Friday, February 22, 2013

Mirla's Opinion on "There’s no such thing as a “free” app, so get over it and pony up!"

The Speech Dudes wrote an interesting opinion in their blog on the topic of paying for apps. They open their blog with, "There is no such thing as a 'free' app, so get over it and pony up!"

For those of you who have not read their blog, here is a summary. The Speech Dudes start their blog by simulating a letter from a parent requesting free speech services for their child. They then ask the reader to substitute free speech therapy services with free apps to highlight the ridiculousness of the parent's request. They go on to give examples of parental spending on such things as a cup of coffee for $2.45 without complaining or even giving it a thought and then complain about spending a couple of dollars on an app. I  agree that when it comes to our services parents hem and haw about the cost. Is this because it is free in the schools? Good chance. The Speech Dudes offer that perhaps the app freebies have spoiled parents into thinking that all things are equal. In other words, the free apps are as good as the apps that cost money. They go on to discuss why apps must come with a price.

I fully agree with the Speech Dudes' argument. They are right. But they omitted a critical point in the app purchasing department. The point is that if we purchase an item, it can be returned for a refund if we do not like it. Take their coffee example. If we do not like the coffee and do not drink it, we can ask and get our money back. The same goes for most items we purchase. If the shoes we bought are not comfortable after we have worn them at home, they can be returned. If the movie is lousy and we decide to leave after the first half hour or so, we ask for our money back. If there is another movie we would like see in the theater, no problem. Not so with apps. We cannot return them. We cannot even lend them or sell them to someone else as we can with other products we purchase. I for one, do not like to buy ebooks because I cannot lend them to friends who have edevices or give them to the library.

Why do not Apple and app developers get together and discuss this issue? One of the first apps I bought was so disappointing that it led me to start this blog. Why not offer consumers an unbiased opinion of the app they are about to purchase, I thought. Hopefully, this blog has helped you but it is not the answer. There needs to be a new way of thinking about apps. Why does the consumer need to throw money away in the form of a poor app? I do not believe that all consumers expect apps to be free. However, I do believe that they want their money to be well spent. And if they do not like the item, it does not do what they were led to believe it would do, it is a lousy app, they have buyers remorse or whatever, they should have the opportunity to remove it and get their money back.

What do you think?

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