App Store kicks out Ukrainian app, customer sues developer
Rooki.net, a Lviv-based food and medicine delivery service for elderly people, ordered the development of a mobile application for iOS. The finished application was not allowed on the App Store, and the customer filed a lawsuit against the developer. In their opinion, the application was not published through the fault of the contractor. This story is also interesting because the third party involved is the Ukrainian office of Apple, which is already registered and recruiting employees but has not been officially launched.
AIN.UA editor tells the details of the story.
On April 3, 2020, the customer hired a programmer (private entrepreneur) to develop an iOS application for Rooki.net service and publish it in the App Store. The parties concluded an agreement. The customer transferred UAH 40,500 to the developer for the work. According to the case file, the programmer wrote the application, but the customer was unable to test it due to some flaws.
The customer filed a lawsuit against the programmer because he believes that the latter poorly fulfilled his obligations and did not fulfill the contract’s terms. The plaintiff asked the court to terminate the agreement and recover material losses from the programmer in the amount of UAH 48,500 and UAH 10,000 in moral damages.
On September 25, the Sykhivskiy District Court of Lviv accepted the claim for consideration. On March 16, 2021, the court ruled against the plaintiff. The court made this decision because it established that on May 6, 2020, the programmer fulfilled the obligations under the contract “in full,”i.e., created a working Rooki application verified by the plaintiff, which was transferred to the App Store platform. The court did not find evidence that the plaintiff had drawn up a bilateral document with a list of necessary improvements and a deadline for completion on the app. Also, the court did not find evidence that the customer corresponded with the contractor and told him about the claims and flaws in the application.
At the same time, the customer (who wished to remain anonymous) in the commentary to AIN.UA said that the FOP (private entrepreneur) had missed the application development deadline and refused to make the necessary improvements to it, and erased all correspondence as soon as he received a complaint from the customer:
“The applications (Android and iOS) were developed for volunteer assistance to the elderly. Problems arose in the performer’s dishonest attitude: deadlines were disrupted, the application, as a result, did not meet the App Store requirements due to the lack of a volunteer verification mechanism. As a result, the contractor refused to make the necessary improvements to the application, and after receiving the claim, he erased all the correspondence in Telegram.”
It should be noted that the Android version of the Rooki app was published on Google Play in April 2020 (in the same month, the contract for the development of the iOS app was concluded as well).
The third party in the case is the Ukrainian office of Apple. In December 2020, the same court ruled to request data from Apple concerning the reason why the app was not published on the online store, as well as whether this decision was due to technical or software flaws in the app.
The customer of the application does not agree with the court’s decision and is now preparing an appeal.