With a case of bad communication now cleared up, YouMail has made its way back to the Android Market. As it turns out, T-Mobile was to blame for the pulling but it was all pretty much a misunderstanding and if nothing else -- a hard lesson for YouMail. As noted on the YouMail blog, here is what happened:
- First, a subset of the YouMail Android applications have a real problem. It looks like 15,000 users who went straight from 1.8.3 (an old version) to 2.0.45 (the one that was in the market and was taken down) got into a situation where the app is polling our servers continuously (the polling time got set to zero). Of course, this leads to a host of issues for those clients, such as bad battery life, and a boatload of transactions, eating up network bandwidth. T-mobile saying that we disrupted their network is fair, though we were unknowingly causing that.
- Second, T-mobile did try to reach out to us that they were seeing an issue. Unfortunately, it was in way that was almost guaranteed to be ineffective, and is probably not how businesses should communicate. As far as we can tell, one of their engineering team sent an e-mail to our free customer support e-mail address in early November, and one of the support team basically replied it’s fixed in next release and treated it as resolved, not reporting it to anyone else. With 1000s of e-mails/week from over two million registered users, random users weekly threatening to pull us from various stores, and lots of users with tmobile.com email addresses, it was easy for this one message to get lost in the shuffle.
- Third, after almost 30 days with no response from us, T-mobile went to Google with charts showing the traffic our bad apps were generating, said we were unresponsive, and that the traffic was growing quickly. Google then immediately cut us off - without ever sending us an e-mail beforehand, or providing us anyway to contact someone at T-mobile. That left us wondering what the heck was going on - and having a hard time figuring it out.
So, as you can tell -- T-Mobile did have genuine concerns wth YouMail disrupting their network but they seemingly went about handling them the most uneffective way possible. Either way, lesson learned -- one for YouMail and potentially other developers out there and now YouMail is back in the Android Market where it belongs.