0 Replies
      Latest reply on May 5, 2020 6:10 AM by borodutch
      borodutch Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

        My app got rejected because I have a subscription-based monetization model and provide my own way of giving 30 day free trial. My app can be used on iOS, Web and Android. I don't ask users to login or give any credit card information before the 30 day trial expires.

         

        I thought it was fine — *literally everyone on the app store does it*. But then my app got rejected for using external trial so I had to introduce opt-in wall provided by Apple before users can use my app at all. So users have to opt-in *before* they get any value from the app.

         

        Did any of you got forced by Apple to introduce the trial wall that autorenews into a payable subscription unless the subscription is cancelled? Is this the usual Apple practice now?

        • Re: Does Apple force your users to opt-in to a free Apple trial?
          Claude31 Level 8 Level 8 (9,165 points)

          In your scheme, how does the user pay if ever he/she decides to confirm the trial ?

           

          Does this occur through AppStore ?

           

          If not, that's the problem.

            • Re: Does Apple force your users to opt-in to a free Apple trial?
              borodutch Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

              In my scheme, users on Apple devices *only* see ways to purchase the subscription through in-app purchases, I was careful not to include any notes about other ways to purchase the subscription. In my case, the Apple in-app purchase wall would appear *after* 30 days are over, not prior to it.

               

              Apple didn't like it and forced me into showing the Apple in-app purchases paywall *before* users can do anything in the app. It's a todo app so users cannot even create a single todo without opting-in to the free trial.

            • Re: Does Apple force your users to opt-in to a free Apple trial?
              borodutch Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

              I just wonder if it is the usual rule or if my review team went crazy. I don't see this approch in *any* respectful app on the store

                • Re: Does Apple force your users to opt-in to a free Apple trial?
                  Claude31 Level 8 Level 8 (9,165 points)

                  As usual, what happens to other apps cannot be used nor be an indication of what will happen to yours.

                   

                  So don't use this as an argument when you reply to the reviewer of if you appeal.

                   

                  It is much better to explain bluntly and honestly what you are doing, how it works.

                  Are you sure Apple requires user to subscribe. Or only requires that you explain upfromt that bafter the trial they would have to pay. But not ask to commit to anything yet.

                   

                  Good luck.

                    • Re: Does Apple force your users to opt-in to a free Apple trial?
                      borodutch Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                      I even had a call with the Apple review team representative where they said that I had to make users to commit to the free trial through in-app purchases before users can do anything on my app.

                       

                      I did explain bluntly how the app works, how the app is available on other platforms. Still, Apple representative told me that users have to go through the free trial paywall, Apple representative clearly stated that unless I make my users commit to a free trial, the app won't be approved.

                       

                      Again, I just wonder if it happens to anyone else or if it was just my review team going crazy. They even agreed that the thing I propose (not to make users commit before 30 days trial is over) it the logical way — but they said that the rule was that I had to make users commit with subscribing to a free trial.

                       

                      I even have a 1 star review on the App Store because of that now.

                        • Re: Does Apple force your users to opt-in to a free Apple trial?
                          Claude31 Level 8 Level 8 (9,165 points)

                          OK, I cannot argue about this.

                           

                          Just what is the review board asking user to commit to ?

                          Free trial with automatic subscrption at the end ?

                          Or just to let user knwo what would the the price afetr free trial.

                           

                          In tha latter case, that would be logical: avoid make user "addict" to your app (hope it is good enough for that) and then discover what the cost for continuing. Which would be kinda bait and switch scheme, strictly forbidden.

                          3.1.2(a)

                          • Apps that attempt to scam users will be removed from the App Store. This includes apps that attempt to trick users into purchasing a subscription under false pretenses or engage in bait-and-switch and scam practices will be removed from the App Store and you may be removed from the Apple Developer Program. Learn more about Subscription Free Trials.

                          Are they asking you to show a paywall like the one here:

                          https://developer.apple.com/app-store/subscriptions/

                           

                          This document explains exactly what one has to do with free trial.

                            • Re: Does Apple force your users to opt-in to a free Apple trial?
                              borodutch Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                              Yes, they ask me to make my users to commit to a free trial with automatic subscription at the end.

                               

                              Here's the point they referred to: "Auto-renewing subscription apps may offer a free trial period to customers by providing the relevant information set forth in App Store Connect".

                               

                              Can be found here: https://developer.apple.com/app-store/review/guidelines/, section 3.1.2(a).

                               

                              And yes, I see that they don't limit free trial to in-app purchases, but that is what the Apple represetative told me over the phone.

                              • Re: Does Apple force your users to opt-in to a free Apple trial?
                                borodutch Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                It's not the latter case, it's making users commit to a free trial that then automatically switches to paid subscription unless manually cancelled.

                                 

                                Yes, they forced me to add "free trial paywall" (like here: https://developer.apple.com/app-store/subscriptions/). Which is why users cannot even add a task in my todo app without commiting to a trial that will automatically convert to paid subscription.

                                 

                                IMO it's just trying to trick users into forgetting to cancel the trial — which is morally a bad practice that I would want to avoid.

                                 

                                Even worse — they don't allow me to explain it on the "free trial paywall". They reject my app when I explain to users on that paywall that this is an Apple's rule to force users into commiting.

                                  • Re: Does Apple force your users to opt-in to a free Apple trial?
                                    KMT Level 9 Level 9 (15,785 points)

                                         >IMO it's just trying to trick users into forgetting to cancel the trial — which is morally a bad practice... They reject my app when I explain to users on that paywall that this is an Apple's rule to force users into commiting.

                                     

                                    And you're surprised that Apple pushes back against being bad mouthed like that?

                                      • Re: Does Apple force your users to opt-in to a free Apple trial?
                                        borodutch Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                        I don't think that pointing out Apple's rule in a polite manner can be called "bad mouthing". If simply stating the fact that apple has a rule to make users commit to free trial that will automatically convert to paid subscription is bad mouthing — then there is something wrong with the rule and not with the fact that somebody talks about it.

                                         

                                        And, again, the reason I posted this is not to complain about Apple's rules — the reason is to figure out if anyone else had this issue or if my review team went crazy.

                                          • Re: Does Apple force your users to opt-in to a free Apple trial?
                                            KMT Level 9 Level 9 (15,785 points)

                                            It's Apple's ecosystem - they get to make the rules. Rules that you agreed to follow when you accepted your Developer Program Agreement. Same goes for users and their iTunes Store Agreement.

                                             

                                            Or did Apple force you to accept something, and you're just now deciding you're not happy with that reality?

                                             

                                            Feel free to request changes you'd like to see via the Bug Reporter link below.

                                             

                                            Good luck.

                              • Re: Does Apple force your users to opt-in to a free Apple trial?
                                PBK Level 7 Level 7 (3,795 points)

                                A similar experience was discussed on this forum about a month or two ago.  It differs from what you are saying in two regards:

                                 

                                1) I suspect Apple is not 'forcing you to require' the user enter into the free trial before they can 'use' the app.  You can do that (actually it might violate the requirement that all apps do something) but usually the app operates at some 'lite' level until you upgrade it.  The upgrade, in your case, is a free trial followed by a paid subscription.  The app could operate before the free trial period starts.

                                 

                                2) The issue is - can you use your own 'free trial' approach rather than being forced to use Apple's free trial susbcription systems.  The jury is still out on that.  One issue with Apple's approach is security - they seem to be exposed to a user deleting and reinstalling the app using a different App Store User ID.  You can avoid that using your own free trial and DeviceCheck (it's complex) or, almost as good, writing something to the user's CloudKit database indicating their starting date and also write something to the user's keychain indicating start date (it's complicated - the keychain durability is reported under attack by Apple programmers who understand how to use DeviceCheck).    So one approach for you to use is appeal to App Review pointing out their security flaw (user's can have multiple App Store ID's unassociated with their Apple ID and thereby get multiple free trials) and stating that you created your own free trial.  It is Very Very important that you explain that the free trial period is, in fact, free.