App Store again lets users 'report a problem' like scam apps

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Years after quietly removing the ability for users to report App Store problems such as scam apps, Apple has equally quietly brought it back — with some improvements.

Previously, if users bought an app from the App Store and it scammed them in some way, they had a way to immediately tell Apple. It didn't necessarily offer an redress, but it was a way to report that there was an issue.

Apple removed this feature some years ago, but as of this writing, it is beginning to reappear on the App Store. The new "Report a Problem" feature is initially limited to the US, and it may also be taking time to propagate to all users, and all apps.

Where available, though, "Report a Problem" is an option in every app's description. It's listed in the Information section, alongside details such as age rating, category and so on.

When selected, the feature leads to a similar system as before, but with one important extra. There is now the ability to specifically mark an app as being "Scam or Fraud."

Plus it appears that it's now possible for a user to report such an app without having been defrauded. Users cannot report an app they have not installed, but they now can report it without having also had to buy any in-app purchases.

"Report a Problem" on the App Store, seen here on iPad

So Apple is protecting app developers from malicious or mistaken tagging as scams, but it's also allowing people to report what they find.

Apple's reintroduction of the feature follows very many reports of so-called "fleeceware," apps which offer free trials and then very high subscriptions. They make money by people forgetting they have to unsubscribe before the end of the trial period.

It's a profitable enough scam that reportedly more than $400 million has been made by these apps.