iPhone developer who used Flash development tools asks, and receives, refund from Apple

Wed, May 19, 2010


Developer Stefan Richter, who successfully used cross platform development tools to create iPhone apps before Apple famously changed the developer agreement, recently decided to write Apple and ask for a refund.

His letter read in part:

2) It seems clear that due to the recent changes in terms I am no longer able to develop iPhone applications using my favourite tool, Adobe Flash CS5. Since I paid a full year’s subscription and you have now changed the terms under which I am allowed to engage with the program, I kindly ask you to exclude my company from having to adhere to the section 3.3.1. In the likely case of you being unable to comply with my request I kindly ask for a pro-rata refund as I have no plans of ‘originally writing’ any of my apps in any of the ‘approved’ programming languages mentioned in section 3.3.1.

I am awaiting your timely reply within the next 10 working days.


Stefan Richter

Apple subsequently replied back:

Dear Mr Richter,

Thank you for contacting Apple Developer Support regarding the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement.

We are currently reviewing your enquiry and will get back to you very soon.

Best regards,

Apple Developer Support

Hmm, dead end, right?

Well, not necessarily.

A forum poster on Richter’s site posted the following exchange with Apple Developer Support following a similar request for a refund.

At first Apple plays hardball,

Hello Jodie,

Thank you for your reply.

Please know we have reviewed your request. As the original terms and
conditions state that this program is sold with a no returns to no refund
policy we are unable to action your request.

Thank you for your patience.

Best regards,

Catriona Cawley
Apple Developer Support

Jodie fired back:

Thanks for your reply. I’m sure you understand that what you have said is not legal. You cannot vary the terms of a contract and just keep my money – the law is very clear on this.

I have now placed the transaction into dispute with my card issuer, and they will issue the charge-back to you shortly.

All the best with your toxic practices in the future.

And then, after that little “tete-a-tete”, Apple acquiesced.

Hello Jodie

We are pleased make an exception to our no refund/no exchanges terms of purchase and have processed a refund for your iPhone Developer Program order.

Although we have processed your refund immediately, we request that you please allow 7-10 business days to post the transaction to your cardholder account.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please let me know.


iPhone Developer Program


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7 Comments For This Post

  1. Joe Says:

    Good riddance. We don’t need lazy developers who can’t even use appropriate tools for iPhone development. Especially whiney ones.

    For the record, Apple didn’t change the rules. It was clear that Flash was not acceptable from the start, but Adobe tried to skirt the existing rules with their Flash to iPhone converter. Apple simply clarified that this wasn’t acceptable.

    We’ll just have to live with the 200,000 developers who want to make GOOD iPhone apps.

  2. Doug Says:

    Glad you got your money back but this all seems a bit BS. I mean, Adobe CS5 hadn’t shipped prior to the change in the agreement, thus you couldn’t have been making applications with it before the change and there were no such tools prior to that. So ether you got your developers license in anticipation of CS5 becoming available on the hope that you could make workable applications or you are just another person who disagrees with Apple and wanted to make a bigger stink about it than just not developing for the platform.

    Whatever the case, I’m glad Apple did right by you even though you were a bit of a prick in your last email.

    On a side note, over the past couple decades most programs were written for a specific platform and then ported to others. In the past these were applications written for Windows and ported to OS X and the result were apps that were feature rich and fast on windows and lack features and less efficient on OS X. A great example of this just started shipping from Valve, it is their Steam gaming platform, which is far slower on OS X. Cross compilers can make matters worse because there is an extra layer to slow things down and limit access to platform specific API.

    Adobe knows all of this which is why CS5 was written for both Windows and OS X. They probably share some C libraries but they call into API’s specific to each platform which makes them good Applications.

  3. Scott B Says:

    @Doug. Great post, after readind the line about him using CS5 ” his fav tool”
    I thought B.S Also, what lies this guy is pushing out.
    CS5 was not released when he purchased the developers license.
    So as far as credibility goes he is full of sh**.

    Just goes to prove what idiots are out their grasping at a chace for 15 min of fame.. Or for this guy their is a lier born evey min.

  4. Jodie O'Rourke Says:

    @Scott B

    You spell it “liar”, and no, I’m not one of those either.

    I had Flash CS5 before I applied to the iPhone Developer Programme. Do you think it’s possible that Adobe might have people in their developer community testing their software before it’s released..? There have been iPhone apps generated using the Flash Compiler for iPhone trickling into the App Store since October 2009. It’s up to you to work out which ones they are 🙂

    It’s also worth mentioning that the change in the license agreement affected developers from all backgrounds – C# (MonoTouch), ActionScript (Flash and Elips) and JavaScript (Titanium and PhoneGap). This isn’t an Adobe Vs Apple argument, it’s Apple Vs Developers who like the market to decide whether or not their content is good. The fact stands: Apple changed a license agreement after I had accepted it, and I have a right to reject the new terms they wish to impose. That’s how a contract works.

    As an aside, please be careful about making personally offensive comments about me without first considering whether there is fact in them. I haven’t made any personal attacks on anyone, and I would ask that you offer the same respect in return.

    Thank you.

  5. lol Says:

    Looks like you’ve unleashed the Apple blog gestapo on you. Interesting

  6. leef Says:

    @Joe @Doug

    These two are pathetic. There’s no sense in talking to these types of fanboy.

  7. Stefan Richter Says:

    Thanks for the advice guys, it really is enlightening stuff.

    If you don’t mind I’ll go and check out those 200,000 good iPhone apps you mentioned. After all, it is impossible to write crappy apps in Obj-C. But then what do I know, I’m far too stupid to ever pick up such an elitist programming language anyway with this terribly Flash smokescreen clouding my mind.

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