Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Appeal Rejected: Google Removed (ad-free) Mommy Saver Plus for "Deceptive Ads"

(UPDATE: Mommy Saver Plus has been reinstated!  This after I posted this on HN, tweeted at them, and sent a slightly-too-passive-aggressive email response.)

Yesterday, the Google Play team mistook Mommy Saver Plus (the paid version of Mommy Saver) for another app and removed it from the app store.

I filled in the little textbox to make an appeal.

Today, I got an update:

Clearly, the reviewer either did not read or did not understand my two-sentence appeal.

It's possible my words weren't clear enough and the reviewer didn't have enough time to understand them.  I wrote something very close to "Mommy Saver Plus was removed for 'deceptive ads' which is a little silly because there is no ads in the app.  The attached screenshots have nothing to do with Mommy Saver Plus."

This part scares me:

"... repeated violations can result in the suspension of this app or your Google Play Developer account."

I don't dare re-submit the same app, at least not with the same package.  I'll probably tweak it a little bit and then re-submit it under a different package... after I back up all my google data, just in case.

Until then, the links to upgrade from the free version will continue to 404.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Google Removed (ad-free) Mommy Saver Plus for "Deceptive Ads"

I got an email from Google saying they removed Mommy Saver Plus (the paid version of Mommy Saver) for "deceptive ads".  This is strange because Mommy Saver Plus has no ads.

Looking closer, it seems like they mistook another app for mine (edit 2019-03-26: I looked up that app and it has been removed as well).  Mommy Saver Plus is mostly black and white with touches of color.  This app is very colorful (app names and email address covered so I don't cause problems for another developer):

Mommy Saver Plus looks more like this:

Hopefully this will just get fixed and go away in the next couple days and I'll have a good laugh about it later.

To Google's credit, the email says I can "remove any ads that violate the Deceptive Ads policy" and re-submit the app.  They apparently also have an appeals process (I've already submitted the appeal 2019-03-25).

I'm not familiar with Google's ad policies, but it's a little strange that they would remove this app anyway.

I'm also a little worried because I've read on HN horror stories about Google doing things like this or worse.  I'm nervous about re-submitting until I see the result of the appeal.  Mommy Saver Plus doesn't make much money, but I want to publish a new app in a few months and don't want to have problems with that.  And I definitely don't want problems with my Google account.

If anyone knows anything useful, I'd appreciate it.  Googling for "play store removed mistake" doesn't yield much useful results.

New App Coming Soon

Another app coming soon.  A semi-automated, to-do-list style expense & receipt tracker.  It's intended for people for self-employed/small-business-owners who want to keep very tight tabs on their expenses and receipts but with doing as little work as possible.

Like Mommy Saver, I'm making this to my personal tastes and needs.  But I'm going to actually try to make money on this one as well.

Coming Soon page:

More details later...