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Topic: iTunes Store Customer Service...

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Old 02-18-2009, 03:48 PM
#1
 
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Thumbs down iTunes Store Customer Service...

I just went through an "interesting" (as in "may you live in interesting times") situation with the iTunes Store.

I have been buying music from the iTunes Store for a long time and as they have been upgrading their library to the 256K/DRM Free music files it has made upgrading existing music to the DRM free version interesting. Needless to say by hitting the wrong button I ended up with a $270 charge to my credit card for 970 songs most of which I didn't want while trying to figure out how to upgrade individual albums. I did not download any of them and immediately called Apple to get it taken care of. Apple Care was able to get the iTunes Store to credit my card with $164 of the total charge but the last $98.99 proved to be impossible to get a refund for.

Here is what I have found out about the iTunes Store... First, even though they are part of Apple they are not held to the same customer service standard as the rest of the company and none of them (iTunes Store folks) know how spell customer service let alone provide customer service. Second, even though they maybe Apple employees (I presume), they are basically run by the record labels who provide the content.

I finally escalated my issue to Apple Customer Relations and, after IM'ing with iTunes Store folks they (Customer Relations) finally offered me an alternative option to resolve the issue since it had become apparent to them (Customer Relations) that they were being stonewalled by the iTunes Store as well.

My first lesson learned on this is that iTunes will be the final place I go to when looking for downloadable music. There are several other services that have a pretty good content library that I will look at first. My second lesson learned on this is that if Apple Care does not support it directly then buyer beware!!

Thanks for listening and be very careful when dealing with the iTunes Store.
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Old 02-18-2009, 10:04 PM
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thanks for sharing your experience. i have had around three interactions with the itms customer care team and always found their service to be excellent.

certainly can't say the same thing about emusic customer service.

why exactly did they say they didn't want to give you the full credit? how exactly do you figure that they are "run by the record labels"? what was the alternative solution they provided?

if i may be so bold, it does seem like you made the mistake of pressing the wrong button to upgrade your entire library, so you've got to take some responsibility.

john
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Old 02-18-2009, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlegend
thanks for sharing your experience. i have had around three interactions with the itms customer care team and always found their service to be excellent.

certainly can't say the same thing about emusic customer service.

why exactly did they say they didn't want to give you the full credit? how exactly do you figure that they are "run by the record labels"? what was the alternative solution they provided?

if i may be so bold, it does seem like you made the mistake of pressing the wrong button to upgrade your entire library, so you've got to take some responsibility.

john
You know I did push the button that started this whole event and if they had said sorry at the start then I would have chalked it up to an expensive lesson. But after going through what happened and how it got to that point (via a call to Apple Care) they did decide to refund over half of the total amount and then started to dig their heels in over the last part with some vague excuses about a SAP system technical problem. After looking into the situation Apple Customer Relations decided the situation was bad enough and the iTunes Store Customer Service was bad enough to make it right with me directly.

I am glad that your experiences with them have been good... just keep in mind that given the correct circumstances you might find yourself on the loosing side as well. All I want to get out to those who use the iTunes Store is that my experience was less than satisfactory and that folks should be very careful doing business with them.
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Old 02-19-2009, 07:04 PM
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I've had almost the exact opposite experience to you.

Calling from NZ, I find myself talking to a lovely lady in the US, who really doesn't know where NZ is, exactly, but is lovely nonetheless.

I explain that due to my own stupidity I have lost all of the movies I had downloaded from iTunes (I dropped my iPod in the toilet and had no backup, due to HD constraints on my computer).

She went away and sorted the problem out, I received an email stating that next time I log in to iTunes, I'll find all of my movies awaiting download. All except one, which was no longer available.

I found this to be excellent service, from abroad and in a friendly, professional, courteous manner.

I am sorry to hear of your experiences and I have no doubt others have had similiar experiences to yours, but I'd like to think yours was the exception rather than the rule.



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Old 02-19-2009, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasoncordelle
I've had almost the exact opposite experience to you.

Calling from NZ, I find myself talking to a lovely lady in the US, who really doesn't know where NZ is, exactly, but is lovely nonetheless.

I explain that due to my own stupidity I have lost all of the movies I had downloaded from iTunes (I dropped my iPod in the toilet and had no backup, due to HD constraints on my computer).

She went away and sorted the problem out, I received an email stating that next time I log in to iTunes, I'll find all of my movies awaiting download. All except one, which was no longer available.

I found this to be excellent service, from abroad and in a friendly, professional, courteous manner.

I am sorry to hear of your experiences and I have no doubt others have had similiar experiences to yours, but I'd like to think yours was the exception rather than the rule.
Are you sure you were talking to iTunes Store folks or to Apple Care? Judging by your experience I suspect it was Apple Care. The iTunes Store does not have a phone number you can call. All customer dealings with them are via email. The Apple Care folks will try to intercede and assist if possible. It was the Apple Care folks that was able to get the first refund for me. Do you recall the number you dialed? Was it a local or toll free NZ number or a US toll free number.

My interest is that I will have to continue to deal with the iTunes Store. Their library is the biggest and if I can determine that my experience is an exception then I will feel better doing so though I will always be a bit cautious about "pushing" the buttons...
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Old 02-19-2009, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bugly
Second, even though they maybe Apple employees (I presume), they are basically run by the record labels who provide the content.
Not true at all. The iTunes Store customer service department is run by Apple. It may surprise you but Apple has many different products that fit within different areas of customer service (perish the thought!). Apple can't have one customer service station for everything. So Apple split things up so that there is an iPod department, iTunes department, iTunes Store department, AppleTV department, and so on. I don't mean to sound rude but I thought this would have been obvious.

It sucks that you click on the "Buy All" button but at least it was a mistake (a mistake on your end no less) that Apple was willing to get worked out.

I recently had an issue when upgrading some of my albums. I purchased about $35 worth of content from the iTunes Store that night. There was a handful of $0.60 individual song upgrades, a couple of $0.60 music video upgrades, and the majority of my money was spent on upgrading albums (at $3.00 each). Well, instead of getting charged the normal upgraded prices for my albums, the iTunes Store charged me full price as if I was buying each album again. I look at my credit card statement (which is actually a debit card) and I have $96 deducted from my bank account. I even made a post about this the night that Apple started allowing individual song, album, and music video upgrades (before it was all or nothing).

I wasn't the only person who had these issues either as the Apple forums were being flooded with people who were charged full price. Well, I contacted the iTunes Store customer support service via e-mail. I was sent a reply a few days later saying that my purchases would fully be refunded. There was still one more $12 charge that hadn't been finalized by the iTunes Store. So the representative e-mailed me back saying that the $12 was taking a long time to get finalized by the iTunes Store, she also added that I would be given a 20 song credit towards my account. The $12 charge was finally refunded back to my account (along with the other $84).

This means that my upgrades were free and Apple gave me 20 free songs as they want my business.

I am not saying that my experience is representative of every iTunes Store customer but neither is yours. You can look at any store and find negative reviews about them. So I don't think that people should take your warning (or my positive referral) seriously, they should left the iTunes Store speak for itself. In fact, no one should be warned about not using a store simply from one person's experiences. Hell, if the world operated that way then one religion would dominate the world, Hitler would have succeeded (one person agreed with him so that must mean that everyone would agree with him), and so on. It sucks that you had a negative experience but this should not be a warning to everyone else who uses the iTunes Store (more like something that they should read and pile together with other reviews).



64GB iPhone 5 | 64GB iPad mini | AppleTV 2 (2012) | AppleTV 2 (2010) | 4GB 3G iPod shuffle | 2012 15" MacBook Pro, 1TB SSHD, 16GB DDR3 1600 MHz, OS X 10.8.4 Mountain Lion | Apple Lossless | iTunes AAC -Q 68 | iTunes 11.1 | Library size = 1.78TB | Legacy iPods: 3G 40GB, 4G 40GB, 5G 60GB, 160GB iPod classic (2009)
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kornchild2002

I am not saying that my experience is representative of every iTunes Store customer but neither is yours. You can look at any store and find negative reviews about them. So I don't think that people should take your warning (or my positive referral) seriously, they should left the iTunes Store speak for itself. In fact, no one should be warned about not using a store simply from one person's experiences. Hell, if the world operated that way then one religion would dominate the world, Hitler would have succeeded (one person agreed with him so that must mean that everyone would agree with him), and so on. It sucks that you had a negative experience but this should not be a warning to everyone else who uses the iTunes Store (more like something that they should read and pile together with other reviews).

"Not to be rude" but if you had read my post completely you would have noticed that I was not saying not to use the iTunes Store but to be careful when you do. The iTunes Store has too big of a library and is such an easy part of iTunes not to be an option. But the only way to directly access iTunes Store assistance is via email... there is not a number to call. If you called a number then you were talking to Apple Customer Service and they do not directly support iTunes Store services. By this I mean that they do not have access to the systems and software that support your account but instead have to work through someone else that does that you can only access via email.

I agree with all of your points above... except for this, I am a bit surprised at your equating my post to a single world religion and Hitler succeeding (the latter is a bit insulting and way over the top). I think that you should be careful about the associations and references you make in your replies to others posts.

I had what I consider to be a fairly negative experience with the iTunes Store and I have related that experience for everyone to read while others have related their experiences and the folks reading this thread will take away what resonates. This is the way is should work and my post is as appropriate as yours and the others that have responded. I appreciate all the replies as it helps to put my experience into perspective.
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:11 AM
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I completely read your post before I made mine. A warning from one user with problems should be taken with a grain of salt (just like a recommendation from one user). That is all.

I did get help through e-mail, I didn't call anyone. I can't stand most call centers for any company now as they are all contracted out to a country that shall not be named. I would rather just e-mail someone to get my problem solved.

I wasn't equating you or your post to Hitler so don't get in a bunch over that. It was a simple way of getting my point across: your complaint should be taken with a grain of salt. Besides, WWII is a part of history. Do you think that we should just ignore it? I could take your statement as insulting too as you just want to ignore what happened. I could take things even further and falsely interpret that you are one of those types of people who think that the Holocaust was made up. That is extremely insulting! See where I am going at here? Don't look at the example so much as the message I was trying to get across. I never called you any names and I never insulted you in any way, shape, or form.

The point of my post was not to refute yours but simply to tell others that your warning against using the iTunes Store should be lumped in with all the other positive and negative reviews that are floating out there on the internet. People should conduct research for themselves and actually use the iTunes Store before making any true judgments regarding the service. You are always going to find people who have issues with the iTunes Store and you are always going to find people who have nothing but praise for the iTunes Store.



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Old 02-20-2009, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kornchild2002
I completely read your post before I made mine. A warning from one user with problems should be taken with a grain of salt (just like a recommendation from one user). That is all.

I did get help through e-mail, I didn't call anyone. I can't stand most call centers for any company now as they are all contracted out to a country that shall not be named. I would rather just e-mail someone to get my problem solved.

I wasn't equating you or your post to Hitler so don't get in a bunch over that. It was a simple way of getting my point across: your complaint should be taken with a grain of salt. Besides, WWII is a part of history. Do you think that we should just ignore it? I could take your statement as insulting too as you just want to ignore what happened. I could take things even further and falsely interpret that you are one of those types of people who think that the Holocaust was made up. That is extremely insulting! See where I am going at here? Don't look at the example so much as the message I was trying to get across. I never called you any names and I never insulted you in any way, shape, or form.

The point of my post was not to refute yours but simply to tell others that your warning against using the iTunes Store should be lumped in with all the other positive and negative reviews that are floating out there on the internet. People should conduct research for themselves and actually use the iTunes Store before making any true judgments regarding the service. You are always going to find people who have issues with the iTunes Store and you are always going to find people who have nothing but praise for the iTunes Store.
No harm no foul and I think that you and I are on the same page on several points. Dislike of call centers... the appropriate use of this kind of forum and the belief that if we forget history we are doomed to repeat it.

I appreciate the "lively" discussion. My take away from this discussion is that my experience with the iTunes Store might have been an isolated incident.
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:59 AM
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Maybe, maybe not. The post I made actually dealt with the first negative experience I have ever had from the iTunes Store and I have been using it since the store launched in 2003. I was surprised that I had an issue but I was more surprised that Apple just refunded everything. Maybe my experience is an isolated incident, I don't know.



64GB iPhone 5 | 64GB iPad mini | AppleTV 2 (2012) | AppleTV 2 (2010) | 4GB 3G iPod shuffle | 2012 15" MacBook Pro, 1TB SSHD, 16GB DDR3 1600 MHz, OS X 10.8.4 Mountain Lion | Apple Lossless | iTunes AAC -Q 68 | iTunes 11.1 | Library size = 1.78TB | Legacy iPods: 3G 40GB, 4G 40GB, 5G 60GB, 160GB iPod classic (2009)
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