Apple policy blocks our App Store description

Description not allowed

We have today learned that the description for our latest app, which includes information about why we are charging for the app, violates Apple’s Terms and Conditions and must be changed. Pathetic.

Our description previously had the following at the top.

NOTE: We are charging for this app so that we can give something back. The App is priced at $2.59 until the end of March and all proceeds from our cut of the sales will go to the NZ Red Cross (30% will still go to Apple, which we cannot avoid). Why not download it now to give to the Canterbury Earthquake Appeal.

Remember you are not paying for the app itself, you are paying to donate to the NZ Red Cross.

Because of their terms we have had to remove this, but rest assured, we are still giving back. We have joined the other NZ Devs at AppAppeal.co.nz (who are also unable to have anything in their description).

Apple have said they are “100% supportive of what we are doing”, however wanted to advise us that we can’t mention the donation plan in our App Store text or media. Basically, it “violates their terms and conditions and they want to avoid less scrupulous people playing on emotions to gain sales”.

Whilst I understand where they are coming from, and we know full well what people are like, Apple, Apple, Apple: you need to get get some people skills. You need to get some emotion. You need to take a step back from your policies and terms and think about real people in the real world. Sometimes the way you carry out your business, with your ‘we know best’ attitude and your refusal to discuss or negotiate, makes you look like arrogant dicks.

I know this is all meaningless in the scheme of things but just needed to vent our frustration. Our biggest concern is that people casually browsing the App Store will now see our app at $2.59 and without knowing why will simply scoff at the idea of paying for such an app and ignore it.

That being the case, we would appreciate anything you can do to pass on the message about our app. Anyone you know with an iPhone, tell them about it and ask them to pass it on, too. Thanks.

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7 Comments

  1. Mak says:

    Pathetic.

    (Mak has made 222 comments)

  2. alopes says:

    I can understand your frustrations. Under the description can you not type a short message that says before you pay for the app please visit your website where you can explain the cause of donation. That way it is not in the App/ on their site it is elsewhere.

    (alopes has made 71 comments)

  3. Craig says:

    In the past they have also had an issue with anyone donating “100%” of sales to charity because of the 30% commission they take which doesn’t go to charity and sooner or later someone with another cause they think is deserving will ask Apple to waive their fee. The Chch earthquake is the biggest thing in NZ but remember that tragedies are happening all over the world every day and Apple puts these rules in place so it doesn’t have to make judgement calls on each one.

    Since the app was free anyway why not just ask people to donate $2.59 directly to the Red Cross thus avoiding Apple clipping the ticket. Sure some people won’t do it, but what have you missed out on? Those people would wait until the app is free again or just never buy it.

    (Craig has made 58 comments)

  4. davekeyes says:

    “want to avoid less scrupulous people playing on emotions to gain sales”

    Did you see the Apple ad showing the soldier seeming to cry,
    as he used Apple Facetime to see his new child?

    Just sayin.

    (davekeyes has made 1 comment)

  5. DerekMorr says:

    Hmm. Apple sells a product RED ipod, which helps charity – http://www.apple.com/ipod/red/. This seems like a double standard.

    As for playing on emotion to gain sales, isn’t that the definition of marketing?

    I’m also curious why Apple allows donations to political campaigns. The Obama 2012 app has a link to donate to Obama’s reelection campaign.

    (DerekMorr has made 1 comment)

  6. Craig says:

    @ DerekMorr: Apple don’t object to you giving money to charity. They just don’t want you claiming to give all the profits to charity because someone will point out that Apple are still taking 30% of the sale.

    (Craig has made 58 comments)

  7. Nordy says:

    but thats not profit, profit is whats left over after expenses, that 30% cut would count as an expense would it not?

    (Nordy has made 46 comments)

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