I had always thought that relationships in business are really important. I had been told that quality products and services develop brand loyalty. I, for myself agree with these statements if they are combined with a product that actually works and meets my needs.
Maybe that is one of the reasons that I have been an Apple customer for a decade and happily use my IPhane and IPad.
As Apple has started offering more and more services the need to make payments has become common. I download music form ITunes and have a lot of my images in ICloud storage.
When you have a good number of transactions over many years, it is not that surprising that something can go wrong. So after years of no complaints I saw a double charge on my credit card statement last month. No big deal. I checked with Apple, they checked and agreed that there was an accidental double charge and refunded the money to the credit card – awesome.
As we finished Thanksgiving and Dec 1st rolled around, I started getting all kinds of messages on my devices telling me that subscription payments could not be charged. A little annoyed and confused I checked with my bank and learned that my card was fine. I had used it a few times for other stuff and had no issues, but sometimes you just want to know.
So, the card is fine, but Apple kept notifying me that the charges did not go thru. Next step: Go to the Apple store and see if I accidently switched a setting. – Nope, all was fine, but the genius told me that the notifications kept saying that my payment method does no longer work.
Hmm, payment method is credit card – the only card I have is the one on the device and the bank says it is working fine. What to do? The genius suggests calling apple support.
When I did, I learned that Apple defines payment method as specific to a card and its unique number – I always thought a method would be credit card, check, paypal, etc.
Anyway, I try to figure out what happened. The person at Apple tells me that my card was banned by Apple. Puzzled I ask why that would eb the case. I learn that Apple bans cards when a customer files a complaint for a purchase, even if it is a valid complaint.
I am getting pretty frustrated and wonder: “How can this banned be removed?”
Apple tells me to either add another credit card to my account – which I don’t have. Or to apply another payment method altogether, i.e. PayPal or Apple Pay or getting a new credit card.
So here is the bottom line:
I can either be dictated by Apple what credit card they are willing to accept – even though the one they banned is working fine and has so for at least 3 years – or I can join the family of Android devices and abandon Apple. That way I could keep using my completely fine credit card.
I thought I must have that wrong but to make sure I asked the Apply customer service person on the phone. He said: “I am sorry but that is happening every day. I can’t take the ban off, so if you don’t want to get another card you can’t do purchases with Apple anymore”. When I asked if he understands that Apple is basically driving me away towards Android, he says, without skipping a beet: “Yep, I am sorry man, but that’s how this works…”.
Who would have thunk …
I guess when you are as large as Apple you can afford that kind of behavior and disregard for loyalty. For my real estate investing venture “IDEAL GROWER” I know I don’t want to treat anybody this way. On the other hand I am grateful to Apple because now I know how it feels when a customer is frustrated and disappointed, especially after many years of a good relationship.
My pledge is to always do my very best to help and improve people’s lives and honor their trust in my and any loyalty they show to me, my family, and my business ventures.