Todo iPad

RTM and Appigo go at it over RTM API access

Well well.  It would appear that the folks at Remember the Milk and Appigo are in a bit of a dust-up over the Appigo iPhone/iPad app Todo.

Just a quick piece of information to make the story clear: the Todo app on both iPhone and iPad supported syncing with two web-based services: Toodledo and Remember the Milk.  As of 5/11/10 the folks at Remember the Milk shut off API access to Todo.  This was done without notifying customers.

The Appigo side of the story basically says that on 5/11/10 they were contacted via email from Remember the Milk and notified that access to the sync API had been shut off for Todo iPhone.   Appigo claims that the sync code for iPad was the same which is why they were using the same API key as the iPhone application.  They also claim that they have tried working with Remember the Milk to resolve the situation with no success.  Needless to say they have removed the RTM module from Todo and have worked with Toodledo to get RTM users 6 months free of Toodledo Pro.

I don’t know the details of the behind-the-scenes exchanges between the two parties but Appigo handled the situation, from a customers perspective, perfectly.  The status on the problem was matter-of-fact and cordial with no bad words for RTM.   Furthermore they worked with Toodledo to get RTM users a nice free period to switch over to Toodledo Pro if they want to try Toodledo.   Kudos to Toodledo for doing that.  Also a good way to get some new customers :)

Remember the Milk on the other hand come out smelling like a steaming pile on this one.  Emily from RTM, in the forums posted this:

Like many companies, our API is available for non-commercial use, with commercial use only available to select partners and products by prior permission. Third-parties who are interested in using the API commercially in a product can submit a business proposal for our consideration.

Appigo didn’t have a commercial license to use the Remember The Milk API for this app (and didn’t even apply for one); the first we became aware of the existence of this app was its launch on the App Store yesterday.

Unfortunately, despite being perfectly aware they didn’t have a commercial API license for any products beyond their iPhone app, Appigo chose to launch and advertise their new app with a Remember The Milk sync feature. The sync feature subsequently does not work, and this has resulted in a lot of confusion and disappointment for users. :(

We’ve given Appigo plenty of chances to do the right thing (they’ve been warned in the past about API terms violations), so we’ve been really disappointed in their recent behaviour. We take any abuse of the API very seriously, and have ended any relationship with this company; they will not have access to the API in the future.

We apologise to users affected. For any Remember The Milk users who were misled about this iPad app’s support for syncing with our service, if you upgraded to Pro on May 12 or May 13, 2010 to use this app, we will happily refund your Pro account payment (please contact us to request a refund; requests will be accepted until May 20, 2010). Any requests for refunds for the iPad app itself should be directed to Apple.?

It’s nice that RTM is willing to refund Pro payments for people who bought the iPad app on 5/12 or 5/13 but what about the folks using the iPhone version?  RTM is shitting on their customers.   I understand they need to protect their business but based on the Appigo side I find it hard to believe that RTM was working very hard to remedy this situation and the only losers are RTM customers.

A bit later in the thread of forum posts Emily says this:

It was a deliberate act on their part to abuse the API, and launch an app knowing they were not licensed to do so. They counted on the fact that if we terminated their API access after they launched this app, we’d have a bunch of upset Remember The Milk users on our hands. :(?

I already posted about why I left RTM and this whole thing makes me completely sure my choice was the right one.  What a company.  Sheesh.  They counted on the fact that RTM would have a bunch of upset users on their hands?  Why in the world would Appigo want to do that?  It makes no sense given that those affected would also be Appigo customers as well!   Why would they want to piss off those users directly?

If there are any other reasons needed here to *not* support RTM by paying them $25 for a stagnant product this is another.  What a crappy way to do business.  Good riddance.