My iTunes Account Was PERMANENTLY Disabled.

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by BG-Mac, May 7, 2009.

  1. BG-Mac macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2007
    Over the years I have spent ~$5,000 of my HARD EARNED money on iTunes store content. I have also purchased several Macs, iPods, iPhones, and countless other Apple products. About a month ago I bid for and won an iTunes certificate on eBay. The listing was for $200 in iTunes credit that was said to be an unwanted birthday gift. When I won the auction the seller emailed me the codes which came in 4 $50 increments. I asked him/her to ship me the cards and he said he would do so, but emailed me the codes for instant use. And by the way I paid $174 for the $200 in credit.

    So later that day I redeemed the iTunes credit and began to purchase music, tv shows, and a couple movies. About 3 days later I received a message when attempting to make a purchase that my iTunes account had been disabled and to contact customer support. I did so and received a response stating that the iTunes credit I redeemed was purchased with a stolen credit card and my account would be PERMANENTLY DISABLED!! :eek: I immediately emailed them back explaining the situation and offering any evidence they may need.

    I then received a response saying that I could start a new account and repurchase all of my media. WHAT!!?? Repurchase $5,000 worth of media!!?? I then requested the case be referred to a supervisor of some sort. I then received an email saying that there was nothing that Apple could do for me and that my account was again, permanently disabled. The woman who emailed me even went as far as to provide a link to iTunes cards I could purchase through the Apple store to rebuild my library. This really P'd me off.

    I have since replied, again, begging them to reevaluate my case and look into my account history with Apple. I have no idea what to do. I just ordered a maxed out Mac Pro with the intent of using it, among other things, as a home iTunes server for my massive (entirely purchased through iTunes) iTunes library.

    Does anyone have any advice for me? This could be terrible if nothing comes of it. This feels like such a slap in the face after years and years of being loyal to the Apple brand. I cannot afford to rebuild a library that took me years and years to acquire. I think I'm still in shock over this.
  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Apple seems to finally be stepping up the enforcement of the AppleCare and Gift Cards bought with stolen credit cards and resold on eBay.

    Likely one or more of the credit card companies finally said that they will be charging Apple back if they don't improve their procedures and make the trafficking painful.


    At worst they should have killed off the $200 and those purchases, invalidating the entire account is sort of extreme.
  3. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    I'm pretty sure there are ways to strip the purchased audio/video of Apple DRM so you can at least keep them.
  4. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3


    Apr 6, 2007
    Portland, OR
    Whoa dude that sucks.

    It's a long, long shot, but you should write a message to Steve Jobs and explain the situation concisely. You should also call Apple Support and offer to pay the $200 for the illegal gift cards.
  5. Teej guy macrumors 6502a

    Aug 6, 2007
    Not without losing quality.

    This is one of the reasons I still buy all my music on CD and vinyl. It's sitting in the room with me and can't be "disabled".

    If your case is exactly as described, this is ridiculous and you could probably take them to small claims court or something. I don't know, but that's not right.
  6. wadejc85 macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2008
    Try calling Apple instead of e-mailing. You can get further when you demand immediate answers with a voice instead of text.
  7. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    You're going to have to deal with someone outside of normal iTunes support. I would look up Customer Relations for your respective country, and talk to them. At most, you should have to forfeit the $200 in credit.

    800-767-2775 in the United States or e-mail for Executive Relations

    Apple should be working with people who get scammed on eBay, not alienating them.
  8. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    Nope, it is possible to strip DRM without losing quality. Requiem was a bit difficult to locate a few months ago, but I still could get it to work fairly easily.

    In any case, If you made prior purchases through legitimate means, they cannot refuse to authorize your new computers for those purchases unless terms of service had an explicit item about this kind of a situation, I doubt it. They have to refund your money before they can cut your account off.
  9. Music_Producer macrumors 68000

    Sep 25, 2004
    You had $5000 in purchases and you never backed them up?? :confused:

    Don't buy iTunes cards or AppleCare on ebay or ioffer - 99% of them are fraudulent. The genuine sellers sell a $50 itunes card for $69 or so (ebay+paypal fees etc) and most of the buyers are international buyers.

    I am an Apple reseller and there is NO way you can get iTunes cards for cheap (I even put forward an offer to purchase $100,000 worth of itunes cards just to see what kind of pricing I would get - I got $48 for a $50 card)

    'Apple is cracking down on illegal cards' - thats a joke. This has been going on for 2 years or so - and no action is being taken against these fraudulent sellers. Most of the sellers are based in China so the fact that their system allows a Chinese IP address to make a purchase with a US based card - speaks volumes about their fraud detection and prevention services.

    They have no right to block a legitimate buyer's account if they've made a mistake by purchasing something they did not think was illegal. Apple should publicly post a statement on their website warning customers not to purchase codes on ebay (unless they are actual physical cards)
  10. TwinCities Dan macrumors 603

    TwinCities Dan

    May 19, 2008
    Double Parked out front of the Courthouse
    Everything Music Producer just said is 100% correct.

    This ebay/iTunes scam needs to stopped ASAP, people are way too trusting. This is one of the oldest scams on ebay. :rolleyes:

    Apple needs to participate in the process (maybe even expidite the process) to make it happen correctly. ;)
  11. instaxgirl macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2009
    Edinburgh, UK
    Helpful :rolleyes: I get your point, everything I own's backed up to HD and disc (to get rid of iTunes DRM), but A LOT of people don't bother/realise the need. I've said "you backed up right?" to blank faces twice in the last 2 weeks alone.

    There's no Apple sanctioned way to take it off video. There could be a nonlegit way, but since I've refused to touch Apple's videos with a bargepole because of the DRM I don't know anything about it :( You can get rid of the DRM by burning to disc, but OP can you actually use any of the media you've purchased previously? It sounds like it's all been locked down somehow?
  12. McKnight macrumors member


    Mar 29, 2009
    I say that about 5 times a day.
  13. TheNightPhoenix macrumors 6502

    Dec 16, 2005
    His problem isn't with having the files backed up. Even if the files are backed up you can't authorise a computer to play them if the account has been disabled.
  14. TraceyS/FL macrumors 601

    Jan 11, 2007
    North Central Florida
    I agree with calling - the Customer Service Reps in Cupertino are EXCELLENT to deal with. I had a bad experience in store and they were great in working it out.

    So give a call.
  15. BG-Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2007
    Thanks for the tips guys. I'm going to attempt calling a customer service rep and see what happens. Still haven't received a response from my last email. Honestly, If they don't work with me on this I'm going to return the Mac Pro I just ordered (in the shipping process). I'll post back with an update later today.
  16. davem7 macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2007
    I hate to say it, but this is just the perfect reason as to why DRM should not be used at all.

    As for advice... you've got the right course of action. Speak to an Apple representative, and get through to whoever you can that's high up the chain. The machine you look to have bought is not exactly cheap, so you can point that out them and it might make them reconsider.

    Edit: also, to note, if you don't have them burned to CD then there's not much you can do. All of the DRM stripping utilities that I know of at least require you to have a valid license to play the file.
  17. waiwai macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2009
    That's very unfortunate to hear.

    But i'm going to play devil's advocate here and say this. You took a risk when you opted to purchase iTune credits even in the midst of the ongoing reports of hacked/stolen iTunes credits being sold off of Ebay. Yes, some people continue to get legit iTunes credits off of Ebay, you just happened to be the unlucky one to have gotten the shady ones. But that was a risk you knew and willingly accepted when you made that bid for the credits (come on now... you'd have to be born this morning if you didn't know ebay is infamous for this).

    When you look at the big picture, you basically fubar'ed yourself over a $26 saving (compared to what you own... a new Mac Pro? Macbook Pro? Highend iPhone? - One would think that $26 bucks wouldn't be much of a deal) . That hurts, I agree. I commend you for sticking your balls out and taking that risk. But suck it up, and let it be a lesson learned. Regardless... I wish you all the luck in getting this resolved.
  18. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    This is kind of true, but at the same time, the lack of action against the thieves and eBay itself is the problem here, not the consumer. Could you imagine it if you went down to the shopping district in your city, and at Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Whole Foods, etc, 80 or 90% of the goods in a certain category were stolen or otherwise illegitimate? There's no jurisprudence in letting eBay flagrantly allow the sales of stolen goods, doing nothing about it, and then holding the consumer solely responsible.

    I'm not saying this is Apple's fault.

    Legal action against the seller and/or eBay would really be the best option, but then also, clearly, that would be a major hassle for the OP and probably cost more than the lost iTunes data....
  19. waiwai macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2009
    Middlemen, such as Ebay, can do very little aside from remove the auctions once someone flags it as being a scam/fraud, you're right. This is why the onus falls on the buyer to be cautious when making any purchases. Buyer Beware, its not something new.
  20. iEvolution macrumors 65816

    Jul 11, 2008
    "11. Apple reserves the right to close customer accounts and request alternative forms of payment if a Gift Certificate, iTunes Card, Content Code or Allowance is fraudulently obtained or used on the iTunes Store."

    I'm not a apple fanboy or anything but I don't think this recent transaction is the reason your whole account was closed. You must have done something like this before to make them believe you are downloading music via gift cards bought with stolen credit cards.
  21. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    This is exactly why I don't buy anything on eBay. Risking $5,000 worth of purchases to save $26 doesn't make much sense. The savings on eBay usually don't justify the risk that you're going to get screwed by some unscrupulous seller. Seller ratings aren't much protection, either. I'd rather pay full price at and have no problems like the OP described.
  22. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Sort of sucks that Apple's active measures are against the buyers in the past couple weeks, but that is generally more than we've seen in the past.
  23. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Oh, please, eBay can do more... there are all kinds of anti-fraud measures that eBay and others can be doing. Granted that eBay is not Walmart, but Walmart is able to middleman goods with a fairly high likelihood that their wares are not stolen. If eBay can't find a way to not be rife with illicit goods, it shouldn't be allowed to exist. You're just inviting entrapment.
  24. BG-Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2007
    Well the girl I spoke to in customer relations stopped me in the middle of my explanation and told me that there was nothing she could do since iTunes is a completely separate department. She advised me to email iTunes customer service (which I have already done) and informed me that there was no way to get them on the phone.

    I cannot believe this is happening. My iTunes account is a part of my daily life. She suggested I send another email as I may get someone who will interpret the case differently so that is what I did and am now waiting on another response. If I get denied again I'll try emailing sjobs which would be a last ditch effort.

    Is it worth calling customer service again and asking for a supervisor? I can't imagine that their hands are completely tied when it comes to the iTunes store. Still in disbelief over this.
  25. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I think you would be very reasonable to go the Steve Jobs route at this point....

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