Apple screws over prepaid iTunes users with iTunes Match
Apple is at it again, making sure it properly and thoroughly screws every single one of its customers. This time it’s another issue with iTunes Match. iTunes Match is, as you might already know, Apple’s $25/year service that scans your library and makes everything available through iCloud. That way you can download anything from your library wherever you are without having to sync or repurchase, regardless of whether you originally bought it through iTunes. It’s already been quite a failure simply because it’s not international, all the while Apple is happy to sell music in the same countries, and this time it’s an issue with payment.
The problem is that Apple doesn’t allow the iTunes Match fee to be paid for using prepaid methods, that is, gift card balance. If you try to activate Match with an account that doesn’t have a credit card on file, it sends you to a page asking you to enter card details. First off, this means that no one from outside the US can get the service using the gift card system for making US accounts. More importantly, however, it means that no one from inside the US can get it either if they only use gift cards for paying for Apple content. There are plenty of those people, ranging from people who don’t have credit cards (kids) to people who don’t trust Apple, and even people who have kids and want control over what they spend.
Screwing over these users isn’t exactly the best way to gain fans, and it doesn’t exactly help the cause for people who simply don’t trust Apple with their CC info. There’s no reason for Apple to do this either, as automatic renewal should quite frankly be illegal to begin with unless you jump through about a hundred hoops to activate it. Just this summer I got an email from those f….ishy people at Audible.com who complained that my yearly renewal or some pointless plan of theirs had failed. I had gotten a new card as the last one broke, and that’s a good thing, as I have no intention of renewing anything from that company. Seeing Apple going down the same route with forcing people to activate auto-renewal and hoping they’ll forget about it is sad, but not surprising.