Apple In Legal Trouble For Allegedly Double Billing iTunes Users
Apple’s refund policy and the difficult procedures required to obtain refunds for iTunes and App Store purchases are pretty notorious in these parts of the Internet. It’s often easier, and sometime even recommend by Apple, to approach developers for refunds instead of the company directly. When we heard that Robert Herskowitz allegedly purchashed a crappy pop song on the iTunes store twice, and then was denied a refund from Apple, we weren’t all that surprised.
Robert Herskowitz has filed a class action lawsuit against Apple for double billing customers for iTunes purchases.
According to the court filing:
[quote]This is a nationwide putative class action for damages and injunctive relief relating to Apple’s unlawful policy and practice of refusing to refund App1e’s customers who have been ever charged for purchases of products and Iservices from -Apple’s “e-Stores” in violation of the customer agreements governing those transactions, the California Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”), Cal. Bus. & Prof Code 17200, et seq., and common law … Under the Agreement, as with any consumer transaction, customers are to be billed only once for the products and services they purchase. Apple, however, has “double billed” customers for purchases made through the Apple Stores. Even more troubling, Apple has implemented a policy and practice of refusing to refund the extra charge to customers who have been over billed, causing their credit cards or PayPal accounts to be billed twice for a single purchase.[/quote]
It sounds like this could be a case of someone hitting the purchase button one too many times, getting billed twice, and then the plaintiff went looking for a refund for the accidental purchase. Of course, none of that is really stated explicitly or implicitly, except for the mention of a double charge for the track.
What do you think? Does Herskowitz have a chance? Would you like to see easier refund processes in place for the App Store and iTunes store? I certainly would. That said, the procedures that would be required to issue refunds on a dollar transaction almost wouldn’t make it worth it. There would likely be a loss there that extends well beyond the original refund price.