Monday, June 4, 2012

Hearst thanks readers for their feedback, then totally ignores their feedback with Cosmo tablet app update

It's one thing to decide that print subscribers must pay for their digital editions – that's a business decision – it's quite another thing to claim to be listening to the feedback from readers then totally ignore that feedback – that's just mean.
Hearst Communications update the app for Cosmopolitan Magazine, fixing some bugs and adding some enhancements.

But it is the app description that will make some print readers a bit upset:

We have made a number of improvements and taken your feedback into account with our newest version of the Cosmopolitan app. Please update to benefit from the latest enhancements and bug fixes, and please keep the feedback coming.

Gee, that's nice, but what have their readers been telling them? That if they have already paid for print they don't want to pay again for digital. Why say you're listening to reader feedback, then continue on as if you're not?

Not surprisingly, the first two new reviews in the App Store are negative: "Grrr. Still can't get iPad version of the magazine if you subscribe to the print magazine. Make the digital version accessible to print subscribers, and I will make my rating better."

The second reviewer says that they have have signed up for the digital edition to say the time and effort of going to the store to buy the print edition, but that they find that the digital editions are coming out after the print edition has appeared in the mailbox.

Hearst is producing pretty good app editions, but they should be a bit careful with their app descriptions because they are inviting harsh criticism.