There’s Something Rotten at Apple and it Ain’t Just the Maps
When iTunes lost 3,000 of my songs and wouldn’t let me download the music I paid for, I was up a digital stream without a paddle.
I first knew I was in trouble when the AppleCare customer service rep told me that he was sorry that iTunes was such an “unstable” program.
Unstable? That wasn’t in any of the small print agreements they were always sending me with every update. Nope. It didn’t warn me that I might pay for music and never see it again thanks to their most popular program’s inability to save my music.
It didn’t tell me that I would have to wait 90 days to download the music that I have proof that I paid for.
I was feeling more and more like the guy in a Microsoft commercial.
Then, when he and I got put on hold together for 40 minutes waiting for a representative higher up the chain because they were backed up with 280 complaints, I knew I was really up the digital stream without a paddle.
They treated their own employees as badly as they were treating me. And, he confided, he had to get them to make an exception for music he had also lost. What’s happened to my beloved Apple?
This is the company I’ve been an unpaid evangelist for since I bought my Apple 2C in 1983, a “portable” that hardly was. I’ve been with them faithfully since, scoffing at the troglodyte inelegance of Microsoft’s programs and invisible service.
I still love Apple’s computers and wouldn’t leave, but I’m shaking my head about the future. If the maps debacle and my iTunes fiasco are an indication, this is a company that is suffering from being on top. Like Microsoft before it, Apple seems to have forgotten the people who use and pay for the products.
I’ve been in limbo for five days and even though I assume I’ll get my music back, they will never pay me for the wasted hours finding lost songs or talking to customer service.
Here’s what happened: I filled my iMac 27-inch-screen desktop with more music and photos than it could hold. In Apple terms, I had 16,000 songs which could keep me on a desert island for some 49 days without hearing the same one twice.
So, I bought a three terrabyte outboard hard drive for the music and another backups and a third for video. But after spending hours migrating the songs to the new drive, I found I only had roughly 13,000 songs.
The others just disappeared and they did it in ways that would drive me nuts. A bunch of albums such as Meet the Beatles and the Faces box set lost only the first song. Roger Waters and Radiohead lost every other song. Some albums only had one song.
“It looks like some kind of system,” said my rep, who was comforting and did his job well, despite the problems. “Why would it only lose the odd numbered songs?”
Uhh, Dude. You’re the genius. I’m just the guy out $3,000. Yeah, it wasn’t until they were missing that I realized how much I paid for them.
Now, my former jobs were in the music industry, so I have a lot of the lost material on discs that can, with a lot of time, be replaced.
But the part that’s most frustrating is that I purchased 4,125 songs in one iTunes account and 528 in another. I stupidly assumed when they started saving music in the iCloud that I could combine my accounts.
But no. Not only can’t I combine them, but for some reason that neither I nor my service rep can figure, it won’t let me access the larger account. It gives me a message each day telling me that I can’t get to my songs for 90 days and ticks off the day each day.
During our almost two hours on the phone, he couldn’t figure out why either.
So he wrote a note in my name to the person above him asking for an exception to the 90-day rule for me to be able to download my music that was lost because of your “unstable” program. I’m still waiting to hear back.
I’ve learned a few things in my dealings over the years with the company, some of which were the results of my human error and some not. CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST.
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