iTunes Store Nightmare

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
So does anyone know where to get real support for the iTunes store?



This is my situation. I tried to buy an album a few nights ago, and it came back saying my card had been rejected due to a bad zip code. Strange, but not to upsetting. I checked the card info and tried again. No luck, still rejected the card.



Bummer. I gave up and didn't think about it until I checked my bank account the next morning. There it was, two charges from the apple store for 10 buck each. So although they had claimed the card was rejected, my bank had subtracted the money from my account.



So I've tried to contact support through their email site. I keep getting automated responses that don't even begin to answer where my money went. At first, it was just a canned answer about credit-card verification. I wasn't mad about the card's rejection, just that you can't reject it and still take the money. Then they asked for the order number--but since it claimed to reject the card I don't have one.



Is there a support phone number hidden away somewhere. It's really annoying me.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    Call your credit card company, they're usually pretty good about helping out with bad charges.
  • Reply 2 of 19
    maccrazymaccrazy Posts: 2,657member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by D.J. Adequate

    So does anyone know where to get real support for the iTunes store?



    This is my situation. I tried to buy an album a few nights ago, and it came back saying my card had been rejected due to a bad zip code. Strange, but not to upsetting. I checked the card info and tried again. No luck, still rejected the card.



    Bummer. I gave up and didn't think about it until I checked my bank account the next morning. There it was, two charges from the apple store for 10 buck each. So although they had claimed the card was rejected, my bank had subtracted the money from my account.



    So I've tried to contact support through their email site. I keep getting automated responses that don't even begin to answer where my money went. At first, it was just a canned answer about credit-card verification. I wasn't mad about the card's rejection, just that you can't reject it and still take the money. Then they asked for the order number--but since it claimed to reject the card I don't have one.



    Is there a support phone number hidden away somewhere. It's really annoying me.




    It can be so frustrating when all you need to do is speak to a person. You could try phoning their Apple Store number (the online store) and asking them for a number. That's really bad customer service, and i can't find a number on their support pages.



    They were quite helpful when i wanted to change email address, however you can't change email to a .mac address because they automatically register .mac addresses!!
  • Reply 3 of 19
    kishankishan Posts: 732member
    I've only had positive experiences with my iTunes account, but your situation is one of my great fears about using the service. I am certain that if I use it long and often enough, sooner or later something like this would happen to me. Murphy's law and all that.



    I am most paranoid about this follwing scenario: I suffer a catastrophic failure of my hard drive and lose all my music (yeah, yeah I backup my music and pictures on a regular basis, but lets say for the sake of argument that my dog concurrently eats the backup CDs too). There must be a permanent record somewhere of what I have bought from iTunes. If I need to rebuild my collection under the same account name, will Apple help me or make me repurchase everything?



    And how can I view a copy of this list? Most online shopping venues I have used (Amazon, banana republic) keep track of everything bought by a particular account. I find it useful and informative to track my purchase habits like that. Just wondering.
  • Reply 4 of 19
    Quote:

    Originally posted by MacCrazy

    It can be so frustrating when all you need to do is speak to a person. You could try phoning their Apple Store number (the online store) and asking them for a number. That's really bad customer service, and i can't find a number on their support pages.



    They were quite helpful when i wanted to change email address, however you can't change email to a .mac address because they automatically register .mac addresses!!




    if you jsut call the general tech support line, 1-800-275-2273, they have a whole department for iTMS purchases.
  • Reply 5 of 19
    johnqjohnq Posts: 2,763member
    Is it a debit card? Debit and credit cards are different. The debit card has a longer period in which it's held in limbo, if I recall correctly. I'm not positive though.
  • Reply 6 of 19
    trtamtrtam Posts: 111member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kishan

    I am most paranoid about this follwing scenario: I suffer a catastrophic failure of my hard drive and lose all my music (yeah, yeah I backup my music and pictures on a regular basis, but lets say for the sake of argument that my dog concurrently eats the backup CDs too). There must be a permanent record somewhere of what I have bought from iTunes. If I need to rebuild my collection under the same account name, will Apple help me or make me repurchase everything?



    Couldn't you just look at the purchase history on your account? Yes, it would take a long time, but you could still figure out what music you purchased. Sometimes I wish you could download the songs again for free if that ever happened...yes, I am also paranoid about that.
  • Reply 7 of 19
    Once a song is downloaded, the iTunes store won't let you download it again.
  • Reply 8 of 19
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ipodandimac

    if you jsut call the general tech support line, 1-800-275-2273, they have a whole department for iTMS purchases.



    Thanks, I'll call the number today. The most frustrating thing is the canned email responses that don't address anything I asked about.
  • Reply 9 of 19
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kishan

    I've only had positive experiences with my iTunes account, but your situation is one of my great fears about using the service. I am certain that if I use it long and often enough, sooner or later something like this would happen to me. Murphy's law and all that.





    I've always had good experiences before, and I'm sure it was just a weird random glitch. But if you are going to force me to contact you by email, at least read what I put in the email. It's like the moment they see the word "Credit Card" they just paste in the standard answer. And mine isn't a standard problem.
  • Reply 10 of 19
    Its not a charge. Here is how it works (yes I run a webstore and get people who don't understand how credit cards work all the time - its frustrating):





    Step 1:

    Retail/Ecommerce store sends CC info to processor.



    Step 2:

    Processor gets authorization from bank. Bank puts amount on hold. This shows up as "pending".



    Step 3:

    Processor checks Address and zip code for verification. If it doesn't match, it is declined. If it does, it is then authorized and goes into a batch file for capture.



    Now here is the problem. If a card was declined then the hold is still "pending" until the bank or the processor clears it. Has money changed hands? No. Does the merchant now have your money? No. The bank has just put it on hold. Nothing more and nothing less. If the card was authorized, then when captures are done (usually daily at some specified time or in some cases weekly) the money is taken. If the card was declined, then the money is cleared from hold when the bank decides to do it.
  • Reply 11 of 19
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    You can also try e-mailing to shopcart AT apple DOT com.
  • Reply 12 of 19
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,928member
    Sounds like a little glitch. Not quite a "disaster."
  • Reply 13 of 19
    johnqjohnq Posts: 2,763member
    So D.J. Adequate, this is a debit card right? Not a credit card?



    What alex_kac said is true except if we're talking debit cards, it involves your actual money in your account as opposed to a credit card which is just the bank's money that they are loaning you with interest (credit).



    With credit, the bank sets aside their money.

    With debit, the bank sets aside your money.



    This is a good reason to not use debit cards for large expenses. You might end up having neither the product/service (because it gets declined later) nor can you withdraw or use that money while it's all pending.



    If I'm wrong, correct me, I'm rusty with e-commerce. But I've been screwed like this a few times, if I understood what happened correctly.
  • Reply 14 of 19
    Quote:

    Originally posted by johnq

    So D.J. Adequate, this is a debit card right? Not a credit card?



    What alex_kac said is true except if we're talking debit cards, it involves your actual money in your account as opposed to a credit card which is just the bank's money that they are loaning you with interest (credit).



    With credit, the bank sets aside their money.

    With debit, the bank sets aside your money.



    This is a good reason to not use debit cards for large expenses. You might end up having neither the product/service (because it gets declined later) nor can you withdraw or use that money while it's all pending.



    If I'm wrong, correct me, I'm rusty with e-commerce. But I've been screwed like this a few times, if I understood what happened correctly.




    You are correct, it was a debit card. Thus locking way my money. Of course, if Apple had just answered my email with an explanation as clear as alex_kac's I would have been a little frustrated, but not as worried as I was. I haven't ever dealt with a store that expected me to know the ins and outs of debit card transactions. But I understand stuff happens.



    So assuming my money get released, my only complaint is with the email support staff--who insist, after three tries, on responding to my detailed emails with canned responses address concerns that have nothing to do with the problem I was experiencing.



    Thank, alex_kac, and everyone else who helped out. I'll post here again when the money is returned to the account so you can know all is well.
  • Reply 15 of 19
    johnqjohnq Posts: 2,763member
    Not defending Apple (or any particular vendor or service) but when it comes to financial transaction issues (credit/debit/checks/paypal/etc) the "fault" is nearly entirely the financial institution/service's responsibility to resolve.



    In other words, Sears, Apple, American Airlines, e-bay, etc. are not the ones to talk to or expect answers from. You gotta go the financial institution/service route first. I think vendors will be little help most of the time.



    But sure, Apple should throw in a better boilerplate explanation regarding debit transactions if nothing else than to take the heat off themselves for a while.
  • Reply 16 of 19
    Quote:

    Originally posted by johnq

    But sure, Apple should throw in a better boilerplate explanation regarding debit transactions if nothing else than to take the heat off themselves for a while.



    Better yet, just don't use a boilerplate at all.



    I used to work phone support at WordPerfect, back in early 90's when phone support was free. A lot of times, people just wanted someone to listen and help them feel less stupid.



    Apple's email was like someone cutting you off mid-sentance on the phone, shouting out an answer to a different problem entirely, then hanging up the phone. Then, if they call back, telling them they're a moron for not understanding the financial system and hanging up again.



    This is not a good thing--especially when its the only recourse for support.
  • Reply 17 of 19
    johnqjohnq Posts: 2,763member
    By boilerplate I mean have a decent, helpful explanation on file for a given situation (even if it points you elsewhere), not that it's blurted out in a monotone voice, grudgingly.



    But brace yourself. As far as the business world is concerned, the reality is you (or me) are not unique, your problems are not new or special and you are one out of an endless sea of humanity, and that is what support people the world over are up against.



    The best we can hope for is, given their resources vs. how much support they are having to provide, is that the answer is either in the person's head and they tell you or it's on file and s/he reads it to you.



    And in 2004, don't expect support to have anything to do with the actual company, it's all outsourced except for expert level stuff (and even then...).



    There might not even be a human involved yet. It could be a script scanning for keywords.
  • Reply 18 of 19
    Quote:

    Originally posted by johnq

    There might not even be a human involved yet. It could be a script scanning for keywords.



    I deeply suspect you are right. It felt like an expert system, not a human being.
  • Reply 19 of 19
    maccrazymaccrazy Posts: 2,657member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by D.J. Adequate

    I deeply suspect you are right. It felt like an expert system, not a human being.



    That's what my e-mails felt like too. Unless Apple give standard responses to all questions!
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