We’ve always believed it’s important to be honest with our customers. It’s a core value that has defined how we relate to our customers since the company began. That’s why, as we worked through Apple’s new guideline changes for its App Store, we let our customers in on the changes that were coming to their custom app experience as soon as we could. It’s also why we were surprised and disappointed other mobile app providers in the church space haven’t done likewise.
In fact, many of the other publishers have gone on the record saying their current customers won’t be impacted by these changes and will be able to update their current app for perpetuity.
It’s just not true
We can’t help but wonder what makes these companies so unique and so critical to Apple’s long-term plans with the App Store that they’ve been made exempt, whereas the five largest app publishers in the world have not.
Because some app publishers are misinforming many churches about the true future of their standalone apps, we believe churches need to get clear communication from their providers right now. How can they do that? Ask your app publisher to prove it. We suggest a few action steps:
1. Ask them to show it to you in writing
Ask your app publisher for a signed agreement between an authorized Apple executive and their company granting them unique rights and authority to continue providing templated apps in perpetuity despite the stated Apple App Store guidelines to the contrary. This should include a callout that Rule 4.2.6 does not specifically apply to them.
2. Provide a money back guarantee
If they do produce something in writing (which they won’t), ask for a money-back guarantee for three years. That’s the equivalent of your app investment. This shouldn’t be a problem if the company has a written commitment from Apple to continue with business as usual for its established customers in perpetuity.
3. Request “specific damages”
Also, request inclusion of a specific damages clause in your contract to pay for the costs to replace your standalone app in the App Store if and when it gets rejected or can no longer be updated in the future for non-compliance with App Store Guidelines. If your app publisher has special rights, this shouldn’t be a problem either.
You Deserve Better
When you’re partnering with a mobile app publisher, trust is critical. You’re trusting your resources, your reputation, and your ability to communicate effectively to your community to them. You need to know your app publisher is being honest with you.