Tuesday, August 29, 2006


A Canadian gifted me with a $50 iTunes music card earlier this year. When I finally got around to using the card this past weekend, I was informed that the cards are territory specific. What bs, right? So, I called Apple customer service and the customer service rep (I imagined the slacker-hipster-Williamsburg cute Justin Long on the other end of the phone) informed me that the cards are territory specific. Perhaps I could email iTunes customer service and ask whether or not I could trade in my Canadian iTunes music card for an American one, Justin suggested. And, so I emailed the following query to iTunes customer service:

I have a $50 Canadian iTunes music card, which I can't seem to redeem online here. Are the music cards territory-specific? If so, is there any way that I can have the US equivalent of this Canadian card? Your help is much appreciated.

I was told to expect a reply email within 48 hours. I received a reply in 17 hours; it follows:

Dear Sabila,

Thank you for contacting the iTunes Store and I apologize for the confusion with your gift card.

The iTunes Music Card gift you received was intended for use in a country other than your own. Unfortunately, this means you won't be able to redeem this card on your account. Currently, iTunes Music Cards can only be redeemed in the country where they are purchased.

iTunes Music Cards are not refundable. You may want to give your Music Card as a gift to an individual who will be able to redeem it. You might also return to the point of purchase to inquire about a refund. Apple cannot provide refunds or replacements for cards purchased from third party retailers.


iTunes Store Escalations

Now, I couldn't imagine Justin Long as Erin because, obviously, Erin's a female. Also, I can't be expected to cast other actors without anything but an automaton-like email response. And, seriously, I don't need automaton-Erin telling me what gifts I should be giving my friends. IT WAS A GIFT TO ME, AE! MY GIFT!

The morals of this story:
1)Justin Long is cute and reassuring over the phone;
2)iTunes customer service is prompt but has yet to learn the "tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies" philosophy of life to which I adhere;
3)Automaton-Erin is not the boss of me;
4)don't ever buy or gift anyone with foreign iTunes music cards;
5)clearly it's late; clearly I'm tired; clearly I'm disappointed; clearly I'm open to cheating-the-system suggestions.


Chris said...

6)clearly you have not dealt with the phone Cylons at the IRS.

King Talent said...

I think it would be more amusing if you could only purchase music recorded by Canadian artists with the Canadian iTunes card. You could really beef up your collection of Bryan Adams and Rush.

Zee said...

r2s or open a canadian itunes account online :D or if you want to be mean...regift

zareen said...

wait i dont get it..does this mean that some albums are released in the states before other countries? is that why you have to use the card in the country purchased? or is it a currency thing? or is it an anti american thing? or is it b/c canada REALLY is a separate country?

i'm confused!!

bigkahuna said...

I had lunch with a couple of my buddies from Apple today and asked them about this - they said they could work through and *potentially* get a replacement if your would like to try.

The country-thing is specific due to rights, royalties and territory agreements Apple has with the various music publishers. Canadian rights are paid differently than US, which are different than UK, etc. etc. So the location-specific aspects of where the money is going is actually contractually-based. Annoying as @#$%^ ain't it?!?!?

Anonymous said...

Well since iTunes is presumably blocking you by your US IP address, you can probably get around it by finding a Canadian IP proxy of some kind. Don't know any off the top of my head though.
Or just suck it up and blame the music industry for all this.

Maritza said...

That so sucks but maybe you should plan a trip to Canada and find an illegal backroom joint that deals in Canadian gift cards.

shirley said...

I believe South Park said it best with the song "Blame Canada"!

KleoPatra said...

I'm with Shirley!


Sheila: Times have changed
Our kids are getting worse
They won't obey their parents
They just want to fart and curse!
Sharon: Should we blame the government?
Liane: Or blame society?
Dads: Or should we blame the images on TV?
Sheila: No, blame Canada
Everyone: Blame Canada
Sheila: With all their beady little eyes
And flapping heads so full of lies
Everyone: Blame Canada
Blame Canada
Sheila: We need to form a full assault
Everyone: It's Canada's fault!
Sharon: Don't blame me
For my son Stan
He saw the damn cartoon
And now he's off to join the Klan!
Liane: And my boy Eric once
Had my picture on his shelf
But now when I see him he tells me to fuck myself!
Sheila: Well, blame Canada
Everyone: Blame Canada
Sheila: It seems that everything's gone wrong
Since Canada came along
Everyone: Blame Canada
Blame Canada
Copy Guy: They're not even a real country anyway
Ms. McCormick: My son could've been a doctor or a lawyer rich and true,
Instead he burned up like a piggy on the barbecue
Everyone: Should we blame the matches?
Should we blame the fire?
Or the doctors who allowed him to expire?
Sheila: heck no!
Everyone: Blame Canada
Blame Canada
Sheila: With all their hockey hullabaloo
Liane: And that bitch Anne Murray too
Everyone: Blame Canada
Shame on Canada
The smut we must stop
The trash we must bash
The Laughter and fun
Must all be undone
We must blame them and make a fuss
Before someone thinks of blaming us!!!!

Anonymous said...

just use Limewire for crying out loud :) Music industry rips us off anyways, so might as well take advantage of peer to peer sharing...

mist1 said...

Stating the obvious is like, practically my job. Observe:

Automaton Erin = A.E. = Alter Ego = Justin Long

He got you.

SabilaK said...

Chris: clearly, I've been spared. What a nightmare for you to live through but oh so hilarious for me to read about!

King: Let's not forget Alanis Morissette!

Zee: If regifting means prying the card from my cold, dead hands, then sure.

Zareen: good to see you here. And I think BK has answered your questions.

BK: Way to hook a blogger up! I'll take it. Thanks so much for bringing the issue up with your friends. Clearly, you're connected.

Anonymous: I'll suck it up.

Maritza:...and it can't be an illegal backroom joint dealing in Canadian gift cards without the music of Celine Dion wafting through the cigar smoke of fat men who say "eh". Although, I wonder if Canadians are fat...or is that just Americans?

Shirley and Kleo: I love Ike.

Anonymous: I've been using a shareware program for quite a while but am considering changing my ways for good.

Mist: OMG! He's good. He's effin' genius.

Forlorn said...

$50 iTunes card gifts? Now such admirers I will kill to obtain