Recently I had what I thought was an error on my iTunes account. I had pre-ordered the xx’s upcoming album, Coexist, on iTunes and when I received the receipt in my e-mail it listed the album as well as the single, Angels, which had a separate charge of $1.29.
I remembered seeing Angels listed in the iTunes store when I was preordering the album but I knew I hadn’t purchased it. The charge was just $1.29 but I thought I should report it all the same since I thought it could be the symptom of a larger error in the system or with my account.
Two days after I reported the issue to iTunes support I got a very apologetic-for-the-delay response back from someone - I don’t want to use any real names here so I’ll call her Betty - who assured me she would help rectify the situation. First she needed to know if anyone else had access to my iTunes account.
I wrote back to tell her I was the only person with access to the password on my account and because I live on my own it’s unlikely anyone would have accessed my computer.
24 hours later, I received a reply from Betty telling me that after careful consideration they’d refunded the $1.29 to my credit card.
Oh, and also, my iTunes account had been disabled and my credit card disallowed.
I was informed by Betty that in order to get my iTunes account back up, I’d have to reply to her with a request to do so, and when it came back online I’d have to choose a new password. I replied with the request and 21 hours later Betty got back to me with a link to setup my new password.
So I’d been a day without access to anything on my iTunes account but I figured everything would be fine now. Only there was still the matter of the disallowed credit card. After reentering my new password into every nook and cranny of my Apple ID existence, I tried to download an app on my iPhone and it told me I needed to review my credit card info first.
OK, one last hoop, I thought. But after entering my security code and clicking done, I received a message saying this card was no longer valid for this account and I’d have to use another card.
So I fired off another e-mail to Betty and I waited.
It turns out that based on the fraud action Apple took with my account, in order to get my credit card up and running on their system again I’d have to go to my bank and have them issue me a new card. I found this out Friday evening, a week into the ordeal, so it was looking like it’d be a long time before I’d be renting any movies, buying any music or downloading any apps from Apple again.
But there was a ray of hope. See at this point I was actually talking to a representative on the phone - I got tired of waiting for Betty to get back to me so I called up Apple Support and pleaded my case. The woman I spoke with was very kind and sympathetic - I’ll call her Erica - and despite this not being something she could easily categorize or claim under any warranty, she agreed to try and help. Erica went from department to department trying to find someone that could reenable my credit card for me, and eventually found the right person - let’s say his name was Tim.
The first thing Tim did was explain what had actually happened on my account. As it turns out, if you preorder an album and there is a single from that album already available, sometimes iTunes will issue you that single at the time of the album’s preorder. When they do this, they charge you for the single separately, but then they reduce the charge for the album to make up the difference.
Lo and behold, when I pulled up my receipt the charge for the album was less than what was listed on iTunes, to make up for the difference of the single’s charge. Originally I just saw that I’d been charged for a single I didn’t purchase, and there’s nothing there explaining how or why, so I contacted Apple about it.
The thing is, I never once claimed there was fraud on my account. I just told them I’d been charged for a song I didn’t purchase, since that’s what it looked like. Apparently that’s enough to set off the fraud alarms at Apple, so no one even bothered to check and see that this was in fact a totally normal situation. Instead they dropped a nuke on my account and then sent me a bunch a links about iTunes Store policy in case I was confused as to what my rights were in this situation.
So Tim cleared up that confusion, then he removed all claims of fraud on my account and reenabled my credit card. I liked Tim.
Half an hour after I got off the phone with Tim, I finally get a reply from Betty saying that there’s nothing they can do to undo the process now. Half an hour after Tim undid the entire process for me.
I’ve had a few dealings with Apple over the phone in my time, and they’ve all been exceptional. This was my first time receiving support from Apple over e-mail, and it was just terrible.
I admit, I misunderstood my bill. But reporting that misunderstanding should not have resulted in my account being disabled and my credit card being disallowed. Apple should know their own operations well enough to distinguish between a normal situation and fraud.
Christianity is at its best when it is peculiar, marginalized, suffering, and it is at its worst when it is popular, credible, triumphal, and powerful. — Shane Claiborne, Jesus for President
Pity those who talk negatively or in bad blood; for either they do not possess the intellect to constructively criticise or are too insecure to applaud another. — YYx (via yimmyayo)
I find that when someone’s taking time to do something right in the present, they’re a perfectionist with no ability to prioritize, whereas when someone took time to do something right in the past, they’re a master artisan of great foresight. — Randall Munroe, xkcd
Tim Horton’s is so cheap. I never go there, so I guess I’m a little out of touch, but I just did a run for some co-workers and five beverages (two coffees, two hot chocolates and a “cappuccino”) came to six and change.
I had to ask the kid behind the counter if this was right. It was.
At any of the places I go for coffee, you’d be over the ten dollar mark on an order like that, easy.
I’m intreagued by the whole Tim Horton’s phenomenon, especially since to my taste their coffee is so terrible. But people love it. No doubt, Tim Horton’s relative cheapness has something to do with it.
Not that I’m saying people will, en mass, devote themselves to something they don’t enjoy simply because it costs less than the alternative. But because the alternative is so much more expensive, I think it keeps most people from ever venturing out to discover whether or not they could like it better than their Timmy’s in the first place.
I want everything we do to be beautiful. I don’t give a damn whether the client understands that that’s worth anything, or that the client thinks it’s worth anything, or whether it is worth anything. It’s worth it to me. It’s the way I want to live my life. I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares. — Saul Bass
The most compelling reason for most people to buy a computer for the home will be to link it into a nationwide communications network. We’re just in the beginning stages of what will be a truly remarkable breakthrough for most people — as remarkable as the telephone. — Steve Jobs, 1985
What are you thankful for? That’s the question we typically ask one another on this second Monday of October every year. And the typical answers run the gamut of the beneficial things we are surrounded by. External forces. The kindness of others. Wonderful things that are important to take stock of. But what about looking internally, being thankful for who we are?
It’s sort of a cultural taboo to appreciate oneself. Words like ego and pride take on negative connotations that deter us from taking stock of who we are, what we’re made of, and what we can do.
Which is a real shame. I think it’s fair to say that most people rarely come close to meeting their full potential in life, and I think that has a lot to do with the fact that we’re discouraged from really getting to know what that potential is. We keep our personal bar low because, without knowing what we’re truly capable of, we’re convinced that’s as high as it will go.
None of this is to say we should therefor be putting ourselves ahead of others. This isn’t an either/or scenario I’m describing here. You can be thankful for the splendour that surrounds you while at the same time appreciate the special qualities that make you a part of the splendour that surrounds others.
I feel insanely fortunate to be surrounded by so many fiercely talented and exceptionally kind people. As I benefit from them in so many ways, I strive to be of benefit to them. And the best way I can think of to do that is to continue to explore and enhance everything I’m capable of.
Of which I believe there is no limit.