Apple agrees with us and removes suspicious iPhone app reviews.

After a fair amount of internal debate we thought it best to share details about some suspicious, early reviews of our iPhone app.

iPhone App ImageWithin hours of launching our new application we were shocked when several negative reviews popped up.  These reviews are the first impression anyone gets when thinking about purchasing our application.  We were concerned as these reviews were posted so quickly we felt there must be something quite wrong.  We were anticipating some feedback on our pricing (no one wants to pay for anything) and we knew the app wasn’t perfect, but overall we were rather proud of our efforts.   So we decided to dig a little deeper…

The first review of our application was posted just hours after release.  It was devastatingly well written and was from someone called a Food & Wine Lover.

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

Interested we decided to search for other reviews from Food & Wine Lover.   We found a glowing five star review within a sea of one star reviews for a very early version of an another wine application.  The review is positively gushing relative to the other reviews and almost reads, dare we say, like an advertisement.

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

Doing a little more digging we found Food & Wine Lover at work again with another wine application.   This time they went a little further by providing readers with a helpful alternative.

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

Now we’re not the brightest crew here at WineAlign, but it seemed pretty clear that this wasn’t ‘the most objective reviewer.   Apple has agreed with us and has removed the review from the app store.

What gets more interesting is that as soon as this negative review was removed by Apple, the identical, well crafted wording showed up in another review.

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

What’s most confusing, is all of the immediate negative reviewers had already given a five-star, glowing review to another wine application.   It does raise the question that if they were so happy with the other application, then why would they download and PAY for our application in the first place and do so on the first day of our release?  Why would there be reviews like: “Too rich for my blood” and “Beyond my budget” – after downloading it?  Isn’t that something that you would state BEFORE paying for it and then NOT download it?  To an objective observer one would think that they were paying for an application to make a point of expressing how expensive it is – this is not rational behaviour.

We welcome all feedback on our applications and we will work hard to provide our users with the best application available.   There very well may be consumers out there who don’t like our application one bit.  We’ll take those lumps and do our best to improve.   However, it is quite obvious to ourselves, and Apple, that several of the reviews on the first day were posted by less than objective reviewers.


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