Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is there a link or somewhere to report App Store rule violations? Specifically, when an app is using Push Notifications to send you advertisements/promotions, despite this being explicitly against Apple's rules.

The closest thing I've found is a form to report Intellectual Property violations, and I can't find anything else that's close.

5.6 Apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing of any kind.

Recently, AppGratis was removed from the store for this (and other) violations.

I'm stick and tired of one app in particular, Real Racing 3, sending me ads to 'buy' in-game cars. You need notifications turned on in the app because of other game-related mechanics, such as when a friend challenges you to a race or your car is repaired. There is no option I can find to opt-out of the advertising messages.

Contacting the developer (EA, FireMonkey) will do no good because they don't care, so I'm hoping if this gets the attention of Apple then they will enforce their own rule.

Of course I just could remove the app and no longer use it, but it bugs me that small developers can't get away with it and big ones get a free pass.

share|improve this question
    
Zynga has been guilty of this in the past too, although they seem to have stopped. –  TJ Luoma Apr 16 '13 at 20:24

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I can't speak for any official mechanism to report violations, but the system is set up to field consumer complaints and if everyone was explicit about their complaints - it might help Apple step in and address the worst of the worst:

  1. You should send a message to the developer (since you are about to poo over their product on the App Store) - give them a chance to make things right since it takes so little time.
  2. Go into the App Store and rate the app. If you give them one star and a brief review - kill them with kindness: "If only I could ignore the constant upselling of paid upgrades, I might have liked this game"
  3. Look hard at the description in the App Store. If they materially mis-represented the state of the app (say the screenshots are marketing illustrations and not actually screen shots) - report a problem with that purchase from within iTunes. Find that purchase and click the report a problem link. That fires a flag at that item in the store. You won't get a response, but I am confident that in bulk these are reviewed with the most reported problems getting the most scrutiny. That link may pop up a form to add details - if not, it will take you to the website below.
  4. http://www.apple.com/support/itunes/ - Find the section on contacting support and click it.
  5. It takes you to another page - and you will want to submit your detailed feedback to Apple listing the app, the time/date of the violation and the section of the rules you feel are being violated.

enter image description here

At the end of this process, you may also want to take Apple's support survey and ask that they streamline the problem reporting process to make it more clear how / when users should be sending feedback to Apple. You can bet that once enough people start using the tools given and enough complain (politely and with detailed evidence) that it takes too long to report obvious problems with the review tools - it can be fixed.

I do know that if/when your report gets to the desk of a developer support person, they will know how many steps you needed to take to get them the problem report and it's more likely they will dig into it if your complaint has merit.

Most importantly, if you paid money for the app, consider asking for a refund. Detail why the app isn't as described or isn't following the norms you have seen Apple publish and how you feel bad for supporting both Apple and the developer financially when they don't follow the rules set down.

A financial ramification, well reasoned complaints/criticism and using the tools Apple has given for consumers to rate apps together will send a clear signal that the business didn't do a good enough job selling a specific app to you. Once patterns of failures accumulate, they can't go un-noticed.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.