Tuesday, 1 January 2013

What should we expect from free apps?

What should you expect from a free app?

For the last few years Apple have released a now familiar app called “12 days of Christmas” where each day from December 26th - January 6th a free iTunes gift is given each day.  This App generously is free and gives people with a new iOS device a certain amount of free content to start with after Christmas.

With the vast amount of varied content on iTunes across all the different media streams it is unlikely that everyone will like every App, song, video, iBook or music video offered.

Today (Day 7 - January 1st 2013), the selection was a free film from Disney Pixar - Toy Story Toons.  Like many people I eagerly hit “Get Free Film” shortly after midnight in the anticipation of showing this to my kids later that day.

Unfortunately I was met with an error message that this video was not available in the UK.  Reading some of the comments on iTunes for the 12 days App it quickly appeared that I was not the only person getting this message.

Many of the comments posted on iTunes expressed a great deal of anger and frustration at Apple and iTunes for this mistake.  This poses for me an interesting question.

If an App or product is provided as a free gift, do we as consumers have a right to complain when it fails to meet a good standard (or even work in this case)?  The comments provided by iTunes users overwhelmingly believe that they do have a right to complain and leave negative feedback.  Personally I don’t believe that we should complain when something free (or in this case 1/12 of it) doesn’t work but am hoping that it will be resolved quickly.  If this became a regular issue and more content either didn’t work or wasn’t available in certain countries I think the consumers would have an issue with iTunes.

What do you think?

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