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Jason G avatar image
Jason G asked

App is suspended because "we determined that your app encourages piracy or illegal download of content." Several follow-ups with support - please help!

Hello, I don't know what to do here. I have tried several times with support and keep getting the same canned, unhelpful response back:

"...your app encourages piracy or illegal download of content."

My app, which has been live since June, is very simple - it displays a read-only, full-screen web page on a Fire TV Stick or FireTV. I submitted a small update (updated an API URL) but the functionality did not change at all so I am scratching my head as to why this would cause my update to be rejected and my app to be suspended.

I keep updating the ticket asking support to provide more clarity on specifically why it is in violation but I keep getting the same canned response back. Completely lost on what to do here - can anyone help?


@Cheryl@Amazon, @Mike@Amazon - I see (and really appreciate) you both are active on provide responses to similar questions so I'm hopeful you can help me too

app submission and updatescontent
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Jason G avatar image Jason G commented ·

GOOD NEWS TEAM! I finally got some actionable feedback on my app (a few small changes) and am in process of making those corrections now. I will resubmit the updated version in a few days so let's hope this time the app review process goes a bit smoother....wish me luck!

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Jacek avatar image Jacek Jason G commented ·

Great to hear that Jason!

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Jason G avatar image Jason G commented ·
ACTIVITY TO GET THIS RESOLVED: I tweeted this to the @AmazonAppDev account (I also DM'd them a few days ago with no response)


Hi @AmazonAppDev - I'm having some trouble getting Amazon Developer Support via the 'Contact Us' page to respond to an inquiry about an app I submitted. I've followed up several times with them but still no response. Could you help me with this?
#AmazonDevs
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Jason G avatar image Jason G Jason G commented ·

So these guys replied but it was not helpful at all- they asked me to go back to the Contact Us page which, if you've been following this insanely idiotic situation, is the source of the problem - can't get the support team to respond with anything meaningful.

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Jason G avatar image Jason G commented ·

ACTIVITY TO GET THIS RESOLVED: I added another comment to my case:

Can you please respond to this case?

Still no responses from the last 4 times I've submitted a follow-up on this case. So frustrating

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Jason G avatar image Jason G commented ·

ACTIVITY TO GET THIS RESOLVED: followed up on my case again to get this resolved. Based on the testing data I believe this team is based in India so I tried to ask them in Hindi:

krpaya meree madad karen


Translates to "please help me". We'll see if this gets any response. This is follow-up #6 where I have not yet received a response.

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Jason G avatar image Jason G commented ·

ACTIVITY TO GET THIS RESOLVED: I tweeted the following to @AmazonDev @JeffBezos @Mariuxtheone @Amazon Help:


@AmazonHelp - it's been 2 weeks with no responses from the Contact Us support team. Can you help me escalate this?


They responded:

We're sorry for the delay in receiving a response. When you have a moment, please leave us your details here: https://amzn.to/2IjebAe, and we'll be in touch with you as soon as we've got an update. ^PF


I went to the link provided and filled out the form explaining my situation and provided my cell phone number and they said they would call. We'll see if anyone calls. Am I feeling hopeful? Not particularly


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Jason G avatar image
Jason G answered

Hi all, as you can see from my question, my app was originally rejected because "we determined that your app encourages piracy or illegal download of content.” Almost 2 months later, my app is now live so I wanted to share my journey in hopes that it will help others.

I knew this was not the correct judgement on my app so I opened a case and kept getting the same canned response (….your app encourages piracy or illegal download….) or no response. I had some good encouragement and early advice from @Jacek and on Twitter at @SeeOtterTV that helped me through it. Please mentally prepare yourself – this will be a long journey and will require you to take action almost every day.


The first thing I would do (if you haven’t already) is to provide clear testing steps in the APK Files tab.


Second, open a case via the Contact Us link and be sure you’re checking your app’s log files daily to see if someone has actually performed any testing on your app. After the initial submission I would give it 2-3 business days for a response and then I would start following up. You’ll need to follow-up a lot so set a daily calendar reminder to do it.


Third, if after the first few tries you don’t seem to be getting anywhere with support, I would escalate via Twitter to: @AmazonHelp, @AmazonAppDev, I also added @Mariuxtheone (EU Manager of Developer Marketing & Evangelism for Amazon Content and Apps), and @JeffBezos (long shot, I know). @AmazonHelp will be the one responding. @AmazonHelp won’t be the one actually answering your questions but they can help create some ‘noise’ to get your case escalated to more senior support personnel.


In my journey, the senior support personnel actually gave me some legit feedback (nothing related to the original encouraging piracy rejection) so I made those changes, resubmitted my app, and my app is now live in the app store.


To give you a sense of the journey (again, so you can mentally prepare) – I actually ended up opening 3 cases – followed up almost daily…probably a total of 35 follow-ups across all the cases. I followed-up and/or requested updates via Twitter 17 times. So it’s a long haul but you’ll get there – they’ll either publish your app or give you actionable feedback to take in order to correct and resubmit your app.


One item that I didn’t understand early on is the forum moderators have their hands tied when it comes to giving advice on your specific app as that is supposed to come from the support team via the Contact Us link.


I hope this helps and if you’re reading this because you’re in a similar situation I would encourage you to not lose the faith. Keep pushing and you’ll get there. Best of luck!


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Mike@Amazon avatar image
Mike@Amazon answered

Hi Jason,

Unfortunately, because your issue is regarding your specific app, we can't help in the forums and this will have to be handled by our support team.

Please continue to use the Contact Us form to resolve this issue.

Thanks,

Mike

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Jason G avatar image Jason G commented ·

Hi @Mike@Amazon, I appreciate your response and understand you cannot comment on a specific app. My experience and the experience of many others on here seems to be the same. I guess my broader question is: is there any other way to engage with support or escalate within support?


To give you a sense of my frustration and the frustration in the community on this, here is the back and forth:


Me: *submitted app update*

Support: Rejected the app due to Amazon Content Policy Compatibility: Your app encourages piracy or illegal download of content.

My Support Ticket: Can you help me understand why I was given this reason for rejection? I have read the content policy and don't believe I'm in violation.

Support Response: Hi, We are contacting you regarding the app that you submitted for sale through the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program. In reviewing your app, we determined that your app encourages piracy or illegal download of content

Me Updating Support Ticket: I strongly believe the assessment...is incorrect. Please help me understand why I'm receiving this feedback. Thank you

Support Response: Hi, We are contacting you regarding the app that you submitted for sale through the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program. In reviewing your app, we determined that your app encourages piracy or illegal download of content.

So I hope you can understand our frustration. Any advice/guidance on navigating support?

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Jason G avatar image Jason G commented ·

@Mike@Amazon - it's been 2 weeks with no reply from the Contact Us support team....what should i do?


@Jacek - FYI

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Jacek avatar image Jacek commented ·

@Mike@Amazon

However, you can help by escalating this issue, as the feedback they provide is basically garbage. Devs are trying to resolve those issues for long time, and that team in Elbonia just doesn't read English, just pushes the same BS over and over.

Thanks, Jacek

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Jason G avatar image Jason G commented ·

Hi @Mike@Amazon - I followed-up with support again after our last exchange on this thread to ask for more detail and got no response. I just followed up with them again. This is like 6 times reaching out asking for clarification from them with nothing but a useless, canned response if they do respond.

Any advice?

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Jason G avatar image Jason G commented ·

Hi @Mike@Amazon, well - I followed-up with support again and received this:


We are contacting you regarding an application that you have submitted for sale through the Amazon Developer Program.
Your application contains content that violates our content guidelines or your Mobile App Distribution Agreement with us.
You can find our content guidelines here: https://developer.amazon.com/docs/policy-center/understanding-content-policy.html. As a result, we have rejected your application.
If we find future instances where submitted content does not comply with our content guidelines or your Amazon Developer Services Agreement with us, we may terminate your Appstore Developer account.
Title Rejected: Itsbooked TV Display
Please do not resubmit this app or similar apps in the future.


After reading the content policy, I STRONGLY believe I am still well within compliance. Like I said in my original post, this app has been live for 5 months already so I rally think they missed the mark here. Do I resubmit a ticket hoping it gets to someone who can actually help and risk getting my account terminated?

What steps can I take on this?

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Mike@Amazon avatar image Mike@Amazon ♦ Jason G commented ·

Hi Jason,

Please continue to follow up with our support team regarding this issue. Unfortunately, we can't assist with sensitive app-specific issues like this in the public forums.

Thanks,

Mike

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Jason G avatar image Jason G Jason G commented ·

@Mike@Amazon any general advice here? I keep following up with support and keep getting the same canned response

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newuser-a96dc42f-c2ae-4854-afc1-de3095e2150c avatar image
newuser-a96dc42f-c2ae-4854-afc1-de3095e2150c answered

My app too was rejected for the same reason, I dont know why

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Jason G avatar image Jason G commented ·

Sorry to hear that. I assume you've opened a case via the Contact Us page?

If you look at the comments on my original question I am posting my daily activity that I am taking to get this resolved in hopes that it will help others.

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ABINADABE SADRAK PAZ DA SILVA avatar image
ABINADABE SADRAK PAZ DA SILVA answered

Hoje aconteceu comigo um aplicativo, com a penas uma barra de navegacao para donwlaod de arquivos e os mesmo estao negando ..

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