The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts

Jan/14

24

MacUpdate Are Damaging Our Business [Updated 3:35 1/24)

[Update] MacUpdate have moved a little and made changes and updates that at least remove most of the perceived damage being caused. We have cordially agreed to disagree about their business model, which – because they have no mechanism to remove an app permanently – I consider immoral and parasitic.

Original Post begins.

MacUpdate have listed our Intelligent Assistance Apps without our permission. Their listings have significant errors and we’d rather they not be listed because:

a) as a developer you have to jump through hoops (with a broken system) to “claim” your apps

b) as a developer you are responsible for correcting all the errors made by the MacUpdate team, creating an addition burden on the developer (me) and it causes confusion among potential customers which damages our reputation. (When MacUpdate list a commercial app as a “demo” people are upset when it is not a demo version.)

c) There appears to be no way to remove the listing, even when you jump through all the hoops MacUpdate request.

Starting with an email from a potential customer in Australia who was upset that the “demo” required a serial number for an app that has never had a demo version, I tried to find out where that came from. Turns out MacUpdate was the source. Since then I have been trying to get our apps removed from the MacUpdate listing as they are inaccurate, incomplete and do us absolutely no good.

We do not want to be listed in any directory other than the Mac App Store.

So, we tried two approaches: jumping through the hoops they force developers to go through and an angry approach to the CEO.

Jumping through the hoops – a multi hour process with all the problems they have caused with the listings – did no good. There is no mechanism apparent for developers to remove their apps from MacUpdate, only to “correct them”. That means any time we change a description, or our marketing message, I have to go to their site and make the changes and wait for their ‘editorial team’ to approve the changes. (Like they’re not going to approve my changes to my apps?)

The COO, Misha Sakellaropoulo, responded with a very smarmy passive-aggressive approach, but eventually we started to work together: or so I thought.

When it came to asking, specifically, how we could remove our apps now that we had jumped through all the hoops that MacUpdate required, he went completely silent. No response.

So, against our wishes MacUpdate adds our apps to their directory – so they can make money off advertising they do not share with developers – with significant errors and makes the developer jump through hoops to “claim and correct” their apps. Even though I have said from the beginning that I do not want to correct our listings, I want them removed, there appears to actually be no way to do that.

I do not appreciate being strung along by the CEO of MacUpdate, their @MacUpdate twitter account because I have just been informed that they “do not remove” apps from their directory. Even apps (apparently) like Matchback Magic which is no longer available, must stay in the directory for ever. For the last two hours this morning, and the interaction last night, they had no intention of even helping me do the one thing I asked. Instead they string us along wasting even more time.

So, if ever you look at MacUpdate, remind yourself that you cannot rely on anything in that directory.

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5 comments

  • Tommy Collins · January 24, 2014 at 10:30 am

    I just did a search for Intelligent Assistance on their website and couldn’t find it. I hope they took it down for you.

    • Author comment by Philip · January 24, 2014 at 10:31 am

      Sadly that’s because they have them inaccurately listed under Greg Clarke (who does the development work for sure, but the developer is Intelligent Assistance)

  • Tim · January 24, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Wow, scary and unethical. Never been a MacUpdate customer myself, but have been intrigued in the past. Had only assumed they were legit because MacRumors.com supports them (MR is financially incentivized by them).

  • Tom · January 24, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Can you provide them with a specific download?

    If so just give them a version of your app that immediately re-directs the user to the App Store.

    • Author comment by Philip · January 24, 2014 at 11:58 am

      Actually, according to their own policy 7toX and Xto7 – without a demo version and commercial – should never have been listed.

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