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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 8 declined, 0 accepted (8 total, 0.00% accepted)

Apple

+ - iTunes credit; how can I get a partial refund or credit note? 1

Submitted by Keith_Beef
Keith_Beef (166050) writes "Imagine you went to a big department store and bought a pair of running shoes. You went home, and the following day got invited to a wedding. You realise your money would have been better spent on a pair of dress shoes, so take back the unworn running shoes. The store manager is happy to give you a credit not so you can buy the dress shoes, of course. After all, he still gets to sell you what you want, and he gets your money. Both you and the store manager are happy.

My young son made a mistake... Thinking he could use iTunes gift cards to purchase an iPad, he put the iTunes Gift Cards he had received as gifts into his iTunes account and then took all his cash savings down to CVS to buy more cards and put those into his account, too, to a total of $427.

Well, Apple won't allow you to use iTunes money to buy hardware, as we discovered. So I contacted iTunes Support at Apple to explain the situation, and ask how to organise a refund of the $427 so my son could buy the iPad.

Like the department store analogy: Apple had a chance there to keep my son happy, impress me with its customer service, make a device sale that would lead to future sales of apps, music and videos, and generally do the right thing by its customers.

So do you think Apple has been understanding and helpful? Not one bit. I even offered to accept a partial credit of $327, leaving $100 in the iTunes account for him to spend later. Apple doesn't want to help.

iTunes Support at Apple has refused to budge one iota: the response from the outset has been "iTunes credit is for the iTunes store; it cannot be used to buy hardware; there are no refunds". I managed to get the case escalated one level, but the person who has it now and who describes herself as "Senior Advisor iTunes Store/Mac App Store Customer Support" is not being helpful and is now refusing to escalate to a higher level. Here are two statements from her last email to me.

"My supervisor is the entity of Apple as a whole and therefore, I am here to help you directly. I am the end of the line for this matter."

"no further information pertaining to the issue is available, I do apologize however any further correspondence regarding the issue will not be addressed."

And just to put a cherry on top, she ends with this.

"Your experience is very important to us and we truly appreciate your continued devotion to the iTunes Store. Have a wonderful day."

Apple's left hand (iTunes store) apparently cannot talk to its right hand (the iPad and Mac store), even though the left hand and right hand need each other.

What I'm asking for here on Slashdot is for any advice on how to proceed, or for examples or links to stories about people having successfully persuaded Apple or another big corporation to take a more customer-friendly approach."

Businesses

+ - Cloning, astroturfing... and who is Rachel Ray?

Submitted by Keith_Beef
Keith_Beef (166050) writes "So, I accidentally hit carriage return after only typing in the string "news" in the URL field... and Verizon took me to a list of pages and out of curiosity I opened the first two links in new tabs.

Well, I was treated to a very nice story, or was it two stories... about a woman, or was it two women? Anyway, she (they) is (are) named "Grace Connell from ," [sic] and "Morgan Johnson from ," [sic]...

Or at least, the woman (women) was (were) from no place until I temporarily enabled Javascript... and then magically both stories announced the woman in question to be from Rutherford, NJ...

Now what is even stranger, or maybe not, is that these two women look like identical twins! Wow!

You know by now what is going on. Some advertising blurb, dressed up as a "true life story" with a bit of Javascript to sniff my IP address that gets somehow mapped to a town not too far from my address, based on Verizon's block of addresses.

Look for yourselves:
http://www.gracesdiet.com/?t202id=42143
http://www.morgansdiet.com/?t202id=32041

Now, how is this kind of thing viewed by the FTC? Surely these two pages fall foul of the "truth-in-advertising rules", no?
http://www.brandingstrategyinsider.com/2008/01/truth-in-advert.html

Apparently, the FDA has bigger teeth than the FTC, because whoever registered (with NameCheap.com) the two domains gracesdiet.com and morgansdiet.com feels it necessary to put FDA disclaimers in page footers, but doesn't feel morally obliged to refrain from making up spurious "real-life stories" in order to sell dietary supplements of dubious usefulness...

So, what is to be done? Is there any hope? Or should I just go and buy shares in the Brawndo Corporation right now?"
Data Storage

+ - Knowledge lost when old files no longer readable

Submitted by
Keith_Beef
Keith_Beef writes "According to an article on the BBC News website (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6265976.stm ), there is a real risk of knowledge being lost when computer systems are no longer capable of reading older file formats.

In the wider view, this would be true of not only the file formats, but of the physical media themselves. Who now has an 8" floppy drive to hand? How long before nobody knows what an Exabyte cartridge is? And in a couple of decades, maybe CD-ROM and even DVD-ROM will dissappear as Blu-Ray, HD-DVD or some other technology (like holo-diamonds) become affordable.

From the article:
Natalie Ceeney said society faced the possibility of "losing years of critical knowledge" because modern PCs could not always open old file formats.

She was speaking at the launch of a partnership with Microsoft to ensure the Archives could read old formats.

Microsoft's UK head Gordon Frazer warned of a looming "digital dark age".

So of course, rather than look for Free Software to solve the problem in an open, honest way, Ceeney has done the typical UK Gov't dance to Microsoft's tune."

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