As one of my streams of income I perform retail arbritage to resell items on Amazon and Ebay. To do this I use an app that scans barcodes and let’s me know if the item will be profitable for me. These apps run from free to upwards of $40 a month. The app I use was a one time purchase on the App Store for $15 bucks. Well this week they surprised everyone announcing they going to start charging a $9.99 subscription fee. Starting next week for Android users, and soon for iPhone users.
Now let me start by saying that I like the app, it crashes at times (he’ll it crashed on me 3. Times this morning) but I like the information it provides. It is most likely worth the $10 a month to use it, but I have a few issues with how this is playing out.
First is that the app was advertised as a one time fee and no subscription. I with many others factored this into our business plan and choose this app on that point, It was a one time fee. To now come out and say you now have to pay a subscription to continue to use it in my book is wrong, and actually may be against Apples TOS. It has been proposed in many groups that they should have created a separate app with the subscription, or grandfather existing users for a certain time period and I would agree with that. Also only one week notice for Android users is harsh, they should have set a date a month or two out to give people more time to decide.
The owners have since come out and said that if you don’t upgrade the app you can continue to use it as before. Problem with that is you have to turn off auto update (manually update all other apps), never buy a new phone or hope you don’t have to delete it and reinstall for some reason. Don’t think that is a feasible solution.
One of the big issue I had is when I read these statements by the owners:
“Just to be clear, I can’t promise immediate improvements especially on issues like crashes that are hard to troubleshoot. However, the level of support we see from the community will allow us to know how many resources we can commit to this.”
“As for crashing, we’re definitely improving that. Honestly, that’s my biggest goal for this subscription: being able to invest in the development and testing to eliminate crashing completely. Currently we just can’t do that to the degree that I want us to.”
This sounds like to me they admit their product has problems and instead of making sure we all bought a working product they are coming back for more money from those us that bought the product to fix it. I think the product I bought should be working before they come to me asking for more money to make improvements. They are even saying that after we start paying monthly they may not be able to have a working product for awhile. If you are going to ask for more money I think you should already have product that works and be an improvement over the old. We were not investors, we are consumers that bought a product.
I’m still on the fence on what I’m going to do, as an iPhone user I apparently have more time to decide. Like I said I like the way they present the information (when it didn’t shut down) and mad it easy to make buying decisions. Amazon has come out with their own app for free that provides most of the info needed, just not in a easily read format, so I may start playing with it and see if I can get used to it.
Some of those in the same business may not agree with my opinions here but just wanted to get them off my chest. Now to move on and make a decision when the time comes for us iPhone users.
Oh and yes I purposely did not mention the name or link to the app.
Whats your thoughts? Are they ok doing this or you think they are in the wrong?