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.


  1. That sucks.

    What was in the screenshot they referenced in the more recent email? "disguised ad for [redacted]"

    1. The other app apparently had a section saying something like "see my other apps" with pictures that linked to the app store to download those same apps.

      I'm actually not sure why Google considers that deceptive but I didn't examine very closely. The screenshots are in the previous blog post if you want to try to figure it out.

  2. Thanks for the update.

    It really sucks that in order to straighten things up, the user needs to count on sites like HN or Twitter to get the message across to someone in Google. I mean, what if HN wouldn't pick up your story? They would remove your app and wouldn't give you any chances of fixing the problem?

    It's really disturbing, especially when I've lanched a small app on Play myself not long time ago. It's free with no ads, yet I still feel afraid they'll ban me for no reason!