App rejections are an unfortunate and dreaded aspect of launching a new app. It’s bound to happen at some point, and in the case of subscriptions and in-app purchases, it’s usually not something that you or RevenueCat can resolve.
RevenueCat can’t contact Apple on your behalf and we can’t expedite the review process, but we can help you troubleshoot the rejection and work toward a resolution.
If you’ve read through our docs on rejections and are still having issues, read on.
Background / Review Environment
Unfortunately, Apple’s sandbox environment is notoriously flaky - there are regular outages and sometimes purchases can get hung up in their system. Most of the time this error is due to sandbox downtime, but you can read about all the causes for this error in our guide on error handling.
Even worse is that Apple’s reviewers use this unstable environment for App Review, which can cause issues when the reviewer tests in-app purchases like subscriptions.
The App Review team typically doesn’t acknowledge these issues, but we know when their endpoints are down, and we’ve seen enough rejections to know generally how and why the errors are happening.
The good news is that Apple uses a separate production environment that is much more stable for live purchases, and these issues aren’t often seen in the same manner as in the sandbox environment.
The reviewer can’t fetch products
This is a very common cause for rejections. Typically, testing in sandbox works as expected, but when it comes time for review, the reviewer says they aren’t able to fetch your products.
This typically only occurs for the first release of an app. The reviewer can’t fetch products because they haven’t approved the products yet, or the products haven’t propagated fast enough for their testing. In these cases, we recommend asking the reviewer to review the products first, then resubmitting your app for review.
Some developers have had to resubmit the exact same build up to a dozen times before making it through App Review. It feels futile, but if you’re facing this issue, you’re not alone!
My kids app was rejected
You’ll want to be sure you aren’t accidentally including the AdSupport framework - this isn’t allowed to be included in a kids app.
The reviewer requested a business/pricing model explanation
Apple sometimes requires businesses to explain their decisions that led to their pricing model to ensure subscriptions are appropriate for an app before approving the app for the App Store.
We don't have any specific suggestions for these cases, as each app will differ in their pricing models and requirements. We recommend following up with the information they requested so that they can continue their review.
It may be worth taking a look at Apple's review guidelines regarding in-app purchases as well.