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100% sure way to game the appstore!

03-24-2010, 01:32 PM
#1
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,006
100% sure way to game the appstore!

I was just sent an unsolicited email from a firm offering to help me buy my way onto top lists. They have a service where a developer can pay them to have people buy your app en-mass and post fake user reviews. I won't mention this company by name, but I was a bit taken aback. I'm not surprised that this sort of thing goes on, but I'd assumed that discussions with PR firms that do this sort of thing always happened behind closed doors. To have a company come out in the open offering this type of transaction without any pretenses of being legitimate is pretty shocking.
03-24-2010, 02:02 PM
#2
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 330
I'm sure Apple is aware of this practice, and I'm sure if someone did take up their service then Apple would ban every itunes account associated with the firm, as well as the apps that used them.

Plus, I think getting real people to buy your app with real reviews can go a lot quicker and cheaper. Right? :P

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03-24-2010, 02:16 PM
#3
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 303
I heard from a games journalist this morning who seems to think that this goes on all the time, which is pretty saddening. I understand that you don't want to name & shame, but do you think you could at least PM me the name of the company. I really wouldn't want to be doing any sort of business with them.
03-24-2010, 02:21 PM
#4
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 241
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stroffolino View Post
I was just sent an unsolicited email from a firm offering to help me buy my way onto top lists. They have a service where a developer can pay them to have people buy your app en-mass and post fake user reviews. I won't mention this company by name, but I was a bit taken aback. I'm not surprised that this sort of thing goes on, but I'd assumed that discussions with PR firms that do this sort of thing always happened behind closed doors. To have a company come out in the open offering this type of transaction without any pretenses of being legitimate is pretty shocking.
mayb you can notice Apple about this n give them the firm name
03-24-2010, 03:21 PM
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stroffolino View Post
I was just sent an unsolicited email from a firm offering to help me buy my way onto top lists. They have a service where a developer can pay them to have people buy your app en-mass and post fake user reviews. I won't mention this company by name, but I was a bit taken aback. I'm not surprised that this sort of thing goes on, but I'd assumed that discussions with PR firms that do this sort of thing always happened behind closed doors. To have a company come out in the open offering this type of transaction without any pretenses of being legitimate is pretty shocking.
Are you sure it wasn't just a scam?

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03-24-2010, 04:07 PM
#6
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,006
I'm not going to find out, but suspect not. They have an active web site that looks like it's been running as a well-oiled machine for this very purpose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Jack View Post
Are you sure it wasn't just a scam?
03-24-2010, 07:08 PM
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stroffolino View Post
I won't mention this company by name, but I was a bit taken aback.
This is a very dishonest practice, and I for one wish you would mention the company, but I understand if you don't. However, you would not be defaming them, just passing along information that was sent to you.

It actually would be good for Apple to sign up with this firm and track how they do it, although I don't know if they have any mechanisms to stop such shenanigans. At the least, you should forward the email to Apple.
03-25-2010, 07:33 AM
#8
This kind of thing used to happen all the time in the days when record sales meant something.

As in the old vinyl days - record companies would buy thousands of copies just to make an artist a 'success'.

I'm not sure how you'd stop it, though you have to think it'd take someone a monumental amount of time and effort...
03-25-2010, 08:01 AM
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by quantumsheep View Post
This kind of thing used to happen all the time in the days when record sales meant something.

As in the old vinyl days - record companies would buy thousands of copies just to make an artist a 'success'.

I'm not sure how you'd stop it, though you have to think it'd take someone a monumental amount of time and effort...
Indeed, and then the record authorities got wise and have sophisticated equipment that can track odd sales patterns.

I heard a story about the chart compilation agency who tracked a band's manager driving across the UK buying 1 of each single format in each chart return shop, but no others. Unsurprisingly the single was disqualified from that week's chart.
03-25-2010, 09:33 AM
#10
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 303
What this company actually does is get people to buy apps, leave a review (good or bad) and then refunds them their money once the review has been verfied. It may be a distasteful way to get your app noticed but variations of this strategy have been used by marketing teams in many industries for many years. I'm sure Apple are aware of the company in question as they make no effort to hide their activities. However, I doubt that it breaches any rules as we're all free to give away our product if we choose and the site makes it pretty clear that the reviews left on iTunes don't have to be favourable, just helpful to the developer in some way. Yes, they do pay for reviews, but not necessarily fake ones. I just wish devs didn't feel the need to resort to these methods.