in iTunes Connect won’t be available during account migration.

A while later my iTunes Connect account started showing as “CLOSED” and my apps were removed from sale. I thought this was normal and part of the migration.

Today I called them and they confirmed my account migration went through and that everything is okay as far as they can tell. A few hours ago I received a “Notice of Termination” email, saying that my account was terminated due to fraudulent conduct. I called them again and they said they can’t provide more information.

This is clearly a mistake, but it’s causing real impact to Popescu’s livelihood, as he’s the sole developer of Dash. To make matters worse, poor communication from Apple’s developer relations team — something we’ve discussed many times before — is preventing him from understanding what happened or what he can do to fix it.

Update: Popescu just updated the post with some followup from Apple developer relations:

Apple contacted me and told me they found evidence of App Store review manipulation. This is something I’ve never done.

Apple’s decision is final and can’t be appealed.

Either something is awry with Apple’s automated processes for detecting fraudulent reviews, or someone is screwing with Popescu. Regardless, a final decision from Apple with no opportunity for recourse is indefensible, as far as I’m concerned. The Mac App Store has been an awful place for developers for a long time; this is not making it better.

Phil Schiller, in an email to 9to5Mac reader Matthew Els:

I did look into this situation when I read about it today. I am told this app was removed due to repeated fraudulent activity.

We often terminate developer accounts for ratings and review fraud, including actions designed to hurt other developers. This is a responsibility that we take very seriously, on behalf of all of our customers and developers.

I don’t see why Popescu would lie about his alleged involvement in manipulating reviews. Dash is a widely-used and highly-regarded developer resource.

Joel Cieplinski:

The accusation from Apple of “repeated fraudulent activity” is a pretty serious one. Not sure we’re getting close to the whole story here.