7 Replies
      Latest reply on Feb 13, 2019 4:41 PM by pianosmooth
      serhankom Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

        Hello all,

        A few days ago we have received an email from Apple with the title of "notice of termination". It was basically saying that our organisational developer account was terminated effective immediately, with reference to violating Section 3.2(f) of the ADP Agreement. They also added that they will deny our reapplication to the Apple Developer Program for at least a year considering the nature of our acts. There was no specific information what the violating activities are.

         

        We are an agency developing software and apps for our clients.

         

        We had a free-to-use app for one of our clients up and running for almost a year. This was an app for the members of a pub, which enabled the members to make reservations in the pub.

         

        Out of nowhere, last night we have received the notification of termination from Apple. There was no prior warning about account activity or about the app we have in the app store.

         

        We have absolutely no idea, what the reason is. We are having really trouble as the app for our client is now down from the app store.

        We want to cooperate with the Apple team about this, and how we can resolve this issue.

         

        The problem is this: There is no support channel where we can apply to. The developer support channel is closed for our terminated account. I contacted the phone support over my personal account and they mentioned that the decision of termination is taken by an internal department and the developers have no way to reach this department.

         

        Can someone help us on how to resolve this? Or point us in the right direction?

        We simply want to know the reason of termination and specific explanation in order  not to repeat our mistakes, if there are any.

        As developers we have build our business model on this platform and I think Apple should provide some transparency about conflicts and open communication channels.

         

        Thank you very much and regards,

        Serhan

        • Re: notice of termination - no support so far
          chuckc192000 Level 3 Level 3 (205 points)

          3.2.f concerns things like writing good reviews for your own app (or maybe buying reviews), writing bad reviews for competitor's apps, or giving your app a name that's very similar to a third party app in order to confuse customers.  Have you done any of those things?

            • Re: notice of termination - no support so far
              serhankom Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

              thank you for your response.

              no, our app has only one review and it was a negative one.

              we have not written any reviews for other apps.

               

              there was no other app having a similar name.

              The name of the app is already a trademark in my country and it belongs to my customer.

               

              I wish only I knew the reason, that's my main concern. Do you maybe know a way I can reach Apple's point of contact for such situations?

            • Re: notice of termination - no support so far
              PBK Level 7 Level 7 (3,105 points)

              > We are an agency developing software and apps for our clients.

               

              Is it possible that your client did something that resulted in Apple concluding that you indirectly committed one of these acts:

               

              3.2 (f) You will not, directly or indirectly, commit any act intended to interfere with the Apple Software or Services, the intent of this Agreement, or Apple’s business practices including, but not limited to, taking actions that may hinder the performance or intended use of the App Store, Custom App Distribution, or the Program (e.g., submitting fraudulent reviews of Your own Application or any third party application, choosing a name for Your Application that is substantially similar to the name of a third party application in order to create consumer confusion, or squatting on application names to prevent legitimate third party use). Further, You will not engage, or encourage others to engage, in any unlawful, unfair, misleading, fraudulent, improper, or dishonest acts or business practices relating to Your Covered Products (e.g., engaging in bait- and-switch pricing, consumer misrepresentation, deceptive business practices, or unfair competition against other developers);

               

              First thing to do is figure out on your side what might have triggred Apple's response by contacting the client and asking.  Also, go back in your email and see if they tried to contact you earlier to warn you of this issue.

               

               

                • Re: notice of termination - no support so far
                  serhankom Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                  Thank you for replying.

                  I checked my email but there was no such warning. That inbox is seperate so I am sure I didn't delete any message.

                   

                  I don't think my client would act in that way. But even that may be the cause I don't think it is fair to punish the developer without any notice and any chance to discuss that matter.

                  There should be a way to open a dispute. Am I missing something?

                   

                  During organisational account creation there is an evaluation period.

                  During app submission there is a review period and a resolution center to discuss the points of our app which don't comply to Apple's guidelines.

                  As above there should be a two-way communication before closing one's account

                   

                  But thank you for pointing me for various possible reasons.

                • Re: notice of termination - no support so far
                  KMT Level 9 Level 9 (14,055 points)

                       > I contacted the phone support over my personal account and they mentioned that the decision of termination is taken by an internal department and the developers have no way to reach this department.

                   

                  What isn't clear at that point? You made contact (vs. 'no support') about the account being canceled, and received a response - that was your shot.  Once an account has reached this point, you're done. Case closed. Unless of course those free apps generated money via IAP, as an example, and Apple decides to take additional action and claw that revenue back.

                   

                  3.2f is a broad legal clause that allows Apple to take action based on one or more conclusions, with no obligation to negotiate. You agreed to that course of action when you signed on. You can't tweak how it works out post-agreement.  No one here can help you force anyone w/Apple to change their mind.

                   

                       >We are an agency developing software and apps for our clients.

                   

                  Ah...that could be at least part of the problem. My opinion is that your clients need to have their own accounts. Re-instating -your- account does not solve that issue. I suggest you help them open their own accounts (yes we all know the hurdles) so they can submit their own apps to the store. Be sure to explain the guidelines and dev contract to them if they haven't already been so exposed. Your contract w/those clients should have spelled all that out, tho.

                   

                       >Out of nowhere

                   

                  Perhaps not. See the ASRGs 4.2.6, 4.4.3 & 5.6 - https://developer.apple.com/app-store/review/guidelines/

                   

                  Good luck.

                    • Re: notice of termination - no support so far
                      serhankom Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                      You are right that we agree with the terms while signing up.

                       

                      As I menioned above my main concern is not reinstating our account. If it is done, then it's fine. If we have done a mistake and it is irreversable I have to live with the consequences. The owner of the platform and the judge is Apple.

                       

                      My primary concern is getting a transparent explanation about what caused this decision. Referring to such a broad statement does not teach me anything without knowing the cause. You see; we are trying here to "guess" what reason it might have been.

                       

                      Even if I had my clients open their own developer account, without knowing what has gone wrong in my case, I can't guarantee them that it won't happen with their own developer account too. It doesn't matter which developer account I use to submit the app, if I don't know what I have done wrong last time.

                       

                      I have worked with many other platforms. For example Facebook Developer Platform.

                      These app development platforms are for both parties mutual benefit. In this case Apple's and us the developers. So it is normal to expect a transparent communication and fair treatment. This way we can learn, continue to be in a relationship with mutual benefits.

                       

                      PS: The reason I have opened this thread is not that I want someone to force Apple about this. I don't believe anyone can. I just wanted to know if someone knows an alternate communication channel with Apple where I can collect more information about this.

                    • Re: notice of termination - no support so far
                      pianosmooth Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                      My initial thought was that you circumvented the appstore via pub orders.

                      Were you able to place orders for the pub on the app?

                       

                      Like if I wanted to order somehting from the menu, could I do it on the app?

                       

                      Did the pub reservations cost money?  How did you get that money?