When Developers Go Silent

2016.10.09 Reviews 4 Comments

Oops, I’ve neglected this blog again, but the short version is I have been working on a lot of things, and I’ll blog about those in the future, but this entry is about how frustrated I’ve been with an app I used to love, and my unsuccessful attempts at reaching the people behind it.

I’m talking about Moldiv, which is on both iOS and Android. I have the app on android.

To preface this, I’ve used Moldiv many times, and it is my go to app for collages. I liked it so much I bought their Premium Frames Pack. It turned out that I didn’t care as much for them, but that was okay, because I like supporting apps and the developers behind them. But Moldiv still constantly bugged me about getting their Full Upgrade Pack. Since I liked their magazine frames so much, and the prompted pop up promised me 100+ new magazine frames, I thought “why not?” I paid and nothing new appeared, but I was no longer being bugged about getting that upgrade pack, so while I felt a bit cheated, I didn’t come out of this totally empty handed.

I’m sort of a push over. If I get less than stellar service, I usually don’t complain. I understand things happen, and there’s no point making a ruckus over it. Which is why even though I paid more money for the Full Upgrade Pack, and essentially got nothing for it, I still had access to their standard magazine frames, and I used those often (my instagram has a lot of them).

This less than perfect situation changed when Moldiv had an update. I didn’t immediately download the update, so I didn’t realize the issue until the update was forced on me. When I next opened Moldiv, which admittedly had a very nice interface, I was prompted to buy more of their premium packs. I looked through the store, and there was no indication I ever bought any. Not only that, the packs I had bought were being offered to me again. When I tried to use a premium collage frame, I was prompted to buy the pack. When I tried to use what was previously free magazine frames, I was prompted to buy them.

At this point, as I’ve already spent money on premium packs, I was pretty annoyed. When I first bought the Full Upgrade Pack, and got nothing, I left a 1 star review (it was originally 5 stars) and explained my situation. That was how you usually got developers to answer you, because they usually keep watch for those negative reviews. My 1 star did not get their attention. For over half a year I heard nothing back, but like I said before, it wasn’t a huge deal back then.

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With the new update, it was worse. So I edited my review to include the new issue I was facing. Again, no word back. After waiting some time, I used their “Report a Problem” feature on their app, and wrote an email to them, again explaining what happened.

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Again, no word back.

After waiting a bit, I left a comment on their most recent instagram post, explaining the same issue and also standing my disappointment that I’ve heard nothing back still.

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At this point I don’t know if I’ll ever hear back from them. The truth is, overall I paid less than $8 for the packs. The money isn’t the issue. My problem is how their update removed what I paid for, and also their lack of response to any of my attempts at contacting them.

When developers go silent they’re saying they don’t care about feedback or about user experience. Seeing how they ignore 1 star reviews certainly makes it seem like they don’t care. Other developers of apps I’ve given 1 to 2 star reviews because of a feature that didn’t work for me have replied back, either with a fix or stating that’s how it was going to be. Even if I didn’t like their reply, at least they replied. Moldiv has spent a great amount of time and energy on their new app and features, and that’s great. But if they’re going to spend so much effort providing a service, especially a paid service, they should have a better feedback response.

I understand when updates go into effect, unexpected things can happen. That’s why it’s important to get user feedback and iron out any issues as they appear. But this whole experience has left me feeling a bit betrayed, and I can no longer recommend Moldiv to anyone. At this point, I can only assume that at best that they’re understaffed and unable to address issues, or at worst they simply don’t care.

P.S. You can view my receipts as proof of purchase for the Premium Frames Pack and the Full Upgrade Pack, with my Paypal redacted of course.

Update: no contact from them after all this time, and I don’t feel any desire to spend money on their app again.

4 Comments

Georgie

Your experience sounds like a total pain. As a fellow developer, I find that it is so important to get feedback from your customers and answer their questions, even if what they are asking, requesting or even demanding is not something you’re working on or have in mind. And when there are problems, and they are reported, you should address them. Normally I would just let it slide if my question was not answered – I’ll just move on from it. But it would make me so angry and frustrated if they continued to update their product and social media channels and ignore me trying to contact them.

I totally understand that your frustration is far from the money aspect. My impression is that Moldiv chose to ‘revamp’ or move to a subscription-based model or change their business model to include premium content so that they could keep the money flowing in. Something like that. And in turn they chose to sacrifice and de-prioritise their loyal users (people like you). I feel like that has happened to a lot of companies I have followed from early days, and it’s a shame. But honestly, in your situation, a ‘Sorry to hear, we are working on fixing the issue’ (or at least giving a coupon code if they can’t fix the issue) would go a pretty long way. It doesn’t take long to at least reply.

    Masao

    Yeah, I just wish they’d address it. After I posted my angry comment on instagram, other people commented with the same issue. Moldiv finally replied to me, through Instagram, telling me to do something, which unfortunately was not even in the screen they told me it was on. I’ll update this entry with any changes if they get back to me on that, but at this rate I’m not too hopeful.

    I understand they need a new model to make money, and I would gladly pay for more of their packs since I do like their product, but the way this has gone has just really made me doubt the legitimacy of contributing to them.

    The other app/company I’ve been bitter about is VSCO. Their new UI is really terrible, but I’ve bought 90% of their presets and their camera is great, so I’ll still use them, but I’m hesitant to buy anything new, since they seem to also ignore feedback. :(

Tara

It is a major pain when companies/developers go silent :/ I get frustrated, too, when I ask something and it doesn’t get answered. The same goes the other way around. Someone asks me something, and when I try to respond to them, it won’t go through.

I hope you’ll get this issue resolved. I hope companies like Moldiv will listen to their customer’s feedback!

    Masao

    Thanks, Tara. I hope I hear back from them, too. I haven’t really found a good alternative to Moldiv, so I’d rather get this solved and keep using them. But so far I’m not too hopeful. :(

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