AfterDawn: Tech news

Man sues Apple for $5 million after being charged for $1.29 song twice

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 05 May 2012 22:51 User comments (25)

Man sues Apple for $5 million after being charged for $1.29 song twice California resident Robert Herskowitz has sued Apple this week for punitive damages.
Apparently, the company double billed him for purchasing a song on iTunes and would not offer a refund.

Last month, Herskowitz purchased the track "Whataya Want from Me" by Adam Lambert and was charged $1.29 twice for the song in an apparent glitch. After reaching out to Apple via email, he received this response:

"Your request for 'Whatya 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."

The angered consumer has now filed a lawsuit against Apple seeking an injunction and punitive damages of $5 million. Herskowitz claims there was a breach of contract, breach of faith, unjust enrichment, unfair competition and business law violations.

He also claims that Apple charges multiple times with "troubling regularity" and that it occurs in the App Store, the iBookstore and Mac App Store.

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25 user comments

16.5.2012 0:00

Nice. Lawsuits of that caliber usually get the attention of the the useless cubicle dwellers, and their stained-shirt supervisors. Maybe this will pucker their buttholes, so they stop farting into their desk chairs for a living.


Quote me as saying I was mis-quoted. - Groucho Marx

26.5.2012 1:38

And the judge awards him $1.29 for the song and pays for his stay at the nut house.

36.5.2012 1:58

As tempting as it is for me to say kudos to this guy (Apple sucks!!!), having worked in the E-commerce department of a major big box store for over half a decade I have to wonder, did this guy actually wait until he got his credit card statement? Or was he looking online or a bank/debit account? If it was the latter than he was probably seeing the charge and the "preauthorization" amount, which appears to be a charge. At my work this happens (and trust me, we get a LOT of customer service calls about that) and it's usually not anything that the e-commerce business has any control over. You make an order, the business sends a "preauth" which makes sure the card is usable (has money, isn't reported stolen or lost, etc), then the actual charge goes through. For a few days it "looks like" the account has been charged twice but then after a few business days (depending on the bank), the preauth falls back into their account.

In other words...my computer geek side says "kudos" to this guy, but my work experience says Apple is functioning normally...apparently. :)

Edit: And trust me, I've spoken to a lot of people who for whatever reason can't seem to grasp the "preauth" concept and as a result, I've been threatened to be sued (personally), have the company sued, and I've had people say they're going to call my vice president and have me fired.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 May 2012 @ 2:02

46.5.2012 2:11

Originally posted by lupine25:
If it was the latter than he was probably seeing the charge and the "preauthorization" amount, which appears to be a charge.
Preauth should be $1 unless there's something really wrong with your payment system.

56.5.2012 2:37

Originally posted by xbkrypt0n:
Originally posted by lupine25:
If it was the latter than he was probably seeing the charge and the "preauthorization" amount, which appears to be a charge.
Preauth should be $1 unless there's something really wrong with your payment system.
That is true in most cases, but we're a wholesaler that works directly with businesses that make large volume purchases (as opposed to your corner drug store), so our preauthorization system (legitimately) does the entire order amount. Otherwise if we did $1 auths, then we wouldn't be in business very long (read: we find out the card works for $1, but then we ship $1,000 worth of merchandise and find out we can't charge the card for the full amount!).

66.5.2012 3:42

apple made a mistake and dint fix the mistake they deserve to get sued.wouldnt matter if he was suing for $2 or 5million as the case is, apple stuffed up refused to fix the error so they are in the wrong.

as for the song whatya want from me.i prefer it sung by pink think she has a better voice.


custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

76.5.2012 4:33

While the amount asked for is patently silly, spanking an arrogant company that's attempting to rip off a customer (no matter how small the amount) simply to please their content providers, is a damn good idea, There's nothing more enraging than a company saying, '"sorry we broke the law, but it's company policy." Screw that!

86.5.2012 5:14

Adam Lambert?

Bwahahaahaha.

That's funny....

Jeff

96.5.2012 8:17

They should have just compensated him with an iTunes gift card or something.

106.5.2012 8:39

They will offer him some stupid amount of money to go away and then the legit consumers get to pay for it.....

116.5.2012 10:20

Originally posted by nbfreak2:
They will offer him some stupid amount of money to go away and then the legit consumers get to pay for it.....
His case should be dismissed for bad taste in music alone.

1.29m?.? Another frivolous lawsuit which Apple has become infamous spearheading for the last decade.

Powered by ego.

Jeff

126.5.2012 12:36

Originally posted by lupine25:
Originally posted by xbkrypt0n:
Originally posted by lupine25:
If it was the latter than he was probably seeing the charge and the "preauthorization" amount, which appears to be a charge.
Preauth should be $1 unless there's something really wrong with your payment system.
That is true in most cases, but we're a wholesaler that works directly with businesses that make large volume purchases (as opposed to your corner drug store), so our preauthorization system (legitimately) does the entire order amount. Otherwise if we did $1 auths, then we wouldn't be in business very long (read: we find out the card works for $1, but then we ship $1,000 worth of merchandise and find out we can't charge the card for the full amount!).
Gas stations are natorious (actually the gas PUMPS [aka, card readers] for completely freezing the entire checking accounts of folks if you use your debit card at the pump.

How or what their doing with all your money is completely foreign to me as it's virtually impossible to know exactly who it is that has control over your funds while it all sits in hiatus. Needless to say you're not rewarded with any interest or incentive for them to have used your money, seeing as your account literally is frozen for a minimum of 48 hours.

Granted, it's not what Apple pulled... they flat out bilked him of a buck & a quarter and then told him to sniff methane. I'd want a chunk of their ass too. But it would seem to me that this would be more effective on a class action suit rather than a greed induced hissy. Unless, again, this has happened more than once.

I see victory in numbers here more than "Apple took my $1.25 & it made me impotent.." striking a victory for the little guy.

136.5.2012 12:42

If they actually charged twice and refuse to do a refund, then they are clearly in the wrong. Nowhere in their tos does it say they will double charge, and it isn't a refund if the purchase was never made.

Still, I almost hope he loses, as Apple customers give up all rights to fair treatment the day they buy an Apple. He (and all Apple customers) should be severely punished for supporting apple...a double charge is hardly enough. They should all have their noses broken by transparent doors.

146.5.2012 13:02

Originally posted by KillerBug:
They should all have their noses broken by transparent doors.
I laughed... I cried... it was better than "Cats"...

156.5.2012 14:09
Nottosay
Unverified new user

Hang on,

if MPAA can sue for $$$, for one download,

then hey it works both ways.

PAYBACKs a BITCH.

166.5.2012 15:25

Originally posted by KillerBug:
If they actually charged twice and refuse to do a refund, then they are clearly in the wrong. Nowhere in their tos does it say they will double charge, and it isn't a refund if the purchase was never made.

Still, I almost hope he loses, as Apple customers give up all rights to fair treatment the day they buy an Apple. He (and all Apple customers) should be severely punished for supporting apple...a double charge is hardly enough. They should all have their noses broken by transparent doors.
If you run for president, you got my vote...
Paying twice for crap that it turns out you don't even own, that's just peachy....makes me wanna become a Kopimist even more...
http://huff.to/zwWkOa

176.5.2012 21:52

Apple is in the wrong, give the guy back his $1.29 and call it a day this stuff should not be happening. I doubt Apple is the only one that has a clause like that to screw customers over. At least he should be happy it was just a $1.29 and not in the double or triple digits, but like I said this still should not be happening in any amount.

187.5.2012 2:09

If he downloaded the song once and was charged double, I would think that falls under the " technical difficulty" part of Apple's refund policy. If he accidently downloaded it twice, he may be in for an uphill fight. I think Apple just doesn't have the manpower,time,or resources to check in to claims of download mishaps or double-billing so they have a blanket "no refund policy". They may have to start making time and resources if this case is ruled in the man's favor. Of course, it may never get to court.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 May 2012 @ 2:14

197.5.2012 4:46

Quote:
I doubt Apple is the only one that has a clause like that to screw customers over.
there was a case on the internet about a woman walking into mcdonalds and ordering chicken nuggets they took the money and then said they didnt have any left and refused to refund her money.they did offer her other products instead but they refused to issue a refund.

im sure if one of the foxconn workers was paid for 2hours work for 1 hour apple would be going nuts.

custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

207.5.2012 8:17

Originally posted by xboxdvl2:
im sure if one of the foxconn workers was paid for 2hours work for 1 hour apple would be going nuts.
Apple doesn't even like to pay those people 1 hour wage for 2 hours worked...if they get enough money to buy food they start thinking clearly and then they want safe labor conditions, fair pay, etc. Best to keep them in a somewhat dizzy state of hunger, even if it does occasionally result in an exploding phone.


217.5.2012 12:43

Originally posted by KillerBug:
Apple doesn't even like to pay those people 1 hour wage for 2 hours worked...if they get enough money to buy food they start thinking clearly and then they want safe labor conditions, fair pay, etc. Best to keep them in a somewhat dizzy state of hunger, even if it does occasionally result in an exploding phone.
I'm right there with you. I would almost guarantee you if you overpaid Apple they wouldn't beat feet to get you the overpayment back, but if they accidentally gave you too much change, say the $1.29, all hell would break loose in reverse. If it were like the face to face transaction of old...

I would even go so far as to say they'd spare no expense in jailing the guy to get the paltry sum back, had the roll been reversed. Hypocritical f*ks.

My only contention is still, how many other people has this happened to & can he get them to petition in his favor? Probably not, seeing as he will end up being the only beneficiary.

227.5.2012 13:39

I use paypal and really do not have any problem with Apple store. More than likely it is a preauth. and the customer is thinking it is taking more time than necessary. I have that happen to me all the time by running a credit card and the machine loses connection and I have to re-scan, it doubles up on the pre-auth, but at the end of the day batch it is only one transaction. I can only imagine Apple's system, good lord it would suck to try to find that 1 transaction.

237.5.2012 14:54

Apple! Y U No Have Good Customer Service?!

2411.6.2012 20:35
NoNick_2
Unverified new user

Originally posted by Nottosay:
Hang on,

if MPAA can sue for $$$, for one download,

then hey it works both ways.

PAYBACKs a BITCH.


Ha ha ha ... love it

2511.6.2012 21:16

Originally posted by GMEaton:
Apple! Y U No Have Good Customer Service?!
That's going to cost you.

You must subscribe to AppleCare for an answer.

Jeff

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