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Guest Post : Story of a Wrong Swipe

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Ever since we have got an iPhone at home, My son Akhil has been very comfortable with it. He uses it with such commendable ease, and seems to know how to get things done with that phone, though he does not exactly know what he is doing.

According to Akhil, it is not a “Smart Phone”, but a “Smart Playing Device”, He knows how to access App Store, and has loaded tons of games in our (his?) iPhone. Games of all sorts: Throwing paper into the dustbin (which he never does in real life), cutting fruits criss cross, running up, down and under, fighting, mimicking, cards etc.,

Last week, My husband Venkat was doing some work, when Akhil popped up asking him to enter the iTunes password. Venkat not bothering to check what was happening, just entered the password and continued with his work.

Little later, I got a SMS from my credit card company, that I have spent $64 with transaction detail as iTunes.

I have never spent this much for an App purchase, it must be something that Akhil downloaded. What happens now? I have to pay $64 for something I will never use? That’s not fair.

Next morning, I decided to do some research on this, hoping that there is a way to get that money back, it was after all a mistaken purchase.

After some googling, I found the way to report the purchase as a problem, and that page gave me a comment box to tell them why.

OK, a chance to exhibit that I can write well and convince people. I tell them how I have ended up in having a kid who is 5 years old (give or take 2 years), not comfortable with english but so addictive to iPhone and simply thinks Steve Jobs is a genius (Flattery works, I hope!) and that he has made a wrong purchase and I would like to revert it.

Wow, the mail seems to have done the magic because the very next day, I got the full $64 as refund, and a beautiful Email from Apple Support, which is one of the best support mails I have ever received:

Hello,

Thanks for contacting iTunes Store support to let me know you need some help. I understand that your son has made some purchases that he should not have. I can imagine you must be concerned, but there’s no need to worry. My name is Mark and I would be happy to assist you today.

After reviewing the circumstances of your case, we determined that issuing you a refund for your unintentional purchase is an appropriate exception to the iTunes store Terms and Conditions, which state that all sales are final. In five to seven business days, a credit of $64.97 should be posted to the credit card that appears on the receipt for that purchase.

Additionally, you can make modifications on certain devices that will prevent them from making purchases,

Thank you for being an important part of the Apple family. Please let me know how everything works out. I’ll be more than happy to have this looked into further for you.

Sincerely,
Mark
Senior Advisor
iTunes Store Support

There it is, a very personal mail, understanding my problem, stating that they are treating this as an exception, returning my full money without any fees / fine, and finally, giving me suggestions on how to avoid this in future.

Most important, It has a one-to-one tone, asks me not to worry, says that the money would be refunded in 7 days (But it was refunded even before the mail was sent, I assume) and ends with a note for further help.

Thanks Apple, not only for my $64, but for this wonderful support experience.

Jayamalini

Jayamalini is a UX Professional at Zoho Corp. Given two minutes of free time she would grab a book and start reading it from cover to cover. Writing is her next favorite pastime and she blogs her parenting experiences at http://akhilnjaya.wordpress.com (mostly in Tamil). At twitter she is @jayamalini

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