Is our app a “Terrible application” or an “Awful app”?

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Every day, people rate our app in the App Store. Ratings are extremely important for us, as we don’t have the big budget our competitors have to market our app.

Mostly, it’s fun to look at the reviews & ratings every day. The average rating is very high – 4.4 (out of 5) for the last version of our iPhone app and 4.679 for our Android app. And we get mostly very heart warming reviews.

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But some reviews make us very sad… It’s often frustrating that we can’t reply to reviews (on iTunes that is, Google Play fortunately does give us this option) or get in touch with reviewers. If only we could, I think we could solve most of the misunderstandings!

Here are some of the most “popular” complaints of people who give our app 1 star out of 5 and what we’d love to tell reviewers.

This app is not free

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What we’d love to tell these reviewers, if we could talk to them:
Thank you for your review. You are right, our app is not free. 

Both Google Play and iTunes specifically state the app is free to download, but that it contains in-app purchases. Unfortunately this is not clear enough for most app store users. It would be great if they would make a 3rd category besides “free” and “paid”: “does not contain free content”.

To (try to) avoid any misunderstanding we state in the first line of the description of our app, in both app stores, that it costs $3.99 / € 3.99 to download one city guide. 

I’m sorry you misunderstood, but I’m afraid we can’t make it any clearer at the moment from our side…

There are free apps

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What we’d love to tell these reviewers, if we could talk to them:
Yes, there are LOTS of apps available with free travel content. We totally understand if you prefer free travel guides or user generated travel content apps like Tripadvisor or Yelp.

Spotted by Locals is for a different crowd. Our niche audience (check our reviews!) thinks a city guide is worth $3.99 – a fraction of the cost of a traditional travel guide. What’s different about Spotted by Locals?

  • Tips by handpicked locals, who speak the local language 
  • Always up to date & up to season tips 
  • 100% offline – including all maps & tips
  • Free updates “for life”

Again, we totally understand you are not our target audience. That’s ok! But I hope you agree this is a personal preference, and it doesn’t say anything about the quality of the app.

The app doesn’t work

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What we’d love to tell these reviewers, if we could talk to them:
Emails about a problem with the app get top priority, and are answered within 12 hours 7 days a week by co-founder Bart. 

In 95% of the cases the problem is an internet connection issue from the user’s side. In a few isolated cases, where the problem cannot be fixed with a reinstall, we refund without questions asked, also if the problem is on the user side. 

If you send us an email, we’ll help you! If you leave a bad review, unfortunately there is no way for us to respond or help you :).

What can you do to help?

Phew, it makes me almost physically sick seeing these reviews again…

Had a good experience with our locals’ tips, and want to help us? As a Spotted by Locals user (you must be when you’re reading this!) you can help a LOT by reviewing our app and sharing your experiences.

Direct link for Google Play (Android) review

Direct link for iTunes (iPhone / Apple) review

And highly unlikely if you’re reading this… But if you’re one of the 1 star reviewers: you can adjust or remove your review with the links above too :).

Thank you so much!

Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)