If you’ve been keeping up with my blog lately (and I’ve made it fairly easy for you…my lack of writing surely makes your reading load a bit lighter, no?), you know that I’ve been grouchy about the level of customer service I’ve seen in my daily adventures.
If you’ve been keeping up with my Facebook feed (now that’s a little more challenging!), you’ll remember that my Alex managed to purchase several non-learning apps while we waited for the other kids at their dance classes a couple of weeks ago. I recently learned that the App Store stays “open” for fifteen minutes after you enter your password. If I’d had this information earlier, I could have saved myself some time. Eh, well. What’s a life experience if it doesn’t provide any lessons, right?
So, to recap, while Al and I were waiting for the other two kids at their dance classes, he asked me to put a new game on his iPad. I found an educational, free app right away, so I happily obliged and then turned back to the magazine I was reading. He played away, without interrupting my reading, for about ten minutes before my inner voice kicked in and prompted me to look at what he was doing. I was so engrossed in my stupid magazine (and enjoying the very rare opportunity to flip through it without being bothered) that I failed to notice that Alex had been on an app shopping spree. Ugh!!
To his pure dismay, I grabbed his iPad and quickly figured out how to enable restrictions. That ended the app free-for-all, but I couldn’t tell just by looking at the apps if he had paid for them, or if they were free. My gut told me that they were probably the most expensive apps there were. I was almost right.
The next day, I could see that my bank account was charged $16.09 for three apps (I should note that for almost a year, I only downloaded free apps because I was too stubborn to pay for any…so seeing that Al paid $9.99 for one app made my eye twitch a bit). I definitely got lucky, as it could have been way more costly, but at this time of year (Hanukkah, Andrew’s birthday, Christmas…) I can stretch $16 pretty far. I debated on calling Apple to see if they would consider reversing the charges, but I wasn’t certain if they would have any compassion. I’ll admit it, I should have been watching him, and it was totally my fault that he got app-happy. I decided to put it out on Facebook to see what others would do.
I was relieved to learn that Alex was definitely not the first kiddo to do this, and he was actually the most conservative in his purchases, by far! All but one person reported that Apple had been willing to credit them for the unauthorized charges, so I decided to give it a shot.
I finally sat down the other day to call Apple, and spoke with a lovely support rep, Rebecca. I sheepishly explained the situation, and while waiting for the lecture that I fully expected, I was surprised to hear her offer to refund the charges. Wow. I thought I’d have to put up a bit of a fight, but nope. Not at all. Then, she offered me three free song downloads, for “my inconvenience”. Whoa!! I’m the dumbass who gave my kid full access to the App Store, and you’re giving me complementary downloads? Awesome.
It would be so great if this type of service was the norm. Not even the offering of free stuff; Apple had won me over before that. If every place had pleasant, patient employees who are actually willing to do their job and be nice about it, I think we’d all be a lot happier.
Now, how do we get there? Higher wages? Better benefits? I have no idea where to start. But, I am one happy customer, with a somewhat renewed faith in finding good service, because of this experience.
And Alex will not be shopping for apps, unsupervised, for a very, very long time.