Gnomie John Cody writes:

Summary: Handango, probably the largest online mobile software store, has abruptly closed my account for no stated reason, thus making it impossible to honor a raffle prize that I won from there last year.

History: In 2005, I won a raffle that Handango had, which resulted in me receiving $5,000.00 in ad allowance to use on advertising my products on its site and in its newsletters.

When I first tried to use part of the balance to take out two ads, Handango forgot to schedule one of the ads, so it apologized by giving me two additional ad allowances which resulted in me then having:

  • $4250 balance to be used for advertising (except Champion ads)
  • Free Champion spot ad in a smartphone newsletter issue
  • Two weeks of a featured spot on the Web site

I recently developed a new version for one of my products (Alerts!), and I wanted to use part of my ad allowance to promote it. But, when I tried to use/confirm my ad balance, a new management team at Handango wasn’t aware of my ad allowance and suddenly put a whole bunch of restrictions on it, including that I had to use the entire balance within five months or lose it. As you will see, Handango admits that these restrictions are not documented anywhere, but I was still bound to them.

Being that I currently had only one product that was worth promoting (Alerts! – because its version was less than one year old), this meant that I could either blow the entire allowance to promote just this one product, or try to rush development on new versions of my other apps in this short period of time. For the allowance to really be of any use, I had no choice but to choose the latter.

Naturally, my feathers were ruffled because of these surprise undocumented ad restrictions, and the pressure on me (being a single developer) having to develop two major new versions of my products within just a few months.

We then spent almost a month going back and forth creating the insertion order (ad schedule) because it ignored my request to do it faster over a phone call.

On the day that the first ad was to appear, it didn’t. And when I inquired why, the people there essentially replied that they had closed my account and would no longer sell my apps, thus making it impossible to use my ad allowance at all!

If you don’t believe that this is the whole story and Handango wouldn’t do something so drastic without a good reason, then please read the unedited message volley I had with Handango and see for yourself!

[tags]handango, omnisoft, alerts, john cody, online mobile software store[/tags]