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iTunes’ customer service falls short

By Blane Singletary
Posted on April 24, 2012 | Columns,Opinion | Comments Off on iTunes’ customer service falls short

My iTunes account was recently hacked. How it happened, I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. I knew I had to take action when my account password and security questions stopped working along with various bills for apps I didn’t buy started appearing in my inbox.

Getting the fraudulent charges removed was the easiest part of this experience: I just called PayPal and I had my money back the next day. Dealing with Apple to get my account back under my control was an ordeal.

I filled out their online form to submit my help request, and got an email the next day from an iTunes customer service rep saying they had looked into the problem and essentially fixed my account to the point where I could at least log in and change my billing info, password and such.

After that was squared away I tried making an iTunes purchase, entering my new password, but it said that my account was disabled. So I emailed her back and let her know of the problem. To this day I have not received a response.

Fed up with this email system, I tracked down their customer service phone number. If I could talk to a real, live person, I could get this mess solved much faster. I expected there would be some touch-tone hoops to jump through, But, boy, was I in for a challenge.

Inspired by their recent success with “Siri,” this phone menu was completely voice enabled, only here it didn’t work as well. After mapping out my route through this vocal dungeon I finally found my way to the holding queue. I breathed a sigh of relief as garbled Coldplay began to air over the line.

Finally, I was greeted by another representative. I told her my problem with my iTunes account, and I was a little confused when she began to ask my devices’ serial numbers, since the problem was clearly not with them. But as it turns out, I can only get phone service if one of my devices had an Apple Care plan.

Again, the problem is with my account, not my devices.

Not willing to pay $250 for this bogus service, she instead directed me back to the iTunes support site where all of this started. I filled out the email form again.

A day later, a third iTunes rep re-enabled my account, but not without asking me to change my password yet again. After that I was finally able to complete my iTunes purchase I set out to make… two weeks ago.

All electronics, no matter how good they are, break. Impenetrable security can be penetrated, and when that happens Apple needs to be ready to help their customers, without charging them through the nose just to speak to someone on the phone. And with the recent news of about half a million Macs getting infected with the Flashback virus, their customer service is going to need some serious revamping.

avatar Posted by Blane Singletary on Apr 24th, 2012 and filed under Columns, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.  - This post has been viewed 15393 times.

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