Oirectine

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 11, 2003
243
85
Maryland
WARNING: kind of a whining/complaining rant thread. I don't even know what it will accomplish. Just want to vent, really. So, you've been warned.

I bought my first Mac, a G4 iMac that I remember fondly, in 2002. Since then I've primarily used Apple computers and iPhones. I've spent thousands of dollars on iMacs, Macbook Pros, iPhones, accessories, and software over the years. I've been kind of an Apple fanboy, to be honest--I joined this forum in 2003 and have followed Apple pretty closely over the years--but for the foreseeable future I'm going to try switching to Android and Windows. In fact, I've already ordered the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE.

I was soured by a bad customer support experience. I recently spent a pretty big chunk of change on multiple in-app purchases for an app that stopped working two or three days after I made the purchases. I reached out to the developers but they stopped responding to my emails. I made a refund request with Apple, but they refused to refund most of the money. An Apple associate on their support chat read my explanation of what happened and said I could explain the situation to the "account security" team member on the phone and they would be "sure" to refund the money. When I did that, the person on the phone flatly refused. He said the chat support was wrong, with no other explanation. I did a chargeback on PayPal which went through, and then Apple disabled my account. I was not able to download any apps, even ones I had already purchased. Reaching out to Apple support, they said they would reenable the account, but that in the future if I did more chargebacks, they could decide to disable my account permanently. They said it was "for security" but to me it sounded more like a threat. It also made me realize that Apple is a single point of failure for my entire computing experience: locking me out of my account would not only disable my phone apps, but many of my critical Mac programs as well.

tl;dr: After a bad support experience, I don't believe Apple has my back as a customer, and I don't trust Apple not to permanently disable my account arbitrarily if a dispute over a bad app happens in the future. I'm kinda bummed, but also interested in seeing the state of Android phones and Windows laptops.
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
19,141
1,611
New Zealand
That's never a good situation to be in. There was a story a few years ago about a reporter that had his Apple account hacked, and the hacker remote wiped his phone and Mac. It's difficult to not put all your eggs in one basket when the Apple basket makes everything convenient, but it's still important for everyone to consider what would happen if their account was to disappear.

This is one of the reasons that I don't like renting software, movies, etc. I still buy CDs and Blu-rays!
 

RumorConsumer

macrumors 65816
Jun 16, 2016
1,306
779
WARNING: kind of a whining/complaining rant thread. I don't even know what it will accomplish. Just want to vent, really. So, you've been warned.

I bought my first Mac, a G4 iMac that I remember fondly, in 2002. Since then I've primarily used Apple computers and iPhones. I've spent thousands of dollars on iMacs, Macbook Pros, iPhones, accessories, and software over the years. I've been kind of an Apple fanboy, to be honest--I joined this forum in 2003 and have followed Apple pretty closely over the years--but for the foreseeable future I'm going to try switching to Android and Windows. In fact, I've already ordered the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE.

I was soured by a bad customer support experience. I recently spent a pretty big chunk of change on multiple in-app purchases for an app that stopped working two or three days after I made the purchases. I reached out to the developers but they stopped responding to my emails. I made a refund request with Apple, but they refused to refund most of the money. An Apple associate on their support chat read my explanation of what happened and said I could explain the situation to the "account security" team member on the phone and they would be "sure" to refund the money. When I did that, the person on the phone flatly refused. He said the chat support was wrong, with no other explanation. I did a chargeback on PayPal which went through, and then Apple disabled my account. I was not able to download any apps, even ones I had already purchased. Reaching out to Apple support, they said they would reenable the account, but that in the future if I did more chargebacks, they could decide to disable my account permanently. They said it was "for security" but to me it sounded more like a threat. It also made me realize that Apple is a single point of failure for my entire computing experience: locking me out of my account would not only disable my phone apps, but many of my critical Mac programs as well.

tl;dr: After a bad support experience, I don't believe Apple has my back as a customer, and I don't trust Apple not to permanently disable my account arbitrarily if a dispute over a bad app happens in the future. I'm kinda bummed, but also interested in seeing the state of Android phones and Windows laptops.
This is a great experiment you're up to. As much of an Apple diehard as I am what you're raising are important concerns and I can imagine the feeling of being separated from my data and resources and its not good. I depend on all this stuff. And, the ultimate question for me is one of pain. What vendor/combo has the lowest overall pain. Pain comes in many forms and form factors. I would be interested in hearing about the various discoveries you make and if you even begrudgingly come back to the platform. Do keep us informed.
 

ipponrg

macrumors 68020
Oct 15, 2008
2,250
1,983
tl;dr: After a bad support experience, I don't believe Apple has my back as a customer, and I don't trust Apple not to permanently disable my account arbitrarily if a dispute over a bad app happens in the future. I'm kinda bummed, but also interested in seeing the state of Android phones and Windows laptops.

Maybe try calling support again. Some support staff might follow protocol differently, or you need to escalate further up the chain. This seems trivial, and I would challenge support and ensure they explain their reasonings. If the same result happens, then you definitely know Apple doesn't have your back.

Generally, I am super cautious about in-app purchases let alone actual app purchases. I usually do a ton of research to make sure that the app developer has credibility before I buy. I'm also not locked into the Apple ecosystem for many reasons including the issue you are encountering right now. Right now is a good time to be comfortable with all of the major tech players out there, so that you can migrate between platforms and not have your eggs in 1 basket.
 

Apple_Robert

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
27,899
34,555
In the middle of several books.
You could easily find yourself in the same position in the Android / Windows world.

Is it possible that both you and Apple could have handled the customer relations side a little better? I believe the answer is yes. And if that had happened, you may have ended up with a much better experience. I don’t think it is right to put all of this on Apple. You have blame as well.

And it is conceivable, that your charge back triggered a protection alert. And I believe Apple was right to say excessive chargebacks could result with the loss of further purchase ability, which makes complete sense.

I think you were mad at the developers, let it get the best of you on the inside, and then vented on Apple when you didn’t get your way 100%. They didn’t have to refund you any money but, they gave you a partial, which is better than nothing. Then again, it goes right back to how the situation was handled.

If you want to pack up your toys and leave angry over 1 incident in 18 years of good support, you go right ahead. Just know it isn’t as one-sided as you may think right now.

Apple isn’t perfect. They make mistakes just like we all do at times. However, their products and especially their customer service can’t be beat. You might want to reconsider.
 

WildSky

Contributor
Apr 16, 2020
4,137
3,600
East of the sun, west of the moon
I completely agree with @BasicGreatGuy's post. Many tech companies--and even your credit card company--track chargebacks and have different levels of account flags based on the history. Even if you move on from Apple products based on this one experience, which you certainly have some responsibility in, similar behavior on your part with other companies may result in similar experiences.
 

JuanGuapo

macrumors 6502a
May 21, 2009
778
561
Los Angeles, CA
Objectively, and without evidence to the contrary, I see three (3) things at play...

(1) The customer either had not understood what she/he/they were buying and/or had buyer's remorse after 1-2 days regarding an in-app purchase, and Apple refunded some-not-all of the purchase.
(2) The developer, meanwhile, responded at-best poorly or at-worst unethically (e.g., no response).
(3) Apple's customer service rep(s) handled it either correctly but poorly communicated, or handled it poorly but communicated correctly if not inflexibly.

Subjectively, I ran into something like this happen years ago when iTunes Plus was a thing and the iBook Store had just launched. I bought a GRE prep book from the iBook Store and they wouldn't give me a refund (e.g., math was wrong, badly formatted, lots of errors/typos, etc.) but referred me to the publisher. I e-mailed Steve and had a refund the same day; it was a very obvious thing yet Apple customer service was oblivious to it.

The bottom line, at least for me, was that I paid Apple, and Apple provided the service and/or good--they know it, and they can't really fight the CC chargeback. Without knowing more details, I think this is worth an e-mail to Tim.

Meanwhile, I can tell you that the CC chargeback thing is not only legit but nearly every company (Hi Sony! 👋) is excessively draconian about them, and they do lock them down pretty quickly if you file a chargeback. Anecdotally, I filed a chargeback with Apple over 10+ years ago and the same thing happened, it wasn't painful but not fun either.
 
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rainafterthesun

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2010
566
520
I guess I have a different experience.

im not quite sure how it happened—but I “brought” a $99 purchase on clash royale. I wrote Apple and said this is a mistake bc while I do make purchases within the game ($5-20 is my limit) I did not make this crazy purchase.

they refunded me the $99 and somehow the gems never disappeared.

to be fair I’ve brought tons of books @$1.99-$20 along with the in app games so I’m sure I brought enough that they felt they rather keep me as a customer then stick it to me with the $99 charge (which I still don’t understand what happened but since then there’s an update that now I don’t make a purchase without absolute certain, this was more than a few years ago).
 

I7guy

macrumors Penryn
Nov 30, 2013
26,553
14,892
Gotta be in it to win it
Was it that your actions triggered a fraud alert? (at least that what is seems to be reading between the lines)

Being ecosystem independent is impossible unless it’s your own ecosystem. You could spread your assets and files around but the same scenario could occur with any company. (Hopefully you learned that the way you approached this issue wasn’t the best way in the long term)

I wish you luck in sorting this stuff out. Our house is split with apple, google and Microsoft.
 

filu_

macrumors regular
May 30, 2020
160
74
Try Linux. It’s fantastic.

Totally support your decision. Having issues myself and was a customer for decades.


If you're not being sarcastic about Linux, you have to show both sides of the coin.

Yes, GNU / Linux in its philosophy does not limit you in any way:
- You choose the distribution, graphic environment, applications yourself,
- You choose the filesystem yourself,
- You can encrypt anything, anything, or selected partitions,
- You do not need to use a partition but use LVM...
- ...

On the other hand, many other things limit you:
- software availability,
- drivers,
- compatibility with others (eg LibreOffice is ok, but it doesn't like Numbers).

From the point of view of productivity (even understood as typically domestic use), it is better to work in a coherent ecosystem. Unfortunately, this one from Apple looks more like a reserve than a garden ....
 
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filu_

macrumors regular
May 30, 2020
160
74
Linux servers are fantastic.

Linux desktop sucks so badly it’s not even funny.

Noted Linux evangelicalist Bryan Lunduke gives yearly talks on this, the latest of which is on YouTube: ....

You're not depriving me of an hour of my life. ;)
 
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johnalan

macrumors 6502a
Jul 15, 2009
641
573
Dublin, Ireland
Linux servers are fantastic.

Linux desktop sucks so badly it’s not even funny.

Noted Linux evangelicalist Bryan Lunduke gives yearly talks on this, the latest of which is on YouTube:
Good vid.
I take your point. That said I have great desktop experience with tweaked arch or Debian.
 
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Spudlicious

macrumors 6502a
Nov 21, 2015
868
728
Bedfordshire, England
WARNING: kind of a whining/complaining rant thread. I don't even know what it will accomplish. Just want to vent, really. So, you've been warned.

I bought my first Mac, a G4 iMac that I remember fondly, in 2002. Since then I've primarily used Apple computers and iPhones. I've spent thousands of dollars on iMacs, Macbook Pros, iPhones, accessories, and software over the years. I've been kind of an Apple fanboy, to be honest--I joined this forum in 2003 and have followed Apple pretty closely over the years--but for the foreseeable future I'm going to try switching to Android and Windows. In fact, I've already ordered the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE.

I was soured by a bad customer support experience. I recently spent a pretty big chunk of change on multiple in-app purchases for an app that stopped working two or three days after I made the purchases. I reached out to the developers but they stopped responding to my emails. I made a refund request with Apple, but they refused to refund most of the money. An Apple associate on their support chat read my explanation of what happened and said I could explain the situation to the "account security" team member on the phone and they would be "sure" to refund the money. When I did that, the person on the phone flatly refused. He said the chat support was wrong, with no other explanation. I did a chargeback on PayPal which went through, and then Apple disabled my account. I was not able to download any apps, even ones I had already purchased. Reaching out to Apple support, they said they would reenable the account, but that in the future if I did more chargebacks, they could decide to disable my account permanently. They said it was "for security" but to me it sounded more like a threat. It also made me realize that Apple is a single point of failure for my entire computing experience: locking me out of my account would not only disable my phone apps, but many of my critical Mac programs as well.

tl;dr: After a bad support experience, I don't believe Apple has my back as a customer, and I don't trust Apple not to permanently disable my account arbitrarily if a dispute over a bad app happens in the future. I'm kinda bummed, but also interested in seeing the state of Android phones and Windows laptops.

If I pay for an app or add-on that then ceases to function I would feel pretty aggrieved, so much sympathy. But what do I learn from the OP's unfortunate experience? PayPal are very sound, in-app purchases are to be avoided. Yet I don't think it tells me anything about Apple other than that they are at least available for their customers. In the event of a dispute with an app developer will the OP find Microsoft or Google to be more supportive than he now considers Apple to be? Not the ghost of a chance, I'm quite sure. Would he, without a paid support plan, even be able to speak to human beings at Google? I don't think so.

The point about vulnerability through dependence on access to services is well-taken, and aren't we all in that boat? However, unless I'm misreading the post the OP has been threatened with account lock-out not directly because of a dispute with an app developer but because of a payment clawback. Would Google have taken a more favourable line? I can't imagine so.

Anyhow, I wish the OP well with his platform switch and I'm sure he'll be pleased with his new phone. I've seen an S20 (not FE) and it was at least as well made as an Apple device and with a shockingly good display. And the whole Google ecosystem is good to brilliant, most of the apps beating Apple's hands-down IMHO - but that's for another thread :)
 
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Tech198

macrumors P6
Mar 21, 2011
15,814
2,120
Australia, Perth
You could easily find yourself in the same position in the Android / Windows world.

Is it possible that both you and Apple could have handled the customer relations side a little better? I believe the answer is yes. And if that had happened, you may have ended up with a much better experience. I don’t think it is right to put all of this on Apple. You have blame as well.

And it is conceivable, that your charge back triggered a protection alert. And I believe Apple was right to say excessive chargebacks could result with the loss of further purchase ability, which makes complete sense.

I think you were mad at the developers, let it get the best of you on the inside, and then vented on Apple when you didn’t get your way 100%. They didn’t have to refund you any money but, they gave you a partial, which is better than nothing. Then again, it goes right back to how the situation was handled.

If you want to pack up your toys and leave angry over 1 incident in 18 years of good support, you go right ahead. Just know it isn’t as one-sided as you may think right now.

Apple isn’t perfect. They make mistakes just like we all do at times. However, their products and especially their customer service can’t be beat. You might want to reconsider.


I think the goal is education..,. Think before you make it convenient. While it's good in the short-term, how will it impact you in the long one? Don' just think using separate services could be an better because while it may be harder to get at, your still using convenience.


As for me.. i trade that all the time :) water off a ducks back.... that is not even number 2 or 3 on my list.... I would say it comes in last...

It's possible, in some areas, but people just gotta be trained first. I don't mean trained as in "ok, i wont do it", let the dust settle for a few months/years, then go back into old ways, i mean "fully trained"
 

steve23094

macrumors 68030
Apr 23, 2013
2,890
1,676
Your mistake was issuing a chargeback. At the very least you should have put more effort into exhausting all options through customer service.

Companies hate chargebacks, too many and the fees they have to pay increase. A lot of places will dump you as a customer if you ever invoke one.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
51,388
19,448
Your mistake was issuing a chargeback. At the very least you should have put more effort into exhausting all options through customer service.

Companies hate chargebacks, too many and the fees they have to pay increase. A lot of places will dump you as a customer if you ever invoke one.
So a company will penalize you for not helping you and not getting anywhere trying to resolve an issue and finally getting your money back? That definitely sounds like a solid practice of a good company.
 
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steve23094

macrumors 68030
Apr 23, 2013
2,890
1,676
So a company will penalize you for not helping you and not getting anywhere trying to resolve an issue and finally getting your money back? That definitely sounds like a solid practice of a good company.

At the risk of repeating myself, they will penalise you for issuing a chargeback.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
51,388
19,448
At the risk of repeating myself, they will penalise you for issuing a chargeback.
That part was understood -- effectively if they don't end up providing support to help with an issue and a customer is basically is either left living with the issue or using one of the only remaining methods available to them to deal with it somehow (a chargeback) the company will penalize the customer (for not leaving the customer any other reasonable option).
 

steve23094

macrumors 68030
Apr 23, 2013
2,890
1,676
That part was understood -- effectively if they don't end up providing support to help with an issue and a customer is basically is either left living with the issue or using one of the only remaining methods available to them to deal with it somehow (a chargeback) the company will penalize the customer (for not leaving the customer any other reasonable option).

A lot of the time, ‘yes’.

Chargebacks can be extremely bad news for a company. I’ve worked for two different places that would cut a customer off if they issued one. If a credit card company raises their fees the financial damage will almost always massively outweigh the loss of a single customer. It’s just a risk calculation.

As a customer I will always thoroughly exhaust all other avenues before I would go down that path. Otherwise I understand that I might end up getting hit with the ban hammer. And I’ve never had to, always getting things resolved beforehand.
 
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cobra521

macrumors 6502
Dec 14, 2016
256
83
FL
Fascinating! I don't profess to know which end is up/which side is 'right.'

This thread does seem to have overtones of a certain attitude on Apple's part.

Options as I see it for Apple would be to try to identify and correct the problem - is the complaint valid? Do we need to do something to correct a problem with a supplier? If the customer is the problem, by all means, divest! There are lots of customers - what's one less?

By offering a partial refund, Apple seems to say 'we have some responsibility in this issue.' And then they determine what percentage of the problem they think they own, and offer that to the customer.

If it's their supplier at fault, it would seem to me Apple owns the whole problem...

And if a chargeback is such a big deal, why not go a bit more than halfway with the customer no matter the apportionment of blame?

This opinion is based on incomplete facts - so is life. ✌️

Tom
 

rainafterthesun

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2010
566
520
So a company will penalize you for not helping you and not getting anywhere trying to resolve an issue and finally getting your money back? That definitely sounds like a solid practice of a good company.
Chargeback is for a service not provided but charged or for an item paid but never received.

I had an issue recently with a trade-in. I worked apple retail (albeit briefly) and it’s a big enough cog that I never realized it’s a third party handling their trade ins until the box was shipped to me and didn’t realize how separated apple was from the trade in process until something went wrong.

tldr version, phobio claimed that my laptop had flickering screen and dead pixels (it did not) and I was super worried about it coming back to me because I rejected their lowball offer (which now I realize may be their bait and switch but more later) and when they sent back the laptop it was cosmetically damaged and missing a charger brick and usbc cable which really tiffed me off bc it Was new. I went to apple chat (too lazy to call) and many exchanges later it’s apparently apple chat can’t do much, you’ll need to call (chat told me as much) and apple will always revert back to phobio and doesn’t have a liaison much like if my company uses x mortgage company as a partner, we would have pple employed by us that handles x mortgages issues.

I called phobio and it took a few calls minimum and finally today, I have shipped to me a brand new charger and cable (I thought they were going to ship back mine but this was rather quick shipping and I just spoke to the manager Thursday, for comparison it took them a week and half to mail me back my laptop after I escalated it) and I recognize the ups alert from Apple...so I don’t know if they just ordered from apple or if apple covered me at the end.

this entire process has been over a month now.

sometimes things just takes longer and I certainly was frustrated. If charge back was even an option I wouldn't do so because that’s not what a charge back is for.

at the end of the day, the charger/new cable is a nice gesture (though to be fair mine was only a few months and I keep my things really neat...the charger for apple air still has the wrapping around it’s brick) for all the time/energy I had to waste into this only to get my computer back and before the power went out I checked, no flickrring of screen or dead pixel so go figure..,the manager all of a sudden also as a compromise was going to offer the full credit instead of the way knocked down credit amount but by then I was over all of this and just wanted to be made whole.

I don’t know if they can do anything for my computer but there’s white specks where the finish has been rubbed off and a dent I would like to be fixed. im guessing not and I don’t want any credit and there’s no money to refund. At the end of the day that’s just going to remind me of a crappy experience but at least the computer works.
 
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Luba

macrumors 68000
Apr 22, 2009
1,571
271
Your mistake was issuing a chargeback. At the very least you should have put more effort into exhausting all options through customer service.

Companies hate chargebacks, too many and the fees they have to pay increase. A lot of places will dump you as a customer if you ever invoke one.
Making sure: chargeback = disputing a charge to your credit card? If yes, what happens? The credit card refunds your purchase and then penalizes the merchant 20% or something like that?

One reason to get AppleCare even if the math (cost/benefit) doesn't make sense is because I feel Apple's policy is to be more lenient generous if you have it.

I remember when the whole Apple experience was consistently very good.
 

KaliYoni

macrumors 6502
Feb 19, 2016
401
578
chargeback = disputing a charge to your credit card? If yes, what happens?
Ex-retailer here.

When a cardholder disputes a charge, the credit card issuer temporarily removes the disputed amount from the cardholder's monthly account balance. Next, the merchant's credit card processor investigates the charge. Usually this entails telling the merchant to prove the transaction took place legitimately and properly. If the merchant cannot provide sufficient documentation of the transaction within a certain period of time, the credit card processor deducts the disputed amount from the merchant's account. That's a chargeback. The credit to the cardholder's account then becomes permanent.

Beyond individual transactions, an excessive number of chargebacks, as determined by a card processor, can lead to a merchant losing its ability to accept credit cards for payment.

-----------
Related note: in the US, federal law governs the dispute and chargeback process for credit cards. That's why it's usually better for consumers to use credit cards over debit cards, online money transfer services, and direct bank account withdrawals for purchases. These other payment methods are much more lightly regulated and in the event of a disputed charge or fraud, a lot less favorable to account holders.
 
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