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June 27, 2010 • Editorials

My iTunes Store Customer Service Interaction Was a Good One

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I’ve done more than my share of complaining about Apple’s iTunes App approval process. And for good reason; they are, at times, far too heavy-handed and not nearly transparent enough. And I’ve done my share of complaining about Apple in general. And for good reason; while their products are awesome there are times when their secrecy and arrogance are over the top. So when I had an encounter with Apple’s iTunes Customer Service that was pleasant… and positive… I thought I owed it to them to share it.

I got my iPhone 4 on Wednesday. I loaded all my apps and, just as Larry had warned, the CoPilot Live app didn’t yet work with the iPhone 4’s Retina Display. I also own the Tom Tom GPS app, so I downloaded it. I figured that, as is always the case with the App Store I could simply download it for free. I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t remember that Tom Tom had two versions of their app for the US – one for the US for $49.99 and one for the US and Canada for $59.99. I clicked on the version for the US. iTunes confirmed that I wanted to buy it and then I waited for the pop up that said, “You have already purchased this app do you want to download it again” but no such message came. Yup, I didn’t realize that I own the version that is for the US and Canada, and I thoughtlessly downloaded the one for the US only.

I had just wasted $49.99.

It was my carelessness. My haste. My responsibility. Period.

I had no one to blame but myself.

But $50 is a fair bit of coin, so I figured I had nothing to lose by asking the iTunes Support Staff if there was anything they could do to help. I assumed that if they did get back to me (an open question since an email to them shortly after the App Store first went live when unanswered), it would be with something like…

“Dear Dan,

Our advice is that you learn from this and be more careful next time.”

I sent this message…

Re_ I inadvertently purchased this application; Follow-up_ 111036400 - rabbidmc@gmail.com - Gmail-2.jpg

Two days later I got this message…

Dear Dan,

Welcome to iTunes Store Customer Support. My name is Animesh and I will assist you today.

I apologize for the delay in response from us, due to unexpected large volume of requests. I know it must have been difficult for you to wait for a response from us and I deeply regret that.

I understand that the purchase of “TomTom U.S.A.” was unintentional and you would like to obtain a refund for the purchase. I realize the importance of you receiving a refund for the charges.

Dan, I have reversed the charges for the purchase. In three to five business days, a credit of $53.49 should be posted to the PayPal account that appears on the receipt for that purchase.

Please note that this is the last exception, as the iTunes Store Terms and Conditions state that all sales are final.

The iTunes Store provides a warning message that asks if you are sure that you want to buy an item. This warning can be turned off. If you would like to make sure that this warning is on, you can reset the warnings in the iTunes Store by following the instructions in this article:

Resetting iTunes Store warnings
http://support.apple.com

We very much appreciate your concerns, and if there’s anything else I can do for you, just respond to this email and let me know. Thank you for supporting the iTunes Store.

Sincerely,

Animesh
iTunes Store Customer Service

Please Note: I work Friday through Tuesday, 11 AM to 8 PM CST.

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

Wow! They not only got back to me but they got back to me, made an exception and send me a credit of $53.49. I was impressed and appreciative and wanted to let him know so I wrote…

Thank you Animesh. Very much appreciate it.

Sent from my iPhone

And then he wrote back…

Hello Dan,

I appreciate you for taking time to reply me.

Thank you for your kind words. I’m so glad to hear that the assistance provided to you was satisfactory.

Nothing makes Apple happier than to hear that we have pleased our customers. I wish you the best and hope that you continue to enjoy the iTunes Store.

Sincerely,

Animesh
iTunes Store Customer Support

Wow!! Say what you will about Apple and their Customer Support, but my experience yesterday was about as good as it gets!

Yes, Apple needs to come up with some system that lets us try out an app before purchasing it. Forcing developers to create Lite versions is just about as inelegant as it gets. but

for now, it is what it is. All I can say is… I appreciate Apple’s flexibility in this case… especially since the fault as all mine.

Thanks Apple.

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