BlackBerry has been caught changing the end date on its BlackBerry 10 app program from March 4, 2014 to March 4, 2013. As a result, developers who built apps with the expectation of receiving bonus payouts for their efforts are being left out in the cold.
A few developers started to notice the problem a few weeks ago and posted about it on the BlackBerry Support Community Forums. Yesterday, the real problem was posted in a separate thread: BlackBerry had changed a single digit on this blog post.
Here is what it looks like today:
Back in September 2012, the company known at the time as RIM announced the Build For BlackBerry program, which allowed developers to submit native apps for approval without charge. It also introduced its $10K Developer Commitment, which incentivized developers with a promise of a minimum of $10,000 in earnings from their app: if their app earned at least $1,000 on its own (but less than $10,000) over 12 months, BlackBerry would pay the difference.
RIM called it a strategy for “putting our money where our mouth is.” After much success, the company extended the program and set the sale dates for the 10k Commitment between 12:01am ET on March 4, 2013 and 11:59pm ET on March 3, 2014.
In fact, those dates are still intact on the “Extending the Deadline for Built for BlackBerry” blog post, which makes the aforementioned change to the “Built for BlackBerry and the 10K Developer Commitment: Dates to Remember” that much more jarring. How can the sale period start date and end date be the same day?
BlackBerry is in no position to lose app developers. The company may claim this change was made “in error” but even if that’s true, it needs to pay those that took a bet on the new BlackBerry 10 platform as promised, not attempt to trick them to save some money.
We have contacted BlackBerry about this issue. We will update this article if and when we hear back.
Update at 11:35PM EST: “On March 4, 2014 the BlackBerry $10k Developer Commitment program came to an end,” a BlackBerry spokesperson told TNW. “At that time, it came to our attention that there were discrepancies between the original terms and conditions and a related blog post originally published on March 2, 2013. We corrected the blog post to accurately reflect the official program dates. We are honoring all eligible submissions received by the deadline as outlined in the official terms and conditions, or the original blog post. We can assure you that nobody who qualified will be missing out.”
I pointed out to BlackBerry that the 2013 date was the problem, as the previous blog post clearly shows.
Update at 6:30AM EST: “The discrepancies were related to the requirements around the Built for BlackBerry acceptance,” the BlackBerry spokesperson told TNW. “The change in date from 2014 to 2013 was a clerical error.”
The date on blog post has now been fixed. We’ll have to wait and see if the developers in question get paid.
Top Image Credit: Justin Sullivan/Staff