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If its free, why ask for credit card info?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I was trying to download the new free video that NBC has on ITunes but it asks me to submit my credit card info first. Why?
I have never bought from ITunes before and I'm not sure if I ever will but I did buy a 5G IPod to listen to my music collection which I have registered with Apple and received a login.
Why would Apple need you credit card info if its a free video?
post #2 of 11
My guess is that in addition to lining you up for future purchases, Apple is using credit card checks as a means to verify your age.
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post #3 of 11
But 13+ are allowed to have an account... parent's permission I suppose.
post #4 of 11
Apple treats "free" downloads as purchases with a cost of $0.00. They still have the same authorization restrictions as regular purchases, and must therefore be linked to an Apple ID. Apple requires that those IDs be associated with a credit card, to facilitate purchases. They probably *could* create a seperate class of "guest" iTunes accounts, but they probably don't see the mileage in that. The point is to get you to buy songs, not download the weekly freebies.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally posted by Towel
Apple treats "free" downloads as purchases with a cost of $0.00. They still have the same authorization restrictions as regular purchases, and must therefore be linked to an Apple ID. Apple requires that those IDs be associated with a credit card, to facilitate purchases. They probably *could* create a seperate class of "guest" iTunes accounts, but they probably don't see the mileage in that. The point is to get you to buy songs, not download the weekly freebies.

Except that no one has to have a credit card to download anything from iTunes. You can use gift certs, gift cards, etc.
post #6 of 11
They do it to verify location. For instance, if you register with a US credit card billing address you can't download the free songs and videos from the UK site and vice-versa.

Also, they don't want someone from Hong Kong downloading from the iTunes US store because it violates their distribution licenses.

There's no better way of verifying location than credit card billing address, as that's verifiable, on record, and linked to the account holder by name.
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally posted by OBJRA10
Except that no one has to have a credit card to download anything from iTunes. You can use gift certs, gift cards, etc.

No, you need a credit card to even set up an iTunes account. As tonton said above, it seems to be for verifying your location for licensing purposes.

I was visiting the US from Ireland the other week and had hoped to buy gift cards to download videos that aren't available in the Irish store. I couldn't get past step 3 of the US iTunes Store account setup process because I couldn't provide US credit card info.
post #8 of 11
It may ask you for a credit card, but unless I am mistaken, you don't have to enter a credit card unless you are making a purchase. I have an iTunes account without a credit card and I can get the free song downloads.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally posted by icfireball
It may ask you for a credit card, but unless I am mistaken, you don't have to enter a credit card unless you are making a purchase. I have an iTunes account without a credit card and I can get the free song downloads.

They must have changed it since you signed up. I just tried setting up an account without entering credit card details, and it doesn't work.

Even if you use PayPal as the payment method, it checks that you've got a US address on your PayPal account.

There's no option to choose "no payment method" or leave it blank - you have to pick one of the cards or PayPal.
post #10 of 11
I think the above is correct. I'm fortunate that I signed up early on, before they got real strict with this. Even so, I think I had to "spoof" my credit card address to a real address in the US (even thought it wasn't really my credit card address), sign up, and then change my address back.

Now I think they actually verify your billing address is accurate with the credit card network before they approve your account.

That said, you might be able to spoof your address on a Paypal account, though I haven't tried, and I reckon they also verify your address at the time you sign up.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally posted by tonton
I think the above is correct. I'm fortunate that I signed up early on, before they got real strict with this. Even so, I think I had to "spoof" my credit card address to a real address in the US (even thought it wasn't really my credit card address), sign up, and then change my address back.

Now I think they actually verify your billing address is accurate with the credit card network before they approve your account.

That said, you might be able to spoof your address on a Paypal account, though I haven't tried, and I reckon they also verify your address at the time you sign up.

Yeah I'm actually in a real pickle at the moment because of that.
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