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Man if this don’t get your goat nothing will. My family isn’t rich. We live from week to week. If I can get a few hundred bucks ahead I’m lucky.

My wife signed up like my of you did for Apple I-Tunes last year. She has bought two $0.99 downloads since then.

This morning while checking our bank balance online she noticed three separate $50 charges against my bank balance from APL*ITUNES. She checked the old charges from our bank statements and sure enough it was the same ITunes. But we didn’t buy anything at all from ITunes. And by the way, my balance was $159 before they stole my money.

Now I know if I’d had $1000 they would have kept taking $50 until they stole it all.

I’m very pissed because after contacting them and they admitting they made the charges I get this friggin email from them:

Below from a happy Apple person named Jeff...a form response

I am sorry to learn of your concern about what may be unauthorized charges to your credit card for iTunes Store transactions, and I regret to inform you that the iTunes Store cannot reverse those charges. I urge you to contact your bank or credit card company as soon as possible to inquire about canceling the card and removing the unauthorized transactions.

If you suspect that your credit card is being used fraudulently for iTunes Store purchases, I strongly recommend you change your account password immediately. To increase the security of your account, I recommend that your new account password be eight characters—including letters and numbers. You can change your password using this website:

http://iforgot.apple.com

If you suspect you are the victim of identity theft, consider following these recommendations provided by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC):

  1. Contact the fraud departments of any one of the three consumer reporting companies to place a fraud alert on your credit report.
  1. Close the accounts that you believe have been used without your knowledge.
  1. File a report with your local police.
  1. File a complaint with the FTC.

For more information, visit the FTC website: http://www.ftc.gov/...

Sincerely,

Jeff
iTunes Store Customer Support

EXCUSE ME!!!!  You left me with a balance of $9 and the possibility of bad checks piling up and all you can do is that!!!!!!!!!!!

Folks.....I have compared the transactions and it’s an Apple I-Tunes transaction. They are now stealing money from people as poor as me and then making me fend for myself.

I am so pissed off about this that I’m going to get my $150 back a thousand times over. I want all of you who really do care to cancel your I-Tunes account just as I have had my wife do. Next I’m going to do some online ball-busting. By the time I am done Steve Jobs will know my first and last name as will all the stockholders.

All I-Tunes customers watch out!

Originally posted to JellyPuddin on Thu Aug 02, 2007 at 03:40 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wow! I just (3+ / 0-)

    signed up for iTunes last week. You got me all nervous now because I'm one of those that live from paycheck to paycheck.

    Maybe I should take your advice and cancel my account.

  •  One method (9+ / 0-)

    If you are near an Apple Store, I suggest visiting them in person.

    You can try calling AppleCare again and you'll probably get a better reception.   Have your bills lined up in front of you.

    ------

    Next, talk to your bank that issued your credit card or debit card.  

    Al Gore for President 2008.

    by Spruce on Thu Aug 02, 2007 at 03:37:22 PM PDT

  •  three possible approaches to consider (7+ / 0-)

    (1) Report any unauthorized charges to your credit card company immediately; your liability for unauthorized charges will be limited. Tell them which charges you wish to dispute, and why.

    (2) You may also choose to write a letter to iTunes with a detailed complaint; you may find satisfaction in writing to their Office of the President, respectfully requesting a resolution of this disputed charge. By going higher up the food chain, you will get beyond the form letter-writers, and may actually find someone who can help you fix the problem and restore your balance.

    (3) As a last resort, you could consider filing a claim in small claims court -- but the filing fee and service of process fee would eat up most of your claim.

    •  That's It. (6+ / 0-)

      The odds are that Apple didn't decide to reach out and grab your $150.  It's much more likely that somebody got a hold of your bank information or your iTunes account and put in an order for three $50 gift cards.

      Contact your bank and tell them the Apple charges are unauthorized.  For that kind of money the odds are your bank will credit the account.  Maybe your bank will charge the $150 back to iTunes or maybe your bank will just eat it, but the point is to contact your bank immediately.

      I wouldn't care about TU if they called it "Geek Who Spends Too Much Time on the Internet" status.

      by Tod on Thu Aug 02, 2007 at 04:29:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  iTunes customer (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BachFan, condoleaser, GoldnI, craiger

    I've been an iTunes customer for several years now.  Never had an issue only until recently where a movie I bought didn't download.  I was still charged and promptly let Apple know that I was being charged for a product I DIDN'T HAVE.

    It was fixed immediately.  

    But I agree with visiting an Apple Store in person (and to bring all your bills and this email response).

  •  Trojan horse? (0+ / 0-)

    Folks.....I have compared the transactions and it’s an Apple I-Tunes transaction.

    How do you know this? I think you should go to the credit card company because it could be that someone else has your number and is using the name because many people might overlook it on their bill. Steve Jobs might have nothing to do with it.

    We are all, by any practical definition of the words, foolproof and incapable of error. - HAL 9000

    by MarkC on Thu Aug 02, 2007 at 03:46:54 PM PDT

    •  Y'All think everybody has credit cards (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee, gailwax, Tetris

      Many of us poor folk have bank debit cards. We don't get credit cards cause we don't buy what we can't pay for now.

      As for all the other bull...I'm a PC tech. I know all the possibilities. I was investigating this morning all possibilities. The one that is true is that ITunes has my money. Thats a fact.

      If they fix this and give my money back I'll be the first to give them an attaboy......

      Lets just see if they really care about all of us Itunes customers

      Militia General Pajamahadeen Ohio Southwest Chapter....we sale Girl Scout Cookies also

      by JellyPuddin on Thu Aug 02, 2007 at 03:50:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well then (0+ / 0-)

        Call the bank who gave you the card (though I have less faith in a bank fixing it, than a credit card).

        The one that is true is that ITunes has my money. Thats a fact.

        Sure, but if someone stole your money and gave it to iTunes, that doesn't mean they are criminally liable.  Or would you want to be prosecuted if someone, unbeknownst to you, paid you with stolen cash?

        Try writing to Steve Jobs; can't hurt, eh?  But be polite; frankly, your anger here, while righteous, is going to put anyone you talk to there on the defensive, and make them less willing to help you.

        Have you ever read the Consumerist?  Issues like this tend to come up there.

      •  PC Tech (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MarkC, polecat, Hannibal, condoleaser

        Got an axe to grind with Apple?

        I've used iTunes for years and have had no problems with overcharges. If this is fraud, your bank or credit card is the proper avenue to deal with this matter.

        "On-line ball busting" will get you nowhere.

      •  A few things: (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MarkC, polecat, Ken065, brouski
        1. It's apparent someone used your bank debit card number without your approval. Keep in mind that Apple has sold 3 billion songs via iTunes Music Store (iTunes is just the software). If there was a systematic problem with Apple, surely we would know about it.
        1. Credit cards can be repaid immediately. I buy everything with my cards and I never carry a balance and never pay interest and never pay fees. What's more, credit cards offer a lot of consumer protections - for example, you can dispute a charge and put the burden on the seller to show that you received the services you paid for. Would be useful here, no?
        1. You really need to settle down on this. You sound like a troll. You are a PC tech and don't seem to know what iTunes is, nor do you seem to understand how basic financial transactions work on the internet. Apple did not leave you with $9, someone else left you with $9. You need to stop wasting your energy on Apple, and direct it instead on a) protecting yourself from this happening again and b) reporting it to your bank so that they can possibly find the person.
        1. Because this can happen, NEVER connect your primary fund source with the outside world. When money comes out of your bank account, it's real. The bank won't give it back to you, nor will the person who received it. When it flows through a credit card or similar means it's not yet real - and the credit card company will hold those charges until they are resolved without you losing you means to buy groceries.

        -6.00, -7.03
        "I want my people to be the most intolerant people in the world." - Jerry Falwell

        by johnsonwax on Thu Aug 02, 2007 at 04:46:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I live 75 miles from an Itunes store (0+ / 0-)

    I have $9 which wont buy gas. I destroyed my only debit card. I'll be doing everything including hiring a lawyer and sueing Itunes.

    Look folks...these things don't happen to us. I have been very careful about our online finacial dealings. The only time anything ever happened is because my wife used my debit card to download two songs on Itunes back last November.

    They took my money...they need to investigate in ernest and pay me back.

    It aint my banks fault. It's ITunes...

    Militia General Pajamahadeen Ohio Southwest Chapter....we sale Girl Scout Cookies also

    by JellyPuddin on Thu Aug 02, 2007 at 03:47:43 PM PDT

    •  but you can afford a lawyer over 150? n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LihTox, condoleaser
    •  you can't be careful enough (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gator Keyfitz, Cory Bantic

      I used my debit card to buy a label maker at OfficeMax.  OfficeMax stored my card number and PIN on their central office computer.  Someone hacked into OfficeMax (or it was an inside job) and my debit card number ended up in an ATM in Eastern Europe.

      It's a sad state of affairs, but the fact is, if you have a debit card and you use a debit card, there is always the possibility of a crook swiping it.  You literally cannot possibly be careful enough to prevent that possibility.

      And so you lose $150 (hopefully only temporarily) or you end up stuck at Logan Airport for a dozen hours with no confirmed seat and no cash to pay for food or an overnight stay.  That's what happened to me.

      The whole situation really sucks.  I know.  I really do, and I'm sorry.

    •  Yeah right (2+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      MarkC, polecat
      Hidden by:
      phenry

      Apple's fault?  You have your identity stole and you call it Apple's fault?

      Please not sanity is in that  -> direction.

      Best Wishes, Demena

      by Demena on Thu Aug 02, 2007 at 04:23:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Take it up with your credit card company (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tod

    If they are half-way decent, they will reverse the charges.  If not, then you need a new credit card company.

  •  Wow. (0+ / 0-)

    I've never had a problem with iTunes billing.

    Help make history - HILLARY in 2008!

    by Caldonia on Thu Aug 02, 2007 at 03:50:27 PM PDT

  •  Does anyone work at Apple (0+ / 0-)

    Help me out here

    Militia General Pajamahadeen Ohio Southwest Chapter....we sale Girl Scout Cookies also

    by JellyPuddin on Thu Aug 02, 2007 at 03:53:00 PM PDT

    •  Open up iTunes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MarkC

      On the left is a menu, below library is STORE, click on purchased. Automatically you will get a list of every song you have purchased. Are the offending songs there? Did you get an email receipt? Apple always sends a receipt listing purchases. I use a debit card also but actually pay thru PayPal as an extra layer of protection.

      We aren't going to destroy the Republic by enforcing the Constitution, we destroy it by inaction, by being fearful of the consequences.

      by ghengismom on Thu Aug 02, 2007 at 06:47:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jumping to conclusions? (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MarkC, polecat, Tod, Hannibal, BachFan, craiger

    Are you sure this is Apple's fault?  Are you sure someone hasn't stolen your credit card number, and used it on iTunes?  If that were true, I'm not sure that Apple would be the ones to fix it: if a crook stole my credit card number and bought a TV somewhere, I'd contact my credit card company, not the TV store.  

    In any case, from what I've heard, getting credit card companies to do a chargeback in a case like this is relatively straightforward and hassle-free; the credit card company may then investigate the matter, and if it's Apple's fault they will deal with it.

    Now, if I understood you correctly, you might have proof that the cost was charged to your actual iTunes account?  That would seem to be Apple's problem, in my opinion.  However, it's possible that the person who wrote back to you missed that piece of information, and assumed you were just complaining about random iTunes charges.

    I only suggest that you consider the possibility of alternate scenarios, before you start making accusations or paying a lawyer.  Call the credit card company, breathe, and write a second letter to Apple explaining why you think it is their problem, rather than the credit card company's, if you think this is true.

  •  I understand you're angry right now (7+ / 0-)

    But in the interest of keeping this in the realm of the reality-based community, let's think through what most likely happened.

    You are explicitly accusing the Apple iTunes store of stealing your money.  I think it very unlikely that the Apple iTunes store just arbitrarily runs $50 fraudulent charges on anyone's account without dispensing a product.  Therefore, your accusation, made in anger, is very dangerous (potentially libelous).

    What is most likely is that someone out in the world has hacked your iTunes account password and bought songs against your account with your debit card on file.  That's a very different situation, and it's probably someone else entirely that you should be accusing of theft.

    One of the dangers of debit cards is that there is often less recourse in the event of fraudulent charges than with a regular credit card.  But that is changing, slowly, and the issuing bank is a good place to start for what amounts to the unauthorized use of your debit card.

    You're totally within your rights to demand that Apple iTunes itemize what was purchased on your account for that $150.  Personally I would want to know.  That is evidence you should have and be prepared to provide in your fraud complaint.

    I think the iTunes store might have been more gracious and helpful, but to focus your ire there exclusively, is not entirely on the mark.  This is a banking issue, and identity theft issue, and to an extent, a personal security issue.  I would recommend to anyone to never, ever, place a debit card on file with any online service, where all it takes is your password to empty out your account.

    •  A strange thing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ken065, Little, craiger

      It just occurred to me that if the charges were an even $50 each, that's a really weird amount for the iTunes store.  I suppose it's possible that someone could buy a combination of songs and albums (each $x.99) that total to exactly $50, three different times, but that would be bizarre.  It really sounds like some sort of fee, but I don't know of any iTunes program that has a monthly fee.  (I'm assuming that when the OP said $50 they meant exactly $50, which is a big assumption.)

      •  good point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ghengismom

        I have had people gift me credit to my iTunes account before, in amounts like $20, $25, or $50 even.  I haven't pursued it to see how it's done, but that might be a possibility.

        That would be different from hacking the account with a card on file.  I think that would require having the account information in one's possession and associating it with a different iTunes account.

        The fraudulent transactions in question should have unique transaction IDs on the account statement.  The iTunes Store should be able to trace those transactions back to a particular user account.  If the transactions were not initiated from JellyPuddin's account, that's helpful information for the fraud investigators.

      •  gift cards (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        polecat, BachFan, LihTox, craiger

        come in different amounts, including $50, so if this incident is a hacked account, the hacker bought gift cards to dump into his own account or the account of someone else.

        I've been using iTunes since the beginning of the service, and never had a problem.

        Before you blow up at Apple and iTunes and one stupid clerk, please do check with your bank about these charges.

        Once you have all the info about the charges from the bank, and have not been able to resolve the problem with the bank, then it's time to go to Apple again armed with all the information about the charges you can muster.

        Apple is usually pretty good about taking care of customers, please give them a chance to fix this if there's a problem on their end.

        I know how much this kind of crap sucks. We had to change our major credit card because last summer I shopped for the first (and only) time at TJ Maxx, and our card got hacked along with hundreds of thousands others. Still having to deal with that freakin' hassle.

  •  Do you have (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MarkC, Tod, KenBee, LihTox

    kids? If so, did you ask them about it?

  •  This is good advice. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ken065, Tod, BachFan, Demena

    I deal with financial transactions all day and on the surface, it looks like someone outside of apple generated these charges on your account.

    Three things I would advise that you do immediately:  1) Call your bank CANCEL this card and report the fraudulent charges. The bank should send you to the fraud department and ask you to fill out a form. 2) Call apple back and ask them for a duplicate receipt of those charges.  You should find out what specifically the charges were for before filling out the fraud forms. 3) Fill out a police report and get a case number to add to the banks fraud report.

    As an aside, I won't rule out fraud from an Apple employee but I find it unlikely.  

    Welcome Michael Moore Bulletin Board refugees, www.upsizethis.org

    by Luminous Animal on Thu Aug 02, 2007 at 04:03:55 PM PDT

    •  He will also find out if they are (0+ / 0-)

      gift cards going to another account.

      We aren't going to destroy the Republic by enforcing the Constitution, we destroy it by inaction, by being fearful of the consequences.

      by ghengismom on Thu Aug 02, 2007 at 06:56:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Apple doesn't pay minimum wage, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      polecat

      they are a really good company to work for no one in their right mind would jeopardize a job like that for a measly $150.

      We aren't going to destroy the Republic by enforcing the Constitution, we destroy it by inaction, by being fearful of the consequences.

      by ghengismom on Thu Aug 02, 2007 at 06:57:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dude.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheGreatLeapForward, gailwax, Tetris

    ...you need to rent a college student for an hour....they know ALL the sites where you can download music for zip/nada/nil....thousands of songs...

    "Immigration is the sincerest form of flattery." ---Jack Paar

    by bic momma on Thu Aug 02, 2007 at 04:06:50 PM PDT

  •  So sue them! (0+ / 0-)

    Jeeze, that's what small claims court is for.

  •  Oh, I should add (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demena, Tetris

    That if someone is using your account to download songs, those songs are tagged with your info. So if they decide to post said songs on P2P sites, guess who they will be going after?

  •  Hol on there now (0+ / 0-)

    Most mistakes like this end up being explainable, and they are very often the fault of the cutomer. I'm not saying they are in this case, but I'm just asking if you're sure about this - enought to put this here, where it  might attract legal attentions.

  •  What's your iTunes account history tell you? (0+ / 0-)

    You should be able to log on and see the individual transactions.  That should give you some additional information.

  •  About 99% likely gift cards (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee

    I'm not sure how you could get an even $150 transaction at iTunes without it being gift cards. I've bought all kinds of stuff from them and never came up with an even number.

    It's utterly pointless to buy DRM media on someone else's account since it would only work on a machine or device authorized through iTunes (except for stuff from the EMI label I think) unless the person knows how to crack the DRM.

    If someone bought themselves gift cards, that would make a lot more sense. That would still be pretty dumb though since the person who uses the cards would still have to have the gift card code to enter, which is also linked to "your" purchase, and would be easily traceable.

    Generally all a bank requires is that you contact the company in writing to which the charge was made. If you get no joy, you file something with the bank and the charges come off. Most debit cards run through a network like Visa so your liability is generally between low and nil. It's a pain in the butt, obviously, though.

    Seriously, look at your transaction history in your iTunes account and see what they bought and when. It'll probably make a lot more sense what happened. You'll probably need that to file a complaint with the bank anyway.

    Also, pull your credit report immediately. You can do this for free once a year per credit reporting agency at annualcreditreport.com. Don't use those scam sites that charge you for credit monitoring. If someone stole your identity, you need to find out now.

    "You're watching Fox! Give us 10 minutes, we'll give you an ass!" - Jay Sherman

    by Aragorn for America on Thu Aug 02, 2007 at 04:43:54 PM PDT

  •  Umm, hi (0+ / 0-)

    Am I the only one who thinks this is a ridiculous post?  B*tching about something like this doesn't really feel appropriate for this site.  Furthermore, no offense, I really don't care.  It almost certainly (assuming your story is true) is fraud and I would follow the advice of others on this site.  Cancel your debit card, file a police report and try to get your $ money back from your bank.  Now, can we all move on please?

    •  I'm an old DKOS poster (0+ / 0-)

      it aint always about Wshington DC...sometimes it's about lufe in general and the little pitfalls to watch out for.

      If it dosent interest you then move on...I do

      Militia General Pajamahadeen Ohio Southwest Chapter....we sale Girl Scout Cookies also

      by JellyPuddin on Thu Aug 02, 2007 at 04:58:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks everyone (0+ / 0-)

    great feedback

    Itunes did allow someone to use my debit card and buy $150 worth of something. They didn't give me the details decause it;s too easy to tell me to go get it from my bank.

    So...it;s done. The debit card is canceled. Bank is awaiting evidence of the fraud which I have and will take into them tomorrow.

    My kids didn't do it.....they aren't even living with me anymore. They didn't even know mom signed up for Itunes.

    I am a Blues guitarist and posy my own music. I really get all my music free from friends and have never bought any music on the web.

    My wife got sucked in and bought two $0.99 songs....she even knows I wasn't crazy about her doing that. She canceled the Itunes account today done!

    But just remember everyone!....I did nothing to put my account out there...it was hacked for sure. Itunes dosen't seem to be worried...but I would be...what if you live week to week and someone does that to you........can you afford all the bullshit...bad checks...and running your ass off to ward off a disaster...?

    Hope everyone is safe tonight....

    Militia General Pajamahadeen Ohio Southwest Chapter....we sale Girl Scout Cookies also

    by JellyPuddin on Thu Aug 02, 2007 at 04:56:13 PM PDT

    •  I got a little concerned about this... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      craiger

      So I looked around and saw that there are folks out there buying gift cards from iTunes and reselling them on eBay. It makes me wonder if your card number wasn't stolen and used to set up a fraudulent account in your name on iTunes. I suspect the charges would appear the same way on your statement as if they were made from your account.

      Many banks offer some degree of protection on debit cards, such that you might "only" be out $50, but maybe you'd be safer with a low-limit ($500?) secured credit card that you pay off each month. While this could have been the work of a trojan horse there is a possibility that somebody in your town is skimming credit/debit cards.

      It's pretty lame that iTunes doesn't act more concerned about this. I suppose $150 isn't that much to them in the grand scheme of things, but they could at least flip through the records and flag any gift cards that were purchased with the stolen number. Of course then you've got winning bidders on eBay upset that they can't use their new gift cards, and then you have to try to put it together to figure out where the cards were shipped to from iTunes and where they were shipped from to the winning bidder... etc. And just try to get federal investigators interested; I think the amount has to be in the five figures to start because they don't have the manpower to investigate fraud.

      Scammers have the upper hand in this country. And the biggest trick they've got is to spread the damage into tiny amounts that nobody will take the time to bother with. Hell, that practice has been mainstreamed; for example, how reliable is any electronic device sold for under $100 and how effective is the warranty procedure for that product?

  •  Sorry to hear this happened. (0+ / 0-)

    I do a lot through credit card because it is easy to dispute charges if need be.  I think anyone can get one if you put a few hundred dollars down.

    Also, small claims court is cheap and easy.  I've not done it yet but those who I know who have have had great results.  Let a judge look at it and decide. If you're right he's going to side with you no time flat.

    Have a little money set aside so you can take on this crap when it happens.  I try to always be a step ahead so when stuff like this happens, I can take it on.

    Good luck.

  •  Have you checked authorized machines? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm wondering if someone is using your iTunes account on another computer.  I'd change the username and/or password first and make sure the "Remember Password" option is off.

    I think there's a way to find out how many machines you can still authorize (5 total) but I can't find it right now.  iTunes support should be able to help.

    Your other option is to tell iTunes you never rec'd the Gift cards and try to verify the shipping address.  It may help them understand that you didn't order them.

    Good luck!  

  •  Have you bothered to look and see if the (0+ / 0-)

    tunes were purchased from your machine? If they weren't this might make a difference dealing with them. Recently I lost internet connection while downloading the Cars Album. I had to buy it again because it showed in my listed of purchased music as downloaded. I emailed customer support and 24 hrs later I had the second charge credited back to my checking account.

    We aren't going to destroy the Republic by enforcing the Constitution, we destroy it by inaction, by being fearful of the consequences.

    by ghengismom on Thu Aug 02, 2007 at 06:34:16 PM PDT

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