Hidden fees in iPredict

Jan 12, 2010
64
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I would like to address the fact that if you do not live in the USA, this could (or actually will) be a very expensive trick for you to practice, and for your spectators when you perform this.

I feel like this is not addressed very well on the product page, due to the fact it is essential information yet very much near the bottom of that page, and it seems like the statement is more about that the calls and texts are "totally REAL" than about the fact that this could (or will) be a very expensive trick.

It costs at least €1.25 (= $1.64) to call from the Netherlands to a United States number with a smartphone (ordinary prepaid or on top of an ordinary monthly fee). Do you really want to pay this much for each time you're doing the trick, or even dare to have your spectators pay this much for you to perform it?
 
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Apr 1, 2009
1,077
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California
this can be done with text message as well right? get a free texting app. I live in South Korea but all my friends and family are in the states or elsewhere... Free texting apps work wonders
 
Jan 12, 2010
64
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But then you need your spectator to have a phone which you could install a free SMS service on (also, free texting usually isn't the same as free SMS, and requires the other side to have the same application installed as well). The beauty of iPredict is that you can use any phone's standards.

I would get a lot of people in trouble if I would have them pay anything on top of their usual phone bills, and to pay $0.70 (for SMS) or $1.64 (for a call) each performance myself would end up making this the most expensive trick ever.

On iTunes this fact is hidden as well. Not only that, but over there it says that "This will use your standard phone minutes" which does not apply to a whole lot of people who do not have international phone calls and SMS being part of their standard phone minutes and who will always have to pay for those outside of their bundles.
 
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Jan 8, 2010
968
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Glad you brought this up Mark. Saved me wasting my money.

This should be made very clear in the description.
 

Greg Rostami

Creator, <b><a href="http://www.theory11.com/trick
Jan 20, 2009
42
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Hi Mark and formula,

Thank you for your input about iPredict+

The idea of iPredict+ was to create the ultimate phone effect.

The design goal was to create an effect that would exactly look and feel like REAL magic.

Here are the goals of the app:

* There has to be a very strong motivation as to WHY you're using a phone.
* You should use a mobile phone for magic because it's ALWAYS with you.
* The app can't in ANY way look like you're using an app.
* Everything about the phone call has to sound and look REAL.
* If someone was to examine the phone before and after the performance they would find nothing.
* The phone/SMS log shows that you just made the phone/SMS call.
* It should work on ANY phone.
* Thousands of people can call the psychic at the same time.
* The psychic has to be customizable to accomodate the performer.
* The method has to be 100% invisible . . . even if people are BURNING your hands.
* The method has to be VERY easy so that anyone can learn it in 10 minutes.
* Every action should be motivated and kept to a minimum.
* You must be able to hand out the psychic's number BEFORE you start the effect.
* Everything should happen in the hands of the spectator.
* Any method of phone communication should be supported (Call and Text).

I'm very proud to say that we have exceeded our original design goals with iPredict+.


As far as the costs for the phone call . . .

The app description on the iTunes App store clearly explains that you are making REAL phone/text calls with iPredict+.
This information is repeated when you first install the app, and is the FIRST page of the manual. I think we have gone out of our way to make this VERY CLEAR to our customers.

Please keep in mind that when you are practicing iPredict+ you don't have to make a phone call. The app will give you the appropriate feedback.

In the US the minimum phone plan from ATT and Verizon include 450 minutes for $40 (that's not including unlimited night and weekend minutes).

Each call to the psychic lasts 30 seconds. If you performed iPredict+ 3 times a day, everyday, for a month, you would only use 47 minutes of your plan (3 x 31 x 30 seconds). That's not including the times that you'd perform this during nights and weekends which would be free.

Basically, each performance of iPredict+ costs $0.04 (Keep in mind that is if you have the cheapest plan with Verizon or ATT).

Hence, considering the above scenario of 93 performances/month would cost only $4.18 / month . . . about the cost of a Latte at Starbucks.

I've been performing iPredict for over 14 months . . . and I perform it a LOT. My version of the app keeps a log of how many times I perform it. My worst month so far has been 62 performances (I average about 50).

In closing, I hope you agree with me that paying 4 cents for such an incredible effect is worth it.

thank you,
Greg Rostami
 

j.bayme

ceo / theory11
Staff member
Jul 23, 2007
2,809
252
New York City
Hmm. Still I think Mark brings up a valid concern for our magicians over seas in foreign markets.

Totally valid point. We modified the iTunes description to make this more prominent (now in the second paragraph, instead of the bottom). Note that this was, however, mentioned from the start in the iTunes description, on theory11, and in the app when you open it for the first time.

For those within the USA, it's not a big deal at all, but for our international members, it is a valid consideration. Perhaps the best part about iPredict+ is that the phone calls and text message look SO real - and it's because they are 100% real. This is what makes iPredict+ so unique and deceptive. It's an amazing, distinctive thing about our app, but it does carry with it that downside for international members - that it is in fact a real phone call or text message.

For us, the only easy way around this would have been to make the phone calls or text messages fake, but that would diminish the deceptiveness of the app (plus, it's already been done before). Doing so would also remove the ability for this to be done on a spectator's phone, which is another one of the great strengths of iPredict+. Performing iPredict+ on the spectator's own phone will leave them TOTALLY speechless.

All in all, you are absolutely right that this is a consideration that should be made for international members prior to extensive use. But man is it powerful - the reaction on the spectators' faces when they hear the correct prediction on their own phone... amazing.
 
Jan 12, 2010
64
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Thank you for the replies, although, Greg, I hope you understand I meant everything except for magicians in the States in this case. Also, I would have appreciated it a bit more if this wasn't about how good the effect is because that, we all know already. Don't get me wrong, it is really only because I totally dig the effect that I actually had to address this major concern. It is what makes me use iForce every now and then, and leave iPredict+ for what is it while I feel like that should've been the other way around. $0.04 would've be absolutely worth it, even 10 cents would, but I hope you understand that $0.70 or $1.64, usually to be paid by the spectators, has been and still is holding me back.

Good job on correcting the statement, as well as making it a little more important! I felt like the only important place the statement was to be found was after buying the application, which of course shouldn't be the case.

Maybe it is an idea to include the 'fake' option for international users, who then can use my concern as the exact reason for making the call or sending the text with their own phone rather than doing it on the spectator's phone (and if the spectators are okay with paying the extra charges, they could still make the calls or send the text messages themselves). In the end, it stays a very powerful effect (and in some ways, I can see how using only one device instead of going back-and-forth has its positives as well.) ;)
 
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Josh Burch

Elite Member
Aug 11, 2011
2,961
1,096
Utah
Check out Max Krause for the fake option. The upsides, I think he has a couple languages available, and you don't even have to have reception. The downsides of his are remedied by theory11's version. You have to use your phone, it has to be an Iphone, not even droids would work.

In my opinion Theory11 has done a good job to remedy the downsides of the old version. Of course it is not perfect. Max Krause's effect might be what you're looking for on the fake side.

I believe the effect is called mental killer
 
Could an option be for T11 to buy other phone lines in other countries and up the price for international performers to buy the app? I myself am from the UK and I wouldn't mind paying £12 - £15 for it, which I think works out around $20ish..? There are loads of international performers who would buy this and so the money to buy the phone line would be covered extremely quickly. Just an idea, although it would solve the problem.

Simon_Magic
 
Jan 12, 2010
64
0
Check out Max Krause for the fake option. The upsides, I think he has a couple languages available, and you don't even have to have reception. The downsides of his are remedied by theory11's version. You have to use your phone, it has to be an Iphone, not even droids would work.

In my opinion Theory11 has done a good job to remedy the downsides of the old version. Of course it is not perfect. Max Krause's effect might be what you're looking for on the fake side.

I believe the effect is called mental killer
Thanks, but it is lacking what makes iPredict so strong and it has exactly what iPredict seems to lack. A combination of the two in one app would be absolutely perfect (like I explained, giving the spectator the option to call the number themselves as well).


Could an option be for T11 to buy other phone lines in other countries and up the price for international performers to buy the app? I myself am from the UK and I wouldn't mind paying £12 - £15 for it, which I think works out around $20ish..? There are loads of international performers who would buy this and so the money to buy the phone line would be covered extremely quickly. Just an idea, although it would solve the problem.

Simon_Magic
That would be rather expensive, if they would have to buy lines in almost every country. Calling to the UK may be a tad cheaper for all Europeans, but it still is an international call which is what spectators are uncomfortable with (I say that from experience as I did a phone act with a foreign friend.. even though he lived very, very close to the Netherlands). So that would let T11 no choice other than to buy lines from every country their customers are from, which you couldn't possibly expect from them.
 
Oct 21, 2009
3
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I thank MarkH for posting his review on this app. I only wished I had waited patiently for user reviews rather than buying the app for $9.99 USD.

Again for magicians residing outside of the US, usage of this app is totally out of the question for me and this should have been mentioned explicitly in the product description when they first released it which they didn't.

And now I found out to my horror that they lowered the price of this app to $2.99 USD. I wonder if the management spared a thought for customers like me who purchased the app at the $9.99 USD.

This is my first magic app that I have ever purchased and I am greatly disappointed with this purchase.

Regards,
Godwin Tan
Editor
www.reddotmagic.com
 

j.bayme

ceo / theory11
Staff member
Jul 23, 2007
2,809
252
New York City
Hey Godwin,

We always aim to exceed expectations, and I'm proud of the app and the originality and amazing method contained therein. As mentioned in Greg's post, the fact that the calls and texts in the app are real is it's greatest strength. It is that fact that enables you to perform it on ANY spectator's phone (as long as it can call or text), or even a landline phone. With that amazing benefit and power, comes the downside of making real phones and text messages - they are real.

For those within the USA, this is not a big deal at all - texts and calls are likely free (on Verizon or AT&T or T-Mobile, with any common cell phone plan). Note that the "hidden fees" mentioned in this post title are not in any way under our control, and we (theory11) don't make a cent from them.

The fact that the calls are real was mentioned in the iTunes description from the start, and at Mark's suggestion, we moved it up to the top of the description last week. The app also shows a notice reminding everyone that the calls and texts are real when you open the app for the first time. We wanted this to be as clear as possible, and it was surely never our intention to make anything confusing or unclear.

I certainly hope that your disappointment is not with the app itself, but moreso with the charges of your cell phone company in using it. This is not something we as the developers could avoid without making the calls fake (which would remove the benefit of using any spectator's phone, and reduce the deceptiveness of the method). We absolutely want you to be happy with your purchase, though, so please contact our support crew and we will do our best to ensure that you are 100% satisfied.

Regarding the pricepoint - that is a discount we were running in iTunes for Valentine's Day for 48 hours only, not a substantive / permanent change. The price will remain back at the original $9.99 pricepoint tomorrow evening. It's something we wanted to do as a promotion in appreciation of the great response the app received, and we are very thankful for that support.
 
Oct 21, 2009
3
0
Hi Jonathan,

I am fully aware that the calls made were real when I made the purchase. However merely stating that the calls are real does not highlight the costs involved for non-US users sufficiently.

I reside in Singapore and I am prepared to make a real call (as mentioned by the product description) using my LOCAL telecommunication services. Pls take a moment to register what I just said.

In the product description, it would be appropriate to have stated details to inform non-US customers that the real calls will require the services of the US telecommunication companies ONLY. It is only fair that this information void be filled.

You mentioned that the discount for the app was to show appreciation for the great response the app received. However, pls realise that the great response receiveD was brought about by customers who bought the app earlier at $9.99. How does lowering the price to $2.99 show appreciation to those who bought the app at the higher price?

Second, what messages does the discount send to customers who made the purchase early? Would it not encourage customers to adopt a "wait-it-out" approach? Certainly a customer base with a "wait-it-out" mentality would do no good in generating favourable sales levels. The lowering of price only make sense if you do it at the start of the launch of the app AKA "Early-Bird" pricing to rewards those who purchased the app early.

The discount made at this inappropriate timing only sends out the signals (regardless of intentions) that people have wasted their money buying the app early and should wait it out for Theory11 to throw some discount. It also suggests that there is no confidence in the product itself that it has to adopt a price discount strategy to compensate. From what I see, the discount for Valentines day is not to show appreciation for the great response received, but rather to create a great response for the app.

Kindly clarify if I have misunderstood anything.

Regards,
Godwin
 

j.bayme

ceo / theory11
Staff member
Jul 23, 2007
2,809
252
New York City
Hey Godwin,

We very rarely offer any discounts or promotions of any kind. Instead, we try to price our products fairly and reasonably from the start - especially our playing cards. In this case, we ran a 48 hour discount for Valentine's Day to help promote a new product we were and are very excited about. We don't have any sort of "early bird" pricing on any of our products. We do reserve our right, like every other store worldwide, to do promotions from time to time.

Of course, the 48 hour promotion was to create a great response for the app. Admittedly, we are not a non-profit organization, and the livelihood of our team (and ability to make more great things like this) depends on sale of our work. I don't think that's a bad thing - it's how any business operates.

Regarding the issue of the app making real calls, the product description on theory11 and iTunes says "Calls and texts to Christen are no different than any other call or text to the USA." Our goal on this was to be very clear from the start, and with suggestions and comments from our members, we immediately took steps to make this even MORE clear (moving it to the top of the iTunes description, etc). We are always appreciative and open to feedback, and we are extremely thankful for it. We are certainly not perfect, and we rely on feedback from this community to improve, advance, and evolve.

I think the overwhelmingly positive reviews and the brilliant method of this app speak for themselves. I think iPredict+ is a BRILLIANT app with an ingenious, diabolical method by Greg Rostami. And at $9.99, including 30+ minutes of HD video instruction, it's a bargain. I spent more at Starbucks this morning (two Doubleshots and a Mocha Latte!).

I understand that you are dissatisfied with your purchase. That is okay - to each his own, and I understand why this particular effect may be difficult or costly for you to perform regularly with your international phone provider in Singapore. Please contact our support team privately and we would be more than willing to refund or credit your purchase to make sure you are happy!
 
Sep 7, 2008
612
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iPredict+ is the greatest thing that happened to my new 4s.
On my old iPod Touch, I used to switch between MK and the original iPredict, but with the cool updates, I think iPredict+ prevails.

I love it!
 

Greg Rostami

Creator, <b><a href="http://www.theory11.com/trick
Jan 20, 2009
42
0
Hi Jeff,

I'm glad you're having fun with iPredict. Coming from you it means a lot.
Congrats on your new iPhone 4S.
I would love to hear how you're using it.

all the best,
Greg Rostami
 
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