Neal Sheeran

Rants, Raves, and Geekery

More iTunes Pain


Note: This is now resolved. See Update 3 below.

Last year, I wrote about my iTunes account/password being hacked, a situation that was handled well by Apple. Now, when I try to purchase an app, iTunes tells me my credit card has been declined. I have used this same credit card with iTunes for years as well as recently for other purchases, so I know it is not my bank that is declining the card. I tried to input a different credit card and got the same result. I checked that the credit card information in iTunes matched what was listed in the Apple ID website.

A quick search of the Apple discussion forums found this thread with over 100 responses describing the exact same thing. A larger majority of users (including me, but not all) are overseas, but using US-based credit or debit cards (and even PayPal). Many users can’t even get iTunes gift cards to work for their accounts. When I first got to Korea, I was able to purchase Apps, and when I was in Alaska last month, I rented multiple movies and bought the second season of Rome. Then two days ago, iTunes stopped accepting my credit cards. I sent an email to the iTunes folks and received this reply, which is pretty much the identical received by other people having the same problem:

Dear Neal, Thank you for contacting iTunes Store Customer Support. My name is Joginder and I will be glad to assist you today. I’m sorry to hear that you haven’t been able to make purchases on the iTunes Store with your credit card. I know this is frustrating, and I will try to provide as much information as I can to help you resolve it. Neal, please be informed that finding a solution for you is 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.

Other users have received further responses from higher up the support chain, but I have not. Come on Apple, why don’t you want my money?

Update: My wife’s computer is about five feet away from mine and her iTunes account is set to the same credit card that I use. She has no problems buying from the iTunes store. And almost a week after I notified Apple of the problem, still no further word other than than the initial “we’ll look into it.”

Update 2: I’m still able to purchase music from the iTunes store, with my original credit card. Not sure why it won’t let me purchase apps. God Dammit

Update 3: It took almost two weeks, but I finally got an email from my buddy Joginder stating that:

I would like you to inform that I have receive the update from our engineering team that the issued has been resolved. I request you to please try again in 24 hour. And if you are still unable to purchase please let me know.

Sure enough, the next day, I was able to purchase apps again. The above letter pretty matches what others in the Apple discussion forums with the exact same problem have received. Not sure what exactly caused this, but hopefully it doesn’t happen again.