App Store Customer Review Shenanigans

I am sure you’ve all heard stories about companies writing fake reviews on the iPhone App Store, pumping up their own apps whilst rating down the competition.

Well, we received a tip the other day that it looked like Three Jacks Software (the maker of a dice game that competes with our own iFarkle) had been writing bad reviews for both our product and another one of our competitors’.

If you check out the most recent views of iFarkle and Farkle Deluxe there are 1-star reviews from two users, codemonkey57 and The Cheesemaker, that recommend users buy Three Jacks’ Ten Thousand instead. Checking out all of those users’ reviews reveals that they gave both iFarkle and Farkle Deluxe 1 star and gave Ten Thousand (Three Jacks’ game) 5 stars. The only other review both of those users have given is for Three Jacks’ other iPhone application, Doodle Games. (They both rated it 5 stars.)

I would say that our tipster may be on to something.

Next, if you look at all of the reviews for Ten Thousand, they are almost all rating it 5 stars. Well, if you check what those reviewers are also reviewing, you see that Baby Builder 22 has only rated two apps: Ten Thousand and Doodle Games. (Both were given glowing 5 star reviews.) The same goes for Wolfman1973 as well.

Now, granted, they may have had nothing to do with it … There is nothing that ties those accounts to the company itself.

But the evidence really is quite compelling. :)

So what do you think?

Let us know in the comments below.

6 Responses to “App Store Customer Review Shenanigans”

  1. KO says:

    Well, it sounds like you have some compelling evidence. I wouldn’t worry too much. You make quality products that I spend money on. Obviously they only make marginal products that they have to use dirty tactics to pump up. Rest assured that they will not receive the reviews that a good product will receive.

  2. admin says:

    Thank you for that. :)

    There’s really not much that can be done anyway without Apple stepping in and bringing the hammer down. The App Store is still evolving, so these kinds of things are likely fairly common.

    We are more amused at how blatantly obvious it all was once it was brought to our attention. :)

  3. Daniel says:

    At the end of the day I spend my
    money with you. As do a lot of other people. Most of is have learned to take the 1-star reviews with a grain of salt because of people using underhanded techniques like you describe. The majority of reviews show you make a great product, worthy of the money. Keep up the good work.

  4. [...] SKJM Blog News, Features & Updates from SKJM, LLC « App Store Customer Review Shenanigans [...]

  5. belfastbiker says:

    Feck ‘em.

    Your product is simply superb.

    With the port forwarding set, I’ve got it working over Wifi, 3G/O2, push notifications, sound, it’s fecking glorious.

    Gotta get me some external wifi IP cam thingies next month now…. :)

  6. ... says:

    I can’t get the app to work, i have an iphone 3Gs and a macbookpro, and I just can’t seem to make it work, i’ve change the password and login name, but nothing seems work…