Thursday, June 25, 2015

Brace yourselves, the Money are coming!

10 days ago, I received this e-mail:



Before I jump on Samsung, let me slap Google first, just for warm-up. I went to my Google mail web UI to get the above screenshot and see when exactly it came, so I could start the 1st sentence in this post accurately. And here is how the line in my Google web UI looked like:


Ok, 9:09 am. ON WHICH DAY?!? Seriously, they tell you the time of the message, but not the day - for the past 10 days or so?!? Messages from June 11th and older have a date instead of time, so it is not like they just forgot to add the date. There is actually a special handling in their code, written by a real programmer and probably designed by a real designer and passed real QA, which makes the timestamps work like this. Fucking amazing!

But, screw Google (for now), this post is all about Samsung.

First, in case you haven't read my previous posts carefully - "Settlement Report" is supposed to come when your profit from selling apps on the Samsung market exceeds $150 and they are about to send you the money.
To cut your enthusiasm early - nope, I still haven't received any money ... yet. But they are coming.
After few days without payment, I decided to write Samsung and ask them when to expect the money. Here is their answer:


• Here is the answer to your enquiry.
Dear Customer,

Thank you for contacting us. We appreciate the opportunity to assist you.

Regarding your inquiry, we would like to inform you that if you have the settlement report confirmed your revenue is exceeded 150 USD, then you may expect the payment to be paid to your PayPal account at the end of the month around 30st. If you do not get the payment by then, please contact us again with screenshots of the settlement report. We will further look into the matter for you.

Besides, please be noted that the settlement cycle begins on 15th of every month.

We hope this information could be useful.

Ok, so June 30th. No rush.

But:

- Why on earth are they sending me an e-mail on June 15th to tell me that they are about to send me some money 2 weeks later?!? What is the point of this report?

- What the fuck do they mean by "If you do not get the payment by then"? Does that happen too? And why am I surprised?

- I fail to explain to myself how "settlement cycle begins on 15th every month" relates to "Period : Apr 19, 2015 ~ May 31, 2015". This is more confusing than women's cycles and periods!

- This one is funny too: "Settlement Status : Settlement Confirm", "Estimated Transfer Payment : USD 472.70". Which one is it - Confirmed or Estimated?!?


And now, let's talk about numbers.
I have mentioned before, that Samsung offers plenty of information on their developers' website.
I am about to present it to you in more details.

There are "Accounting" and "Statistics" tabs in their site's main UI.

I think I have ranted about "Statistics" enough already (see my older posts). But, for completeness, check out how my "daily downloads" look like today:


"Accounting" has 3 sub-tabs - "Sales Summary", "Financial Report" and "Settlement Report".

As I mentioned in my previous post, "Sales Summary" gives you detailed information about your sales, but does not include any totals. According to Samsung:
  • Sales Summary is a monthly performance report that updates daily the revenue through SAMSUNG Galaxy Apps and the income of the seller.
    Although the report can be queried monthly, the data are updated daily.
    Therefore, the users can query the updated performance everyday.
So I made a little program to summarize the data and present it in a decent way. I downloaded the data once per day since June 14th. Today it looks like this:


"Updates daily", my ass. More like "every couple of days, at random times".
Now if someone can explain me the relation between these numbers and the ones in the "Statistics" image before - be my guest. I am pretty sure neither of them reflect the truth.

Here is how my "Financial Reports" look like for April and May:





Now, time for observations:

- "Sales Summary" (remember, this is their data, my app just displays it properly) says $211 for April and $466 for May. "Monthly Reports" (their other data) say $88 for April and $400 for May. Cool, huh? I actually have an explanation for this - it looks like "Financial Reports" do not cover the last week (or so) of the month. Since I released my app on April 19th, the differences for April are big.

- If you sum "Financial Reports" for April and may you get $489.76. The "Settlement Report" says $472.70. Pretty close, but not the same. Again, financial reports don't reflect the last week of the month, and maybe Settlement report does? But if it did it should be $211 + $466, shouldn't it? More likely, it is like the financial reports, but minus some payments which are not yet received by Samsung (they say some mobile operators can pay as late as 6 months after). I don't know.

- Oh, and just to complete the picture, according to their "Statistics", here are the monthly sales totals before taxes and commissions: April: $282.45; May: $628.65; June: $714.73 (Total: $1625.83).

So, Samsung generously provide me with at least 4 different ways to get some information about how my app is doing. And they all show 4 different results! At the end, all I get is confusion and headache.
If they only gave me one, I would have no other option but to accept it as "the truth" and move on (and several of my blog posts would not exist).

The real truth is: Their data (or at least the way it is presented) is a big fucking mess, just like their software.

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