iTunes fraud – six months and counting
Six months ago, to this day exactly, I bought an album on iTunes. On my first listening through I noticed some of the songs sounded “cut off”, and went to investigate. Using song length data from other sites I concluded that two of the songs were several minutes short on the iTunes store.
The album is Progressive Trance – by Indoor, still available here as of this writing.
I fired off an email to iTunes support, and got excellent feedback. I was told to not re-download the songs again for two weeks, to give Apple time to investigate the issue. I was also given credits for the two faulty tracks.
I waited a full month, but there was no change on the iTunes store. I notified the support again, and explained that an album is a complete product and mentioned the swedish consumer law (which is very very strong). The first response was complete bogus, the person hadn’t even bothered to read the mail. I had to re-send it to get a proper reply, which was that they would (and did) reverse the charge for the whole album completely and that a request would be made for the item [to be] either modified or removed from the iTunes store. I was to wait a couple of weeks until purchasing the title again.
At this time I also submitted a review of the album, as you can see, where I warned other potential buyers that two songs were incomplete.
I waited for 1 1/2 months, and then contacted iTunes support again. This time I got the response that the issue was to be escalated, and that I would be contacted again when they had more information. My request was flagged for follow-up.
I waited for yet another month. The person who had done the escalation above said she hadn’t gotten any reply back, but she sent another request and would contact me back.
Three weeks later, she did. She had received notification from the engineering team that they were working on hiding the two faulty songs and to request replacements. They would disappear from the store within a few days, and be replaced when the label sent proper versions.
I waited for 1 1/2 month. Sent a new mail asking about the issue, and got another bogus reply from someone who didn’t read the mail through. I gave up.
To be fair, now going public, during this time I have mentioned in my mails that knowingly selling faulty products is called fraud, that I would end up contacting the press and cc:ing Steve (whom I’m reasonably sure feels quite strongly about issues like these – am I right?).
I’m doing this today since I feel six months should be plenty of time to remove a broken product from a store. After all, if this would’ve been a copyright violation instead of “just” selling something that doesn’t work, it would probably have taken a few hours at most.