Apple Steals – A Letter to Tim Cook

26 12 2012

Hello Tim Cook at the Office of the CEO,

I am compelled to bring my utter dissatisfaction with Apple Customer Support, The Apple App Store, and with Apple, Inc. directly to your attention. I feel that Apple is stealing $130 directly from me and I am seeking restitution. If you were inclined you can read through the entire support case below but here is the “executive summary”.

  • Customer Jeff Windstrup purchased approximately $130 worth of apps from your Mac App Store.
  • The customer change his Apple ID county association and credit card from France to USA.
  • The customer is now no longer permitted to update or redownload his original purchases.
  • Because of this the customer cannot install and use the software he purchased on his new MacBook Air.

The apps I am referring to are available in both the US and French stores. I understand there are different sales rules, legalities, and currencies in different countries. Furthermore, maybe your back-end systems cannot cross-reference these purchases. That said, if I had bought the software on physical media or even downloaded the apps directly from the editor I would be able to install and use the software as expected.

I feel that your customer support unnecessarily ran me round in circles and didn’t take the time to understand my issue. They were obviously copy an pasting phrases in their responses that were at times not relevant or would have made my issue worse. Their false platitudes were in the end infuriating and they left me feeling like you and your company had stolen directly from me.

I can imagine that your company Apple, Inc. is well within its legal rights based either on your terms of service or international sales procedures to deny my request. However, I ask you, is that the way you wish to run your business?

  • To leave your customers without what they purchased.
  • To provide only superficial or non-helpful customer service.
  • To have your customers feeling like they have been robbed by you.

I hope your answer is no and that you will follow-up and do what is right to rectify this.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey Windstrup


I wrote this in desperation after a lengthy and unproductive support case that left me feeling that Apple had stolen $130 directly from me. I did receive a followup by phone where an Apple PR person told me that Apple was within its terms of service and that I would not receive a refund because that was policy. That may be; but it is no way to run a business.

I’m posting this to alleviate some of my frustration and for posterity sake to anyone else having a similar difficulties with Apple.  That said, still for me it was a lesson in futility. I’ll include the entire support dialogue leading up to this in the comments for completeness.

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One response

27 01 2013
windstrup

Hi Jeffrey,

Shannon here from the iTunes and MacApp Store. I am a Senior Advisor, and I will be handling your request from this point on. I understand that when you switched the country associated with your account you lost a number of applications you had purchased . I am sure this is something you are eager to have us look into at a higher level, and I would be more than happy to help you out.

Jeffrey, I am very sorry, but we cannot repost the apps to your account. We also cannot offer a refund for those items. All content is store specific, and as per our Terms and Conditions, once you change stores, you may lose access to some content. The apps must be purchased from the store that is now associated with your account, as all content is store specific. I very much apologize for the inconvenience, but this is the case.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require any additional assistance. Thank you for using the iTunes store.

Sincerely,

Shannon
Senior Advisor
iTunes Store/Mac App Store Customer Support
http://www.apple.com/support/itunes/ww/

Please note: I work Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM EST

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

—–

Dear Jeffrey,

Greetings from iTunes! It’s Rochelle again. Thanks for your reply and I’m sorry that this matter hasn’t been resolved. We sincerely appreciate your willingness to work hand in hand with us in getting things resolved.

Your inquiry is very important to me, so I have requested assistance with the issue you reported. You will receive an email after the matter has been investigated and further information is available.

Thank you for your patience. Apple wants your iTunes experience to be as enjoyable as possible.

I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience you have experienced. I understand your predicament and you have the right to be justifiably concerned with your purchases

Sincerely yours,

Paul

Sincerely,

Paul
iTunes Store/Mac App Store Customer Support
http://www.apple.com/support/iTunes/ww/

Please Note: I work Mon – Fri, 06:30 AM – 03:30 PM CT.
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

—–

Paul,

Come on Paul; now you’re just passing the buck! I do not need troubleshooting tips or how to articles or other “self service support”. I need the Apps that I paid for installed on my Macs. If it were a simple fix I would have fixed it. I need direct intervention from Apple billing or Apple download assistance. My issue does not fall outside of your area of specialty. I am exactly in the right place. You just have me going round and round in circles instead of truly resolving my issue with good customer service.

You providing the links and telephone numbers and suggesting that I open another support and service case for my country is insulting. I am not going to start this long and arduous process all over again. I no longer have a French store account. That’s where this whole problem started apparently. The Apps that I want and purchased are available in the US store.

I’m completely dissatisfied with the Apple support you are providing. My problem is not with Apple France or the Apple French store. My problem is simply with Apple. Apple billing in the US can fix my problem. You can fix my problem or you can escalate my case to somebody who can.

Why do you refused to escalate my case as I have demanded? Why are you trying to push this off somewhere else in Apple? Why will you not make the following apps which I purchased and are available in the US store available for download or issue a refund for $129.93 so that may simply repurchase them?

Things by Cultured Code GmbH & Co. KG – $49.99
Money by Jumsoft – $38.99
Reeder by Silvio Rizzi – $4.99
Angry Birds by Rovio Mobile Ltd. – $4.99
Sketcher by Helsing Global Ltd. – $14.99
Battlestations: Midway by Feral Interactive Ltd – $14.99
iSplash by T-bone – $0.99

I am not looking for something for nothing. I truly purchased these apps and want to use them on all my Macs. I am not trying to steal or scam Apple.

Actually, I feel like it is Apple that is stealing from and scamming me. I should not have to go to such great lengths to explain my issue or demand restitution.

I insist again that you escalate my case to your supervisor. If you do not I will take this matter up directly with:

Tim Cook
Office of the CEO
Apple Inc.
tcook@apple.com

Very dissatisfied,

Jeffrey Windstrup

—–

On Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 7:50 PM, iTunes Store <iTunesStoreSupport@apple.com wrote:

Dear Jeffrey,

Greetings from iTunes! This is Paul again and I'm here to give you an update regarding your request.. I understand that you have a question about the app that you purchased while your oh the French store.

As an Advisor for the iTunes Store, I help customers with questions about purchasing and downloading content from the iTunes Store, managing their accounts, and troubleshooting connection issues. Although your question falls outside of my area of specialty, I'm happy to help.

You can find troubleshooting tips, how-to articles, and moderated discussion forums on our support website:
http://www.apple.com/support

These resources are free of charge and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

To find the phone number for your country, see this article:

Contacting Apple for support and service
http://support.apple.com/kb/HE57

I look forward in receiving your reply as I am very eager to have this resolved for you. Once again, this is Paul and thank you for being an iTunes Store customer. Have a nice day!.

Sincerely,

Paul
iTunes Store/Mac App Store Customer Support
http://www.apple.com/support/iTunes/ww/

Please Note: I work Mon – Fri, 06:30 AM – 03:30 PM CT.
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

—–

Paul,

This most certainly has NOT been resolved! I get the impression that you are not actually taking the time to truly understand the issue. I still do NOT have the Apps that I paid for and you saying that it is resolved does NOT make it so. The way it stands now I feel that Apple has stollen $130 directly from me!

I want either my the Apps that I paid for or I want my money back. I insist that you escalate my case to your supervisor.

Jeff Windstrup

—–

Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2012 06:50:29 -0800
From: iTunesStoreSupport@apple.com
To: traxxaxss@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: EL : (en_US) Purchases, Billing & Redemption; Follow-up: 243075971

Follow-Up: 243075971

Hello again,

This is just a quick follow-up to your previous request. I wanted to ensure that your iTunes Store issue has been taken care of. I am looking forward to your reply so that I can be certain it has been fully resolved.

Sincerely,

Paul
iTunes Store/Mac App Store Customer Support
http://www.apple.com/support/iTunes/ww/

Please Note: I work Mon – Fri, 06:30 AM – 03:30 PM CT.
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

—–

Dear Jeffry,

Greetings from iTunes! This is Paul again and I'm here to give you an update regarding your request.

The content purchased from the iTunes Store is country-specific. If you wish to upgrade any of your iTunes Store content to iTunes Plus, you'll need to do this before you change countries. The content you purchased while your account was set to the previous country will not be eligible for upgrade once you've changed countries.

After you change countries, you will no longer receive application update notifications in iTunes for the apps you purchased in your original country. However, you'll still receive update notifications on your iOS device for any applications installed on it.

And also a supervisor reviewed your request and approve the information that I gave you Apple recognizes that no one is better qualified to provide feedback about our products and services than the people who use them. I urge you to submit any feedback you have about at Apple's Feedback page:

http://www.apple.com/feedback

Your efforts to share your feedback are very much appreciated.

I look forward in receiving your reply as I am very eager to have this resolved for you. Once again, this is Paul and thank you for being an iTunes Store customer. Have a nice day!

Sincerely,

Paul
iTunes Store/Mac App Store Customer Support
http://www.apple.com/support/iTunes/ww/

Please Note: I work Mon – Fri, 06:30 AM – 03:30 PM CT.
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

—–

Hi Paul,

Please, I do not want to change stores. I have already done that and that is what is at the root of this problem. Changing again would only create the same problem I am having now with Apps from the US store. I want and insist to stay in the US store.

Please take the time to read and try to understand my issue and what I am asking. The advice you are giving me will not solve my problem but in fact make it worse. No disrespect, but if you cannot offer the credit I deserve or make the Apps I purchased available in the US Store please escalate my issue to a higher level support person.

Regards,

Jeff

—–

Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2012 07:55:14 -0800
From: iTunesStoreSupport@apple.com
To: traxxaxss@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: EL : (en_US) Purchases, Billing & Redemption; Follow-up: 243075971

Dear Jeffrey,

Greetings from iTunes! This is Paul again and I'm here to give you an update regarding your request.

Jeffrey, I realize that this may be becoming inconvenient for you, and I deeply apologize for the frustration you might be experiencing regarding this matter. Let me assure you that I will stay in correspondence with you until this issue is resolved in a timely manner.

As I look into my resources I found this notes:
1) If you have store credit, you must use the credit before you can change countries.

2) You will need to download all purchased content. In addition, rented items must be past their 30-day expiration. For more information on rentals, please see:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1657

3) You must provide a payment method, such as a credit or debit card associated with a valid billing address in the new country. An iTunes Store Gift Card issued in the new country is also an acceptable payment method.

4) Content purchased from the iTunes Store is country-specific. If you wish to upgrade any of your iTunes Store content to iTunes Plus, you'll need to do this before you change countries. The content you purchased while your account was set to the previous country will not be eligible for upgrade once you've changed countries.

5) After you change countries, you will no longer receive application update notifications in iTunes for the apps you purchased in your original country. However, you'll still receive update notifications on your iOS device for any applications installed on it.

6) If you have an iTunes Match subscription, you can't change countries until the subscription has expired.

7) If you have purchased a Season Pass, you cannot change the country associated with your account until that season is done airing and the last episode of the season has been added to the iTunes Store.

8) If you have been using iTunes in the Cloud to download past purchases from your Purchased page, these purchases will no longer appear when you change the country.

Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns regarding this matter by sending me an email at your earliest convenience. I'll be more than happy to assist you with whatever you need. Thank you for being an iTunes Store customer. We at Apple appreciate your business. Have a great day and take care, Jeffrey!

Sincerely,

Paul
iTunes Store/Mac App Store Customer Support
http://www.apple.com/support/iTunes/ww/

Please Note: I work Mon – Fri, 06:30 AM – 03:30 PM CT.
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

—–

Dear Paul,

Hello, it's Jeffrey Windstrup again. I am sorry this hasn't been resolved yet too. I am willing to work hand in hand with you from iTunes to get this matter resolved mainly because I am currently out almost $130. Sorry, but I dont think you have correctly understood my issue. I realize my last mail was long and possibly not easy to understand. Explanations are not my strong point so I apologize for not making it more clear and concise. Sorry, I'll try again:

The apps I am referring to were purchased in the French App Store with my only Apple ID. That ID is now completely changed to the US store complete with a change to an American credit card and billing address. I no longer have an account in the French Store (where the apps were purchased) with the Apple ID that I bought the Apps with. Does that make sense?

I do not see how I can follow your advice with the workaround to "try to buy them" in the French Store as I no longer have an account there. Please do one of the following:

1. Issue a full credit in the US Store so I may purchase the Apps myself.
2. Make all the Apps available in the US Store so I may download them again.

Regards,

Jeffrey Windstrup

—–

Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2012 05:02:24 -0800
From: iTunesStoreSupport@apple.com
To: traxxaxss@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: EL : (en_US) Purchases, Billing & Redemption; Follow-up: 243075971

Dear Jeffrey,

Greetings from iTunes! It's Paul again. Thanks for your reply and I'm sorry that this matter hasn't been resolved. We sincerely appreciate your willingness to work hand in hand with us in getting things resolved.

I understand that you're unable to purchase from the iTunes Store. I am sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you. Please be assured that I am most happy to help you with this issue.

iTunes and Mac App Store content is country-specific. For apps, there's a workaround for that. What you can do is to check if the apps that you bought from the US Store is also available from the French Store. If so, try to "buy" the item. Normally, it would prompt you that you already bought it and offer a free redownload.

look forward in receiving your reply as I am very eager to have this resolved for you. Once again, this is Paul and thank you for being an iTunes Store customer. Have a nice day!

Sincerely,

Paul
iTunes Store/Mac App Store Customer Support
http://www.apple.com/support/iTunes/ww/

Please Note: I work Mon – Fri, 06:30 AM – 03:30 PM CT.
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

—–

Hi Paul,

Still not getting the apps on my new MacBook. Whatever you did last time only worked to update on my older iMac. Appreciate that as the entire list of apps is now updated. However that is only on my old Mac… I dont know what goes on on your end but to me this seems related to my need as an American living in France to change stores to the US store. Since then my previously purchased apps seem "lost". I imagine on your back end this is not an easy fix. Sorry about that, though I did purchase those apps and I do want to use them on my new Mac. I have checked in the App Store (US App Store) and most of the the Apps do exist in the US store as they did when I purchased them. In fact if I copy the App from the old to the new Mac the App Store shows them as Installed. Yet when I try to run them nothing happens. When I delete the apps from the application folder they no longer show as Installed but available for purchase. It seems the best way for me to get what I already paid for is to issue a credit for the following appp. so that I may simply repurchase them. There is a difference in Euros in what I originally paid and the current price in Dollars and the price and versions of the Apps may have changed. However, I do not believe that this should concern me as I did actually purchase the Apps and if I hadn't changed Stores, as allowed, they would still update on my old Mac and I would be able to install them on my new MacBook Air and all future Macs…

Please issue a US store credite for $129.93 for the following Apps purchase in the French Store that are currently available in the US store.

Things by Cultured Code GmbH & Co. KG – 39.99€ – $49.99
Money by Jumsoft – 14.99€ – $38.99
Reeder by Silvio Rizzi – 7.99€ – $4.99
Angry Birds by Rovio Mobile Ltd. – 3.99€ – $4.99
Sketcher by Helsing Global Ltd. – 5.49€ – $14.99
Paintr by T-bone – 5.99€ – Not Available any longer…
Battlestations: Midway by Feral Interactive Ltd – 16.99€ – $14.99
iSnap by T-bone – 0.79€ – now Free…
iSplash by T-bone – 0.79€ – $0.99

Long mail I know but I am just looking to explain my issue, note the financial impact in app cost and your and my time, and basically get this resolved.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey Windstrup

—–

Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2012 07:14:43 -0800

From: iTunesStoreSupport@apple.com
To: traxxaxss@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: EL : (en_US) Purchases, Billing & Redemption; Follow-up: 243075971

Dear Jeffrey,

Greetings from iTunes! This is Paul again and I'm here to give you an update regarding your request..

Im sorry that your issue hasn't been resolved yet but the I regranted again the the app that you download and try to this steps again and let us see if this will work again.

When you change the country associated with your Apple ID, your previous Mac App Store purchases will no longer appear on your Purchases page. To correct this, I’ve posted the missing applications to your account. You can download them again by following these steps:

1.) First, see this article to install the latest updates for your computer:

Mac OS X: Updating your software
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1338

2.) From the Apple () menu, choose “App Store.”

3.) From the Store pull-down menu, choose Check for Unfinished Downloads.

4.) If prompted, enter your Apple ID and password, then click the Sign In button. Your download should begin automatically.

Click the Purchases button at the top of the App Store window to see your downloads. If your download doesn’t start automatically, click the Resume button next to the application name on the Purchases page.

You can download the applications on your Purchases page to any Mac that you own at no extra charge.

If an application you’ve purchased isn’t on your Purchases page, it may have been hidden. You can hide a purchase by clicking the "X" to the left of the Install button. To check for hidden purchases and unhide them if necessary, see this article:

Mac App Store: Hiding and unhiding purchases
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4928

If an application isn’t on your Purchases or Hidden Purchases page, it may have been removed from the App

Store or modified since you purchased it. Applications that are modified or removed from the App Store are no longer available for download.

If you continue to have difficulty downloading an app, please reply to let us know. This article also offers some troubleshooting steps you can try while waiting for our response:

Troubleshooting the Mac App Store
http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3624

I appreciate your patience and understanding regarding this matter and I look forward to your response so that we can resolve this matter as soon as possible for you. Once again, this is Paul and thank you for being an iTunes Store customer. Have a nice day!.

Sincerely,

Paul
iTunes Store/Mac App Store Customer Support
http://www.apple.com/support/iTunes/ww/

Please Note: I work Mon – Fri, 06:30 AM – 03:30 PM CT.
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

—–

Hello Paul,

Thanks for getting back to me. I have not been able to successfully download my purchases on both of my Macs. After receiving your directions I was albe to get the applications to update on my two year old iMac and they function properly. However, on my brand new MacBook Air the apps never showed up in Purchases nor Updates even after the Update Software and Check for Unfinished Downloads steps. I copied them over from the working iMac disk to the MacBoook Applications folder but none of them will launch. Again I did the Check for Unfinished Downloads but still they do not show up nor will they launch. – I am using and authenticating with the same Apple ID on both Macs.

Needing further assistance please. Good day to you.

Regards,

Jeffrey Windstrup

—–

Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2012 13:00:30 -0800
From: iTunesStoreSupport@apple.com
To: traxxaxss@hotmail.com
Subject: Re: EL : (en_US) Purchases, Billing & Redemption; Follow-up: 243075971

Follow-Up: 243075971

Hello again,

This is just a quick follow-up to your previous request. I just wanted to make sure that you were able to successfully download the purchases I restored for you. If you have any questions or concerns about the downloads, please reply to this email. I will be happy to help.

Thank you for choosing the iTunes Store, I hope you have a fantastic day.

Sincerely,

Paul
iTunes Store/Mac App Store Customer Support
http://www.apple.com/support/iTunes/ww/

Please Note: I work Mon – Fri, 06:30 AM – 03:30 PM CT.
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

—–

Dear Jeffrey,

Greetings! My name is Paul and I'll be your iTunes Store advisor today. I'll be more than happy to assist you regarding your issue.

When you change the country associated with your Apple ID, your previous Mac App Store purchases will no longer appear on your Purchases page. To correct this, I’ve posted the missing applications to your account. You can download them again by following these steps:

1.) First, see this article to install the latest updates for your computer:

Mac OS X: Updating your software
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1338

2.) From the Apple () menu, choose “App Store.”

3.) From the Store pull-down menu, choose Check for Unfinished Downloads.

4.) If prompted, enter your Apple ID and password, then click the Sign In button. Your download should begin automatically.

Click the Purchases button at the top of the App Store window to see your downloads. If your download doesn’t start automatically, click the Resume button next to the application name on the Purchases page.

You can download the applications on your Purchases page to any Mac that you own at no extra charge.

If an application you’ve purchased isn’t on your Purchases page, it may have been hidden. You can hide a purchase by clicking the "X" to the left of the Install button. To check for hidden purchases and unhide them if necessary, see this article:

Mac App Store: Hiding and unhiding purchases
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4928

If an application isn’t on your Purchases or Hidden Purchases page, it may have been removed from the App Store or modified since you purchased it. Applications that are modified or removed from the App Store are no longer available for download.

If you continue to have difficulty downloading an app, please reply to let us know. This article also offers some troubleshooting steps you can try while waiting for our response:

Troubleshooting the Mac App Store
http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3624

I hope I was able to assist you with your concern, and I'm looking forward to hearing from you soon. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. Thank you and have a nice day!.

Sincerely,

Paul
iTunes Store/Mac App Store Customer Support
http://www.apple.com/support/iTunes/ww/

Please Note: I work Mon – Fri, 06:30 AM – 03:30 PM CT.
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

—–

First Name : Jeffrey
Last Name : Windstrup
Email : traxxaxss@hotmail.com
Lang_Country : en_US
Product : Mac App Store
Support Subject : Purchases, Billing & Redemption
Sub Issue : Recovering missing Mac App Store purchases
GCRM Case ID : 382300643
See additional info below
Which operating system is installed? Mac OS X v10.7.x
App name: Things
Order number: MGWBJNQ59S
Choose the Mac App Store for your country: United States
Details:

I purchased this app and others in the French store. I've since changed to the US store with my Apple ID. Now I cannot get this app to work on my new MacBook Air by simply copying the app over to the Applications folder. Furthermore it dose not show up in Updates or Purchases in the App Store application. I spent a bit of money on these apps and a ton on a new laptop so I certainly do not want to purchase apps I already own again to use them on my new Mac just because I changed stores.

Please either me grant me access for the following apps or issue a refund so that I may repurchase them in the US store.

Things by Cultured Code GmbH & Co. KG – 39.99€

Money by Jumsoft – 14.99€

Reeder by Silvio Rizzi – 7.99€

Angry Birds by Rovio Mobile Ltd. – 3.99€

Sketcher by Helsing Global Ltd. – 5.49€

Paintr by T-bone – 5.99€

Battlestations: Midway by Feral Interactive Ltd – 16.99€

iSnap by T-bone – 0.79€

iSplash by T-bone – 0.79€

Thank you

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