What not do to in customer service

So I upgraded my iPad to iOS7 and had a hick up. It reset my iTunes library. When I tried to restore some of the content by re downloading it some was missing. This isn’t the issue. The issue is what happened when I queried this with Apple…

I opened up a customer service query with them with the following message (yes i know its Barbarella but its a great psych. soundtrack).

Barbarella (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [feat. Jane Fonda] - 2011

I purchased this album. I have the full album downloaded on to my MacBook however when I upgraded my iPad I lost some of my iTunes content. That's alright, I thought, because I can play my purchases from iCloud. However the first track of the above album does not appear. Neither does it appear in the iTunes store any more. The album does but the track doesn't. I see by a review comment that at least one other person cannot see the first track either. The album is listed now as a partial album.

I naively assumed that once I'd purchased something it would remain available for re-download indefinitely. Is this going to happen for other content I have. Also why would just one track disappear? I'm not particularly worried here as I have it downloaded on another devices but I'd like to know why I can't download it again and whether this may happen to other content. If that's the case I wont rely on iCloud but make my own backups.



I’ve recently received a reply…

Hi [lastname],

Thank you for contacting iTunes Store Customer Support. My name is Kaye, your Advisor for today. I am sorry to hear that you are having difficulties redownloading the first track of your past purchased album "Barbarella (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [feat. Jane Fonda] - 2011". I understand your concern and I'm more than willing to help you with this.

[lastname], after investigating this purchase, we found that this item is no longer available in the iTunes Store, the reason why you are not able to redownload it using iTunes in the Cloud.

[lastname], I am providing some articles below that might be helpful in your future transactions with the iTunes Store:


The rest of the response was a cut and paste explaining why I should back up and how to do it. Something I already know.

It is quite obvious that the customer service person never actually read/understood my query. I told them it wasn’t there. They didn’t explain why it had gone and just confirmed that I needed to back up. More importantly they didn’t use the right name either. Now my last name can be used as a male first name which suggests they assumed I was male and it was my name.

So dear customer service departments:

  • Please get the customer’s name/gender right.
  • Please read and understand any correspondence sent by the customer.
  • Do not patronise the customer.
  • Do not tell them what they already know.
  • Answer the bloody query.
  • Form letters are often less than useful.
  • If you can’t help admit that rather than bullshitting.

Apple hardware is still awesome in my opinion but their customer service department sucks. Also ignore the iCloud promises and ensure you back everything up yourself too!

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