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Apple Faces Class-Action Lawsuit Over Double Billing and Refusing Refunds


Everybody makes mistakes, and Apple is no different. Occasionally, it seems as if they’ll accidentally charge customers who buy something through iTunes twice for the same download. That’s what happened to Robert Herskowitz. That would be fine, however, if Apple just fessed up and refunded him for the second download. They’re refusing, however, which is why Herskowitz is filing a class action lawsuit.

The double billing in question was for a download of Adam Lambert’s “Whataya Want From Me?” a single purchase of which Kerskowitz intended to make, for whatever reason. Being a single song, it was only $0.99, so the double billing only outed him a dollar, but the whole lawsuit seems to be more about a matter of principle.

On noticing the double purchase, Herskowitz notified Apple, and got an automated response back right away, saying that his request was being reviewed. A few days later, he got an email letting him know that his request, after “careful consideration,” had been smacked down. Why? Because of iTunes Terms of Service. The explanation reads as follows:

Your request for a refund for “Whataya Want from Me” was carefully considered; however, according to the iTunes Store Terms of Sale, all purchases made on the iTunes Store are ineligible for refund. This policy matches Apple’s refund policies and provides protection for copyrighted materials.

That excuse seems a little out of order if the double billing was totally Apple’s fault. If Herskowitz did something to cause the mistake, like refresh a form when he shouldn’t have, it might be a different story, but still, refusing a refund seems harsh. It’s not like he downloaded the song, copied it and was trying to get his money back, he simply wanted to pay once for the file he legitimately bought.

It’s easy to see how this could be a little infuriating, but most users would just shrug it off. I know I would. That said, it’s good that someone went through the trouble to file the lawsuit on principle if this is, in fact, a common issue. TOS are a poor excuse to take extra money from your customers, especially when they’re already trying to punish themselves by listening to Adam Lambert.

(via Justia Tech Law)

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