When I think of Heaven?

Certainty, Part 1

Nothing ever goes wrong with iTunes.* Thank you, Apple.

Certainty, Part 2

I was talking to a friend yesterday. (People love to tell me their Customer Experience stories.)

Something went wrong with an iTunes card he’d been given for his birthday-anniversary-Iforgetwhat in October. (Sometimes, I listen.)

The card read, 10 free songs, expires 12/31. My friend, apparently not having an urgent need for tunes in October, waited until last weekend to pick some things out.

If you had no ideas in October, coming up with ten in December isn’t going to be easy, but after some time fiddling around and hollering to his wife and kids (or whatever, because I wasn’t listening to that part either), he got a list together and proceeded to purchase.

Only the darned card kept saying it was expired.

Now it gets interesting.

He found out where to email iTunes and told them, “most cordially” (he wanted me to remember that), that the card was fracked.

He probably didn’t say “fracked,” since he was being cordial.

Then, in the space of 48 hours on a weekend, they:

emailed him acknowledging his email, saying someone would be looking into it within 24 hours

emailed to say they were looking into it, they’d be able to tell him what was going on within 24 hours

emailed to say the card was, in fact, expired on 10/31 (or “fracked,” but they didn’t say that), would he fax them a copy of the front and back so they could continue to look into the matter, which he did

emailed to say “that’s the darnedest thing, we’re going to get to the bottom of this”

emailed to say, “jeez, we’re sorry, you really can’t use that for 10 free songs and through odd regulations that would bore you to death we can’t give you ten free songs, but we can give you a code for ten bucks at iTunes, here it is and here’s how to use it, is that a reasonable fix,” to which he said yes

emailed to say “cool beans, sir, you have a marvelous day”

At which point my friend was in a frenzy of astonishment, because in case you didn’t catch it, only the first email was an autoresponder. All the rest were real emails. From one, real, person. Actually following the case of one misprinted card with dogged determination from beginning to end, as if he were looking for Tiger Woods’ remaining honor in a Vegas VIP room.

My friend wrote back. “You, sir, rock completely, oh so much more than the Morrissey and the Counting Crows and the Raffi I’m about to download. Thank you, and if anyone else reads this, you deserve a raise.”

(My friend will protest that he downloaded no Counting Crows and it’s a dirty lie, but you know, once dirty lies are on the ‘net, they’re hard to refute. I say he downloaded Rain King in live and studio versions. What say you?)

The real person—the same, real person—wrote back. Thanking my friend for thanking him. Aw, shucks-ing and saying, friend, this is just how we do it here in iTunes-world.

Six emails in 48 hours (7 if you count the autoresponder), to correct a misprinted gift card. On a weekend. When they could have said, “The card’s expired, who the heck waits months to use one, take off, you hoser.”

Nothing ever goes wrong with iTunes.** Thank you, Apple.


Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson


*Maybe you’ll be the one to come by and tell me an iTunes horror story. I admit it, this is simply one woman’s story. In my entire time dealing with the company, I have never had anything go wrong with the service myself. YMMV.

**Or perhaps you believe they’re the evil empire leading to the destruction of the music business as we know it. Come one, come all. I’m up for a little controversy.