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.