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My app was rejected from the app store based on an allegedly inappropriate age rating.

My app requires users to confirm that they are older than 13 when logging in, so Apple said my app's rating of ages 4 and above is inappropriate as a result.

This was their response to my application:

Guideline 2.3.6 - Performance - Accurate Metadata

The rating you have selected, 4+, is inconsistent with the content of your app. Since your app requires users to be 13+, it should be rated appropriately for this subject.

The problem is that I didn't select the "4+" age rating--Apple did! Their age ratings are determined automatically by a questionnaire I answered concerning adult content (i.e. violence, drugs, etc.). I said "No" to each question since my app doesn't contain anything like that whatsoever. (It's a very plain music education app.) Apple does not allow you to just select an age rating like "13+".

The reviewer asked me to change my answers to that questionnaire so that the age rating would be higher. If I change my answers (to say, for example, that there is violent imagery in my app), then my answers would be false, which would violate the very Guideline Apple is saying I'm violating. This seems like a Catch-22, since the answers will either be false (since the app has no adult content), or they will reject the age rating.

What should I do?


Edit: Here are the answers I'm allowed to change. The truthful answer to all of them is "No." enter image description here

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    Apple already told you what to do. If you want to have your app in the Apple App Store you have to follow their rules. You could appeal the rejection but my guess is they'd still deny it. Just answer the questions differently and this will all go away very quickly. – fsb Oct 2 '17 at 23:37
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    Why do you require users to be 13 or above? – Mark Oct 2 '17 at 23:38
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    Mark - I require users to be older than 13 because I collect user data, and COPPA makes it illegal to collect user data from users under age 13. – MPJ Oct 2 '17 at 23:52
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    I suppose Apple could have laid an elaborate trap to catch you 22 ways. The more likely situation would be a simple misunderstanding or assumption. Best course of action is to take a deep breath (or maybe sleep on it) and then ask Apple for support / clarification. – bmike Oct 2 '17 at 23:59
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    Let me make this clear for you (you did come here asking for help). You developed the app knowing the age restrictions. If you believe you're in a catch-22, stop collecting user data. This way you can answer the questions honestly and get the age rating you believe you deserve. Apps aren't required to collect usage statistics so doing this resolves your problem in the most efficient manner. – fsb Oct 3 '17 at 1:59
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Requests for changed metadata happen all the time. If after a day or two of careful review of the iTunes Connect FAQ and guidelines, you still aren't comfortable you can always ask for more help.

In iTunes Connect - select contact us.

  • For the first option - App Review.
  • For the second option - App Store Review
  • For the third option - Ask/Address Review Questions

From your posted answers, you could also go for the 4+ rating and put a parental gate in rather than ask people to confirm they are 13+ before entering user information. The easiest fix might be to not ask for registration at all. Also, if you have any sort of web browser or user configurable internet search lookup or feeds, you’ll want to disclose you have unfiltered access to the internet.

My suspicion is you’re hung up on section 5.1 privacy. https://developer.apple.com/app-store/review/guidelines/#privacy

In the end, you are correct that it’s your call on which you feel best serves your app - no sense compromising your answers if you’re certain that’s most important.

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    Thanks for this! I did something similar to what you suggested and got the app approved. – MPJ Oct 3 '17 at 15:41
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My app was approved this morning. Here's the solution.

The "Resolution Center" allows you to reply directly to the app reviewer. This is what I wrote to them:

The "Edit Rating" menu does not allow developers to rate the app as "13+". The menu only allows me to indicate whether it contains adult content (such as violence, etc.), but my app does not contain any such content at all. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I do not believe that it is possible to rate the app for "13+" without incorrectly stating that it contains violence or other such content.

The only reason I have age requirement built into the app's account creation UI is to comply with COPPA regulations, which has nothing to do with adult content.

If there is a way to rate this app as "13+" as you requested, without wrongly stating that it contains violence or other such content, please let me know. Thank you.

They replied with "Thank you for the information" and accepted them app.

  • Awesome. So they basically set 13+ from the same metadata submission for you. – bmike Oct 3 '17 at 22:42
  • Interestingly, they kept the 4+ rating, with no change to the metadata. :) – MPJ Oct 4 '17 at 0:13

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