Bugs in Apple's iTunes Music Store

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Date: Thursday, May 8th, 2003, 01:55
Category: Hardware, iPod

There seems to be two BUGS with the iTunes Music Store. One with the use of the shopping cart and overcharging for sales tax. If you have set your preferences in iTunes to “Buy Using Shopping Cart” Beware. Also be sure to check your charges of your purchases for the correct amount of applicable sales tax. This seems to be two bugs that I have now run into.

If you’re like me and didn’t want to see several individual little charges on your credit card from the iTunes Music Store, then you probably set your preferences in iTunes to “Buy Using Shopping Cart.” If you did, beware.

I have been perusing the iTunes Music Store from day one and adding items to my shopping cart. I don’t want to see tons of little charges and I wanted to make one large download. Well after a week of making my collection of songs, I decided to make my purchase last night. Here’s the nightmare that unfolded:

I click on my shopping cart in iTunes to see my final list of songs. I notice that one song, Van Morrison’s “Tupelo Honey” doesn’t have the little remove button as do the rest of the songs in the list. So, I double click it and it still previews just fine. I don’t think much of it and click on the “Buy Now” button. I then get a wonderful little dialog box that pops up that states verbatim:

Your shopping cart’s contents have been changed.

Either the prices of some items have changed, or items have been added or removed from another computer. Please review the your shopping cart and click Buy Now.

(The grammatical error is in the dialog box and not a typo from me). This box has one sole button, “Refresh.” So, I click refresh and try again. Same result. Now, I go back into the store, and do a search for “Tupelo Honey” by Van Morrison and it is NOT there! (There was the same song name by other artists) I then send feedback to the Store regarding this. I go back to my shopping cart and try to delete “Tupelo Honey” and get yet another dialog box that states verbatim:

Could remove an item from your cart because an error occurred (6007).

There was an error in the Music Store. Please try again

Again only one button, “OK” (I’m looking for the “Not OK” button, but it isn’t there. 😉 So, I send feedback on this to the store as well. I waited for a couple of hours and try it all again with the exact same results. I then take a window screen shot of my shopping cart and print it out for reference. I then start checking to see if I can find a file that has the shopping cart list on my hard drive and then forcefully remove “Tupelo Honey” from my shopping cart. I checked the iTunes folder, preferences, preference panes, application support all in both the system library and my user account library. Nothing, nada, no go. So then, I try removing songs from my shopping cart one at a time in iTunes and try again to no avail.

So last but not least, I go back into my iTunes preferences and deselect “Buy Using Shopping Cart.” Voila, I can now buy individual songs, but can not add to the Shopping cart. I search for one of the songs that used to be in my cart and successfully make my single US$0.99 + applicable sales tax purchase. Woo hoo!

But wait, there’s more! This morning, I check my online banking and see the iTunes Music Store charge to my credit card. Much to my dismay, the charge is for US$1.10. Now, I’m not going to quibble over a few pennies and I may not be a mathematical genius, but my sales tax rate is 8.25%. Let’s do the math… US$0.99 x 0.0825 = US$0.08, not US$0.11!

The bottom line is, if you have a song in your shopping cart that becomes unavailable for whatever reason prior to you downloading the song, you will no longer be able to use the shopping cart and will be forced to make individual single song purchases. Secondly, check that you are being charged the correct amount of sales tax for your iTunes Music Store purchases. What I’d like to know is what is Apple doing with all of this money that they are overcharging for tax? US$0.03 x one million = US$30,000!

In retrospect, I am enjoying my US$1.10 single song purchase.

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