We are a team of 8 people working on a shopify app. 3 of us are founders. For the last 1.5 years we had been working tireless on our app. I was bearing all the costs for the project and the team. I and my co founders were working without pay ever since . Yes in these tough times we were working without getting paid for the last 1.5 years. Finally last month we submitted our app for Shopify review store.
It was rejected because it had some issues and some guidelines were not being followed. Fair enough, we did the changes and submitted and after a few trials, it was finally moved into "conversation mode". It seemed like we were getting a step closer, to be honest I was quite excited. Finally some good news after struggling for 1.5 years without getting paid and living in despair and lockdowns for so long. We all know about the covid situation in India. One of childhood friend's dad died. One of the guy who just lives next door to me died. Literally next door. You all must have seen dead bodies floating in the rivers and dead being cremated on streets. I had kept my head down all this & had just kept working. I finally had something to look up to. But anyways, along this review process we were requested to make a change which actually contradicts the guidelines of shopify. According to the reviewer, we cannot ask for myshopify url for installation of the app should only happen from the store. Something which was impossible because the app was not on the store yet.
We asked the reviewer, what we were supposed to do since it was a catch 22 situation. The reviewer never responded. So much so for calling it "conversation mode" for the review process. We went ahead and made the changes as specified and we just put a dummy link to the app store.
Which again was a problem to the reviewer. So you see we were stuck in a loop. We couldn't ask for the link where the app had to be installed and since our app wasn't approved yet it was impossible to give them the link from which they can install our app from.
So I requested for shopify support to step in and see what's going on. Yes I was frustrated, i contacted the support multiple times. Something which was used against me in the emails. I contacted them on twitter and Also the reviewer personally on facebook, explaining the whole thing. I know I should have not contacted him on facebook but I was frustrated and disheartened however I was civil. Most of the support staff told me I should contact the reviewer (who wasn't responding to our explanation by the way, even said 1 on 1 support was not possible) It was escalated to the governance team which again was forwarding it to the reviewer for response. The reviewer said it was a catch 22 situation. Something we had always been telling him all along and asked us to make the final change and remove the part where we were asking for myshopify url. A change which we had already done previously but were denied already.
We also showed 3 links from shopify's own guidelines which contradicted the reviewer's request for this change, something we had been doing all along but were never responded to. One of the link even has instructions on how to do so.
The reviewer told us that not every detail can be explicitly noted in the docs. Fair enough, however It's one thing when a point is not noted in the doc, and entirely different thing when the guidelines contradict what the reviewer is requesting. What we are we supposed to do? We kept asking
We were threatened by the reviewer that if we are unable to make the changes our app could go back into draft and mode and repeated rejections can lead the account to suspension.
At that point and many times before, I asked for the governance team to step in and asked how can we work if we are threatened like this? I didn't ask for a review. I showed the guidelines again. And within an hour we received a message that our account has been suspended forever and there was nothing I could do about it. Everything we had been working hard for so long just gone. Thousands of dollars, countless hours and hopes and dreams of 8 people gone. Gone at someone's whim.
Never ever have I felt so hopeless and disappointed in my entire life .
I would say rebrand, start a new account and redo the installation method to their liking and then resubmit.
I had a similar situation where I had it so the user would create an account on our website, then install the shopify app from there. They did not like that and I had to change. So I made it so that after the customer clicks the install app button, it goes straight into the OAuth process, saves the oauth data with the domain, then goes through an account creation process on my site. Works fine. I've been working on my website for more then 3 years, the shopify app took 6 months. It's hard, but you should try again...