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June 27, 2010 • Editorials

Apple iTunes Will Not Take My Money but the Apple Store Will? It’s a Head-Scratcher For Sure

I ran into an issue the other day while using iTunes; I wanted to purchase a $50 gift card for a friend, but I couldn’t because the iTunes store said that I had “exceeded the maximum Gift certificate purchase amount for [my] account.” Confused, I took a look back at my recent purchases and found that I had only spent $200 in the past year on gift certificates, so what was the problem?

I even changed my credit card, just in case it was an American Express limitation, but using Discover I ran into the same error message. Reading the message again, I realized this was not a cap on my credit card, it was on my iTunes account. One Google search later, and I found that this was not a glitch — Apple evidently puts an arbitrary $100 cap on iTunes gift certificate purchases in a 30 day period.

But when I went to the Apple site, I had no problem buying a gift card (which would be mailed versus emailed) for twice the amount. So obviously this is not an issue of Apple denying or not liking my credit card; it’s some kind of dubious safety feature to help prevent iTunes fraud.

I guess.

I would have just accepted that was how it is and how it is going to be, but Kevin tried to purchase an iTunes gift certificate for another friend, and iTunes denied his card … flat-out denied it, even though the card has plenty of available credit. He hasn’t bought any iTunes Gift Certificates in ages.

Because of my experience, I told Kevin to go to the Apple iTunes website and purchase a gift card …

Sure enough, he had no problem.

So what’s the deal? iTunes doesn’t like credit cards that the Apple site likes just fine, and iTunes puts an arbitrary limit on gift certificate spending — but certainly not on from-device App purchases, or from-computer music purchases? Why would Apple frustrate their customers like this? It makes no sense to me.

8 Responses to " Apple iTunes Will Not Take My Money but the Apple Store Will? It’s a Head-Scratcher For Sure "

  1. Joel McLaughlin says:

    I think Apple is stupid. First, it’s the credit card companies that need to work on anti fraud protection. Not them. I know that there’s a big thing happening in the inner workings of any company that takes credit cards and it’s called PCI compliance. It has the businesses that want to take credit cards jump through all sorts of hoops because the credit card companies are essentially lazy. Rather then come up with anti fraud features of their own, the make you set your network up so it’s a nightmare figuring out what is wrong when something ELSE doesn’t work. This policy goes beyond that and Apple thinks they are doing something good, but in reality they are pissing of a loyal Apple customer.

    It stuff like this that makes me really not want to buy Apple stuff.

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  3. Giant Gizmo says:

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