An Experiment in Globalization: Results

First off, Apple did get back to me within the time frame that they promise. (I was in New York on business part of this week and last, thus the lack of blogging.) So far, so good.

But I can’t say I’m satisfied with the results. Instead of finding a way for me to acquire music from iTunes, they replied:

Currently, iTunes Music Store Gift Certificates can only be redeemed in the country where they are purchased. It is not possible to send an iTunes Music Store Gift Certificate to a recipient in another country.

Because of this, the order was canceled and a refund was issued in the amount of $[foo] to the sender’s credit card. This credit should post to the their account within 3-5 business days of [date]. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Upshot is no tunes for me, no money for Apple, or the artists, or anyone else interested in making some euro cents from legal downloads of music. (I suppose I could log onto iTunes US whenever I happen to be in the States; how’s that for convenience?) Market failure, thy name is copyright lawyers.

An Experiment in Globalization

Nowadays, people’s lives often take them far from the land of their birth, right? And the internet is supposed to be able to help diminish the problems arising from distance, yes? We will see if Apple and iTunes are up to the challenge.

Dear Sir or Madam,

My sister, who lives in the United States, sent me an iTunes gift certificate for my birthday. I would like to use it to purchase music. Your software tells me that I cannot use this gift certificate for iTunes Germany. It also tells me that I cannot sign on to the iTunes store for the United States, where the certificate was purchased.

How can I use this gift certificate to purchase music?


Douglas Merrill

The FAQ says to expect an answer within 24 hours. I will keep you all posted.

Superfast Update: The “thank you” page says that they will be in contact within 72 hours. This is not an auspicious start.