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.
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
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
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:
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:
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:
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!
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.
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED FOR Follow-up: 101445086
Sent: Apr 6,2010 3:25 PM
You did NOT read 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
It's 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:
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 there's anything else I can do, please don't hesitate to let me know. Apple appreciates your business and wants your iTunes Store experience to be as enjoyable as possible.
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.