Saturday, May 26, 2012

Apple, the Mac App Store, and yeeesh!

It seems that Apple are always changing in ways that they cannot predict and cannot control.

I'm currently having a problem with a $20 purchase not being able to be updated.  I'm told that I have updates available for other accounts.  The only trouble is that I only have one account.

I wouldn't mind so much if this was free software, but it isn't and it's probably going to be difficult to get around the problem without Apple's customer service help.

So, the other night, I ended up at a page for just that.  I sent a short message describing the problem and slightly more than 24 hours later, I got a human-generated reply.  The person requested screenshots of the problem.  The bad thing about her reply was that she worked from Saturday through Wednesday, 8 p.m. - 5 a.m. CT and she was replying on Wednesday night/Thursday morning.

I took care of the screenshots and replied quickly to the message, and thanked her for taking a look at the problem, hoping that she could do something before Saturday.

So, I received another message a couple of hours ago.  She thanked me for the screenshots and promptly told me:

Thank you for providing the requested information, Curtis. As an Advisor for the iTunes Store, I handle issues related to billing, downloading, customer accounts, and the items available on the iTunes Store. Although your question falls outside of my area of specialty, I want to leave you with some personal suggestions for your convenience. Please do take note that this recommendations is only a basic troubleshooting guideline.

Please try to do the updates using your computer. Sign in to each of your accounts and do the updates, then sync your device.

Considering that this was the Mac App Store, I don't have a separate device to sync.  Also, I managed to download/update a free application in the meantime, so I know something is working.  She seems to think that she's finished and that it's not a problem for customer service.  I wish I could just gather information and tell customers that it's their problem and that I'm finished helping.

I have not dealt with either store's customer service, but I've read that it can be a 50-50 situation, and it's all about getting someone who cares.  I'll be persistent but I can only hope.

Update: it seemed too simple.  Once the customer service representative received my more panic-laden reply, she suggested deleting the application, which would allow the Mac App Store to download it again.  It worked, but there was a new surprise: the application had been renamed.  The store apparently didn't know what to do with the previous name on the computer and the new name in the store.  Strangely, the application has a rather long identification number which is only used to confuse the buyer.

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