Garret Murray is an iPhone app developer and a change in Google Analytics caused his app to suddenly stop working properly. He fixed the problem and uploaded the new version of the app to the App Store where it languishes – waiting to be approved by Apple – while customers leave terrible reviews on iTunes and trash the product in his support forum.
This kind of thing continually reinforces something I’ve thought about a lot since the App store was released, which sounds horrible to say but it might be true: Apple is creating an ecosystem of the kind of customers I don’t want. With the ridiculous approval process leaving bugfixes to take over a week to show up, with prices being driven down to nothing by farting apps… it just feels hostile to me. While I have plenty of great customers who have been raving about the app, all it takes is one little issue and it all comes crashing down. [link]
Dealing with impatient unreasonable customers can be a challenge to anyone’s demeanor. Customers will tell you that any bug or error is an effort to sabotage them or a personal attack. Customers unleash holy hell about you on Twitter or on forums or to your personal email… and you have to be a font of fairy dust and unicorns shitting rainbows.
But clearly Apple needs to get with the program and 1) find a faster way to QA the submissions to the App Store and 2) help iPhone app developers have some sort of feedback mechanism.