Canadian iTunes app store credit update

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 21:58
Today I received another response back from Apple Canada iTunes support. This one is even less helpful than the previous one; I don't think the Apple rep even read what I'd written in my request as the response is even more vague than before and fails to address my questions in any way.

Here is my email to Apple:
Thank you for your attention to this situation, Rashida. I'm sorry to say that my issue has still not been resolved. First of all, in my previous message to Apple support I explained that my daughter is not interested in purchasing songs via iTunes and since she could not use her allowance to buy games, I requested a refund or credit to my iTunes account (***@*******.***). You responded by crediting her with two additional songs in iTunes. It should have been obvious that providing her with more of what she does not want is not a satisfactory solution.

Second, I have followed up with the Canadian government and the Federal Minister of Industry, Hon. Tony Clement, is unable to substantiate Apple's position that there is some Canadian commerce law that prevents Apple from accepting iTunes credit as payment for apps. Why does Apple believe that such a restriction exists? This is my second request to Apple to provide me with the specific Canadian legislation that Apple believes applies here. Again, I will reiterate that the Canadian Minister of Industry has indicated in writing that there is no such legislation (see a copy of his letter at the url provided below).

Please see the following blog post for a more complete summary of my correspondence with Apple and my government representatives:

http://www.jimwhitelaw.com/2009/09/itunes-credit-in-canada.html

And today I received the following response:

Dear Jim,

This is John from iTunes. Your request has been escalated up to myself to further handle your case.

The inquiry regarding why a credit card is needed to purchase App or software can be found here in the terms of sale that was agreed upon with your account creation.

MONTHLY ALLOWANCES

Monthly Allowances are for transactions on the iTunes Store only. The Allowance Account may not be used for gifts, or purchases on the Apple Online Store or in Apple Retail Stores. Monthly Allowances may not be used for purchases on the Apple Online Store or in Apple Retail Stores. Monthly Allowances are non-refundable. Monthly Allowances may not be used to purchase Gift Certificates, iTunes Cards, Apps, or other Monthly Allowances. Monthly allowances may not be used to purchase software, games, or apps.

iTUNES CARDS

iTunes Cards are for transactions on the iTunes Store only. iTunes Cards may not be used for gifts, or purchases on the Apple Online Store or in Apple Retail Stores. iTunes Cards are non-refundable. iTunes Cards may not be used to purchase Gift Certificates, Monthly Allowances, Apps, or other iTunes Cards. iTunes Cards may not be used to purchase software, games, or apps.

You can find this information here:
http://www.apple.com/legal/itunes/ca/terms.html#SALE

In closing this is a clear a concise answer for this request. It is the current policy for Canadian customers.

We do recommend customer review these terms before the store is used if they have any concerns such as this.

Please note that Apple now considers this matter closed.

If you would like assistance with another iTunes Store issue, please don't hesitate to contact us:

http://www.apple.com/support/itunes/ww

I apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused you. I hope this information has been helpful.

Sincerely,

John
iTunes Store Customer Support
In short, today's response consists of quoting Apple's policy back to me and telling me to piss off. It doesn't appear that "John" has even bothered to read my message. I was not asking for clarification of the policy, I'm well aware of what the policy says by now. I was asking for 1) Refund or credit of my daughter's credit to my account (Is that so unreasonable? Just transfer the balance back to my account - unlike her, I DO buy music from iTunes.) and a citation or reference to the Canadian Law that Apple believes they need to enforce in the app store.

I also sent similar messages via the Apple iTunes feedback page and to sjobs@apple.com (which I believe is a valid address for whoever gets the task of reading Steve Jobs' email), and have not received a response from either.

I don't really hold out much hope that this approach will bear any fruit as I don't think anyone at Apple support is actually reading what I write. That and the "escalation" process likely works in the reverse of what you'd think - that is, the newest person in the call center with the least authority to actually do anything to help a customer is now stuck with dealing with my complaints.

To be clear, I'm not necessarily blaming Apple for this situation (though the way their support is dealing with it is clearly sub-standard) as the company probably does have some grounds for believing their policy needs to be what it is. I just want a straight answer concerning whatever is behind that policy. That shouldn't be so hard should it? Since this app store limitation surely hurts Apple's Canadian business and Apple claims it's a Canadian regulation they have to enforce, you'd think they'd be only to happy to identify that regulation as the root cause of this policy.

2 comments

  1. 1ne Idea Says:

    You would definitely think Apple Canada would like to see this resolved. Why have an online store and then cripple it with a lousy Canadian 'excuse'? Maybe this particular TOS needs to be studied in our Canadian Law Schools?

  2. Mark W Says:

    It seems this problem has been addressed sometime between February and May of 2010. All my recent App purchases have made use of my available Store Credit. Hooray!

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