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  • Report: #590237

Complaint Review: Apple Inc

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  • Submitted: Tue, April 06, 2010
  • Updated: Mon, October 11, 2010

  • Reported By: Michael — vancouver British Columbia Canada
Apple Inc
1 Infinite Loop Cupertino, CA 95014 cupertino, California United States of America

Apple Inc iTunes, iPhone iTunes Does Not Process Prepaid Credit Cards Properly, Allowing Apple to Overcharge and Give You Bad Credit cupertino, California

*Consumer Suggestion: Alternative

*Consumer Comment: A suggestion if I may...

*Consumer Comment: Where is the ripoff?

*Consumer Comment: Pre-paid c/c

*Consumer Comment: I had to respond

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I received a $50 prepaid Visa credit card for Christmas, which I used to download some new Apps from Apple for use on my iPhone. A few days later, when I tried to download new versions of Apps, I was told that I owed Apple $38. I did not see how that is possible, since I did not buy any Apps except with the prepaid credit card. I was very busy, and a few months went past before I decided to look into it.


My iPhone no longer works properly. It does not shut down. And I am unable to download the newest updates to my Apps because I am told that I must pay $38 that I owe before being able to download updates to the Apps that I have both bought and received for FREE. Doing this may resolve the issue of my iPhone not shutting down. As a result my iPhone battery does not last more than 2 hours, and it is constantly shutting down because it has no battery charge at the most inopportune times.



I finally had a week off and decided to take the time to look into this. After finding the appropriate way to make a complaint (only via email, Apple does not allow a consumer to speak to customer service for this issue on the telephone) I sent them a letter.



The final outcome is that I still owe Apple $38. The customer service agent wrote: "iTunes Store terms and conditions state to not use pre-paid credit cards as they do not process correctly. We have not received the payment for this order hence its showing as bad credit on your account."



I don't know how many people read all the "terms and conditions" - I think very few. So Apple is using technically poor software to process orders, since it is unable to handle the prepaid credit cards as they are meant to be used. And then it is able to charge the customer for purchases which the customer orders when the credit card limit has gone over the prepaid amount.



I am being charged for Apple's stupidity and technically poor software.



I am told that I must pay it by adding a regular credit card to my account. I do not feel safe adding my personal credit card to the Apple iTunes store, since they are incapable of processing orders correctly.



I think that all consumers should know about this, and I am making it very public, by putting it on the world wide web. I hope that Apple is embarrassed by their poor credit card software, and I hope that the public is cautioned in using it.



I doubt that Apple will help me in any way. If they would delete the Apps that were purchased after the $50 credit limit was reached, or the $38 in Apps that I have bought and owe money on, that would be a reasonable and sufficient way to compensate me. There has been no offer from them to do this. I have not been able to use my Apps for three months in the way they are supposed to be used, because of their software problem.



Thank you.



Here is the correspondence:



-----------------------------------------------------



MY ORIGINAL FORM LETTER ON THE APPLE WEBSITE:



SPECIFIC REQUEST: My store credit balance is incorrect


WHAT ARE THE DETAILS, INCLUDING ANY ERROR MESSAGES, RELATED TO YOUR QUESTION?


During Christmas I was given a Prepaid Visa, which I used to purchase some music and apps. It is a prepaid Visa, meaning I cannot purchase items on credit with it. It only allows purchases as long as I have money for them on the card. Once it is used up, it is no longer usable. It gets thrown out. I am being told that I have purchased $38 on this prepaid Visa and that it is owing. I don't know how this is possible. I cannot purchase more than the Visa prepaid card is worth. I threw it out long ago, and no longer have it. So there is something wrong. In the meantime I CANNOT USE MY IPHONE THE WAY IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE USED! I am unable to update all of my apps, AND NOW MY IPHONE IS NOT WORKING PROPERLY. IT DOES NOT TURN OFF, OR SHUT DOWN. IT IS ON ALL THE TIME, 24 HOURS A DAY, AND IT RUNS OUT OF POWER WITHIN A COUPLE OF HOURS WHEN IT IS NOT PLUGGED IN. IT HAS BEEN THIS WAY SINCE CHRISTMAS. I AM FURIOUS!



I tried to log into my account several times in order to find out what the problem was, and I was unable to log into my account. I finally logged on today, after backing up my iPhone and reinstalling it to factory specifications, and then reinstalling my backup. AND IT STILL DOESN'T WORK. I WANT IMMEDIATE ATTENTION TO THIS PROBLEM. I AM SICK TO DEATH OF NOT BEING ABLE TO USE MY IPHONE THE WAY IT IS MEANT TO BE USED. IF YOU MUST DELETE MY PURCHASES THEN GO AHEAD AND DO IT. I DO NOT OWE YOU ANY MONEY, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME TO HAVE PURCHASED ANYTHING ON CREDIT, I DO NOT OWN A CREDIT CARD. CONTACT ME IMMEDIATELY.



Re: iTunes Store Account and Billing; Follow-up: 101445086



From: iTunes Store
Sent: Apr 6, 2010 10:45 AM

Dear XXXXX:

Thank you for contacting iTunes Store Support. I am Abhi and will be assisting you today.

I understand from your mail that you are concerned for the bad credit which is been reflected on your account "xxxxxxx" even though you used a pre paid card. I also understand that you have issues with your iPhone.

I know how disheartening this would be. I apologize any inconvenience caused to you. I assure you that I can assist you in solving this issue.

I understand that there is a billing issue with one of your iTunes Store orders. According to our records, we have not received payment for order MGT3L2SW69.

I would suggest you to contact your Bank and have a check on why your order has been termed Bad credit. However usually what happens is when ever the purchase exceeds the amount present in the card it turns out to be bad credit. The only way is to pay the unpaid purchase and you will be able to purchase from the store again.

Michael, your request for assistance has reached iTunes Store Customer Support, which answers nontechnical questions about billing, customer accounts, downloading purchases, and iTunes Store content. Although this team does not offer technical support for iPhone, I'm happy to guide you to some Apple resources that should help.

iPhone: Basic troubleshooting
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1737

You can get lots of useful information at our iPhone support pages, which are packed with instructions to help you learn your iPhone and resolve issues:

http://www.apple.com/support/iphone

In Apple's public discussion forums you can read questions and answers provided by experienced users. You can also post questions of your own. Click the iPhone folder on the Apple Discussions webpage:

http://discussions.apple.com/

If you require more assistance, you may wish to call our AppleCare technical support team. A technical Advisor will be able to tell you about Apple's complimentary and fee-based support options as well as assist you in determining what option might be most helpful in this case. To find the appropriate phone number, please visit:

http://www.apple.com/support/contact/phone_contacts.html

If I can provide additional help in finding the right Apple resource for you, or if you need assistance with your iTunes Store account, please reply to this message. I will be happy to help.

Please accept my sincerest apologies once again in regards to the issue and I really appreciate your understanding for the same. Thank you for being part of our iTunes family and wish you a wonderful day ahead!

Best wishes,
Abhi

iTunes Store Customer Support
My working days are: Sunday to Thursday
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM CST

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.
You may receive a AppleCare survey email. Any feedback you provide would be greatly appreciated.




Best wishes,
Abhi


IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED FOR Follow-up: 101445086



Sent: Apr 6, 2010 3:25 PM


To: iTunes Store  

Dear Abhi:


You did NOT ready my letter CAREFULLY. I DO NOT HAVE A CREDIT CARD WITH A BANK. I DO NOT HAVE BAD CREDIT WITH MY BANK BECAUSE I DO NOT HAVE A CREDIT CARD WITH THEM!


I was given a PREPAID Visa worth $50. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT IS? IF YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT A PREPAID CREDIT CARD IS, THEN SPEAK TO YOUR MANAGER OR SUPERVISOR ABOUT IT.


As a result, I cannot have purchased more than $50 on it. It does not allow me to purchase more than it is worth. The prepaid Visa gets thrown out once I have used the available $50. So therefore I cannot purchase more than $50 on it. Therefore I CANNOT HAVE PURCHASED MORE THAN IT IS WORTH, AND I DO NOT OWE APPLE ANY MONEY!


PLEASE CHECK INTO THE BANK CARD NUMBER WITH VISA, AND YOU WILL FIND OUT THAT IT IS A DISPOSABLE, PREPAID CARD. IT IS NOT GIVEN OUT BY A BANK. 


I WANT THIS TAKEN CARE OF IMMEDIATELY AND PROPERLY BY APPLE. CALL ME IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS OR DO NOT UNDERSTAND!


Re: IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED FOR Follow-up: 101445086



From: iTunes Store 
Sent: Apr 6, 2010 4:16 PM
Dear XXXXX:

Its Abhi here again and I hope this message finds you doing well.

I can totally relate to your anxiety and would request you to kindly accept my heartfelt apologies for the frustration this issue has caused to you.

I did an extended research on your issue and related details and I found that the iTunes Store terms and conditions state to not use pre-paid credit cards as they do not process correctly. We have not received the payment for this order hence its showing as bad credit on your account.

You can pay for the order by adding a new credit card to your account.

HOW TO ADD A CREDIT CARD TO AN iTUNES STORE ACCOUNT

1) Make sure you're using the latest version of iTunes. It can be downloaded free of charge:

http://www.itunes.com/download

Note: Installing the latest version of iTunes will not affect your library or any items in your account that you haven't downloaded.

2) Click this link: http://phobos.apple.com/accountSummary

3) When you see the iTunes sign-in dialog, enter your account name and password and then click the Account Info button.

4) On the Apple Account Information page, click Edit Payment Information.

5) Enter the credit card number and select the credit card type.

6) look at your billing address. It should be exactly the same as the address on your credit card statement. This is important, because even differences in punctuation, abbreviation, and capitalization can cause payment errors that might prevent you from using the iTunes Store.

7) Select the box indicating that the new credit card will be used to pay the unpaid balance.

8) When all of the information is up to date, click Done, and then click Done again.

When you update your billing information, the iTunes Store places an authorization hold on your credit card to verify your account information. You might see this authorization request on your online statement. This is not an actual charge; it is simply a test to confirm that your credit card account is active and has credit available to accommodate transactions.

Your financial institution will remove the authorization request automatically. The amount of time it takes to remove authorization requests varies by financial institution. If you have any questions about the way your financial institution handles authorization requests, please contact their customer-service department.

I trust this will clear the issue for you, if theres anything else I can do, please dont hesitate to let me know. Apple appreciates your business and wants your iTunes Store experience to be as enjoyable as possible.

Best wishes
Abhi

iTunes Store Customer Support
My working days are: Sunday to Thursday
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM CST

What also angers me is that Abhi keeps saying that she can relate to my anxiety. I didn't ask for a diagnosis of my emotional state, nor did she get it correct. I am ANGRY, not anxious. I am anxious about using a bank issued credit card for iTunes, though. And after this experience, I will never use one with Apple. I am also not interested in whether or not Abhi can relate to my experience; and I wonder if she has experienced this same problem I think not. It would be better for Apple's customer service representatives to avoid trying to relate to my feelings and simple tell me what can and cannot be done for me.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/06/2010 06:17 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Apple-Inc/cupertino-California-95014/Apple-Inc-iTunes-iPhone-iTunes-Does-Not-Process-Prepaid-Credit-Cards-Properly-Allowing-A-590237. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Suggestion

Alternative

AUTHOR: Janie marie - ()

Why not buy an iTunes gift card and redeem that on iTunes instead of complaining about a policy that 1) won't change and 2) is clearly stated in the Terms and Conditions.

I get prepaid cards from my credit card company as part of my rewards program. However since I read the terms and conditions and know you shouldn't use prepaid cards on iTunes, I go to the grocery store and buy iTunes gift cards. It's an easy dollar for dollar purchase. During the holidays my local grocery store sells $50 cards for only $35 so I'm actually getting more for my money.

Why should apple delete the apps? You made a purchase and went over the credit limit. So you have to pay them. I don't recap any retailer or company forgiving a debit because a customer went over their limit. That's ludicrous. You bought X dollars and so you should pay X dollars. Expecting to pay Apple any less than what you purchased when they provided you with exactly what stated they would is fraudulent on your part.
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#2 Consumer Comment

A suggestion if I may...

AUTHOR: spc3rd - (USA)

Let me begin by saying that I can understand your situation...as I've been in a similar situation myself more than once.  What I write here is not intended to be condescending, but just an opinion as to what may be the possible cause of the issue you're experiencing.

My first observation/comment here is on occasions when I have received a prepaid Visa (or Mastercard), it is plainly noted on the card and/or in the documentation that comes with it, that it is NOT a credit card, but a prepaid DEBIT card.  The cards simply bear either the Visa or Mastercard logo, depending on the issuer.  Most such cards are also non-reloadable.

When you made the apps purchase with the pre-paid Visa card...did you check the balance on the card at any time after the purchase?  Every pre-paid card I've happened to receive has a phone number and/or an on-line site where you can check to see what the balance is on the card, as well as, any purchase activity.  In my own experience with such cards, any transaction/purchase I make is almost immediately recorded and I will see the transaction listed as "pending" when I check the card account on-line.

If you had kept the card instead of discarding it...you could check to see whether or not your apps purchase was even deducted from the card's $50.00 limit.  If it was not, then you would still have the full $50.00 card limit to use, and it would confirm what the Apple rep has been saying to you...namely, that Apple cannot properly process such prepaid cards & you still owe Apple $38.00.  You may have inadvertently discarded a pre-paid card that did indeed, still have the full $50.00 value on it.

I suspect this is probably what occurred in your situation.  A second suggestion is this.  You specifically mentioned that because you were busy, a few months went by before you decided to further check into this issue.  When it comes to financial transactions...don't wait until "you have the time" or as you stated..."a week off."  Make the time to address the issue at the moment you become aware of a potential problem!

You also state you are concerned about providing Apple with your personal credit card number for purchases.  With most major credit card issuers, if you have a problem with the merchant from whom you purchased goods or services...you can dispute the charge(s).  The credit card issuer will investigate it and if they find in your favor, they will reverse the charge(s) and re-credit your account.  To confirm this...please...read the terms and conditions that were provided you when the credit card was first issued!

With all the issues involving scammers and identity theft occurring these days...one needs to be proactive!  Check your bank and credit card accounts on a daily basis.  It's a good way to spot potential unauthorized activity and give yourself the advantage of staying a step ahead of the criminals, instead of the other way around!

 

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#3 Consumer Comment

Where is the ripoff?

AUTHOR: Edgeman - (U.S.A.)

You signed up for iTunes.

The terms and conditions disclosed the fact that prepaid debit cards are not to be used. You agreed to that.

You then used a prepaid debit card and wound up with $38 in apps that you didn't pay for.

Apple is simply asking you to pay the $38. A very small amount.

If anything, you ripped off Apple.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Pre-paid c/c

AUTHOR: David - (USA)

Using a pre-paid credit card usually has a bunch of fees associated with them. With that said, the only one who is being ripped off is Apple. You downloaded $38 worth of apps and didnt pay for them. You also stated you didnt read the terms and conditions, which is your fault not Apples. It clearly states that pre-paid credit cards dont process correctly, so dont use them. Are you in the habit of just sign contracts without reading them?

Just add a real credit card to itunes and resolve your account with them. I have three credit cards attach to three different itunes accounts and I have no problems with them what so ever. If you are that worried about your credit card being on there, I suggest you access your credit card online to view your activity. Or just buy an itunes card and redeem it on your account, its not rocket science.

I would say 70% of people who report on here are claiming a ripoff when in fact its the other way around. You fall in that 70% category, your ripping off a company for apps you downloaded and didnt pay for. 

So in closing, stop ripping of Apple and pay your bill.

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#5 Consumer Comment

I had to respond

AUTHOR: Sam - (USA)

There are so many things in this that really point the finger back at you.

"The customer service agent wrote: "iTunes Store terms and conditions state to not use pre-paid credit cards as they do not process correctly. We have not received the payment for this order hence its showing as bad credit on your account." I don't know how many people read all the "terms and conditions" - I think very few."

If you do not read the terms of usage for using a companies products, that is your fault.  The customer service agent is just repeating one of the terms that you agreed to in order to use the software.  

" I am being charged for Apple's stupidity and technically poor software."

Actually you implied yourself that you didnt read the terms and conditions which resulted in this entire issue.  I ALWAYS read the terms and conditions before i use a product because it is a contract.  Seriously, the software is working exactly as its supposed to.  What you are trying to do is argue the terms and conditions that you agreed to by agreeing to the terms and conditions.

You got the apps and Apple did not get paid for them because the charges were not processed correctly.

There is a rip off here but it is not Apple that is ripping you off.

You should pay for the items that you purchased and then this will be resolved.
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