Developer David Watanabe programs beautiful software with elegant interfaces. But I’ve noticed a clear thread in many discussions surrounding Dave’s products: that he’s really rude. Here are some verbatim comments from around the web.

“I realised that Id rather not have to recount my movements to a complete stranger just for the privilege of running an RSS reader. Im also worried by the fact that a licence I thought was perpetual can be revoked so arbitrarily.” - Charles Miller

“Dave is a very arrogant, self-centered, egotistical (you get the picture) asshole who listens to his users and responds exactly 1% of the time. The rest of the time he will insult you or perhaps not respond at all. Do a nice search around the web and youll see what I mean. I PAID for his product and it stopped working a week later. After not responding to three emails, he finally responded to the fourth saying that for technical reasons and fear of piracy, he would be unable to repair my registration. This is no joke. DO NOT give this asshole your hard earned $.” - George Bezel

“Inquisitor, great app. Asshole developer. I flatly refuse to pay for his applications. (and therefore I don’t use them anymore)” - anonymous

“I think I can easily sum up the sentiments of many when I say “this guy is a fucking jerk for charging us to use a program that is predominately used to steal other software”.” - dook

“If you look at my previous reviews I have recommended this Application whole-heartedly. I still think it is a good piece of software, but when a “developer” completely ignores all your emails and bans you FOREVER from posting on his “feedback” site, all because I want a new serial number that works (I’ve still got the receipt) it makes you want to warn everybody what a dishonest thief David Watanabe really is.” - twelveightyone

“His customer service sucks ass. He’s an asshole. I have no real axe to grind so to speak, I am merely pointing out that my service with that individual is horrible.” - UnLogikal

“I sure wish I’d discovered NetNewsWire or NetNewsWire Lite before I paid the registration for this POS. The app uses a phone-home authentication scheme, which broke for me when I tried to manually sync my data to another mac (the app has no built-in sync). Despite having shelled out $20 to use this, my repeated emails to the developer to get my valid registration reactivated were unanswered. Totally unacceptable. If he’s going to charge for his app, he at least needs to take responsibility for making sure the application works. Also, the application was slow, and hogged resources with anything more than a small number of feeds. I wouldn’t recommend it even if you don’t mind dealing with a**hole developers. Get NetNewsWire if you want to actually use your software without being nagged.” - Jesse Gillespie

“The problem is the developer. He specializes in software explicitly designed to facilitate software and music piracy, and charges exorbitant shareware fees. Not only does he charge for his pirate-ware, he also uses some of the most ironclad anti-piracy schemes in existence to protect it. There is something singularly hypocritical about Watanabe’s entire endeavor. Worse yet, Watanabe offers what is easily the most rude, arrogant, and conceited software support I have ever experienced in my life. I have had the misfortune of dealing with his odious personality with time and again, in relation to his software and other matters.” - Central Scrutinizer

“Just to echo what others have said, David’s software is nice, as in takes full advantage of the Cocoa APIs, etc., but after you get past the glitz, it’s pure crap. Acquisition doesn’t, and hasn’t, worked decently in a very long time. NewsFire is, well… Vienna, with about 10 extra minutes of GUI work. Snore. Inquisitor is his one good piece that I use daily. Fortunately, it’s free.” - Christian

“I made the horrible mistake of purchasing one of his programs (Xtorrent) and it completely hangs my system. I politely requested a refund, then again, and again and then escalated it in PayPal — then was denied as it didn’t meet their requirements as they can’t guarantee the ‘quality’ of goods.” - Marty Z (by email - Apr 08)

“After purchasing an Acquisition Lifetime License and finding that it doesn’t appear to work I sent polite but repeated e-mails over a period of four months without once receiving any kind of acknowledgement or help needed. I feel ripped off and foolish and I want a refund.” - Gareth M (by email - Dec 08)

Wow. Talk about bad press - David’s got it in spades. Have you had a David Watanabe experience? E-mail me.

To be fair, some people have had quite positive experiences:

“In my experience, David can indeed be impatient, terse and blunt when replying to support requests but (a) he has fixed everything I had a problem with and (b) AcquisitionX works perfectly for me, so people are not being fair to him when they report that it just plain doesn’t.” - Steve R (by email - May 08)

“i have lifetime to subscriptions to NewsFire and Xtorrent and Inquisitor is awesome too, he’s one of my fav mac app developers.” - The Architect