Sometimes something that should be profoundly simple turns into an unnecessarily complicated ordeal. My attempt to purchase AppleCare+ for my iPhone became such a fiasco.
Congratulations to me – I bought an iPhone12 on February 1st! I chose that day because various shopping portals were offering additional points/miles for purchases from the Apple Store. I thought the additional miles might ease the pain of spending nearly $1,000 for a phone, but I still haven’t received bonus credit for that purchase. That’s another whole battle I won’t get into here.
I knew I wanted to buy AppleCare+ for my iPhone and that I had 60 days to make this purchase. In the days leading up to the AppleCare+ purchase I bought some Apple Gift cards (via promotions at Target and BestBuy) and uploaded the cards to my Apple Account.
Unbeknownst to me, when you upload Apple Gift cards online to your Apple account, you are actually uploading them to your iTunes account. You would think that it wouldn’t matter – Apple and iTunes are both Apple, aren’t they?
No matter what I tried, the system would not let me use the money in my Apple/iTunes account to pay for AppleCare+.
Apple Support was totally useless. I spent a stupid amount of time on the phone with Apple Support. I got a different answer from each and every person I spoke to. Some of the recommendations were frankly ludicrous.
Sheesh, all I wanted to do was use the $200 that was sitting in my Apple/iTunes account (which I funded with legitimate Apple Gift Cards) towards payment of my $232 AppleCare+ bill. One representative even had me upload photos of my gift cards, telling me the money was going to be returned to the cards. Yeah, right.
This had become a ridiculous waste of energy. I was almost ready to leave the money in the Apple/iTunes account for future use and just pay for the AppleCare+ in full with a credit card.
In a final attempt, I made an appointment at my local Apple Store (I had previously visited an Apple Store in Massachusetts and gotten nowhere on this). This is when I met the smart assistant with blue hair that matched his blue Apple shirt.
The solution he came up with was so simple, but ingenious! Using the money in my Apple/iTunes account, he placed an order for 3 leather iPhone cases totaling $192. Then, immediately upon completion of the purchase, he initiated a return of the cases and issued an Apple Gift Card of $192 to me. I then purchased AppleCare+ using the Apple Gift Card.
I’m sharing this rather long story with you so you don’t get stuck having money held ransom in an Apple/ iTunes account like I did. I see two lessons here.
First, hold onto your gift cards – don’t upload them to your Apple Account because they may go down the black hole of the iTunes account.
Second, if you make the mistake of loading your Apple/iTunes account, you can convert the money back into an Apple Gift Card by making a purchase and returning it.