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Man Sues Apple for $5 Million Because They Charged Him Twice For Song

Posted in Apple, News on 02/05/2012 by Chris Hauk

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Robert Herskowitz says he was double-charged for a song he downloaded from the iTunes Music Store. Now he wants his money back. Plus he’d like $4,999,997.42 as a little something for his troubles. He claims Apple “double-bills” with “troubling regularity” and is suing the Cupertino company for $5 million.

AppAdvice.com reports that Herskowitz says that after making his $1.29 purchase from iTunes, Apple charged him twice. He claims to have contacted Apple, and says 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.

Herskowitz claims Apple violated their own terms of agreement, and for good measure, California state and common laws. He also contends that the agreement governing use of Apple’s digital stores “says no such thing” about all purchases made on the iTunes Store being eligible for refunds.

However, a look at Apple’s Sales and Refund policy says otherwise. In it Apple specifically states: “The following products are not eligible for return: electronic software downloads, subscriptions to the Software-Up-To-Date program, Apple Gift Cards, and any Apple Developer Connection products.”

The store’s Terms and Conditions say it even clearer: “All sales and rentals of products are final.”

AppAdvice tried to duplicate the events leading up to Herskowitz’s lawsuit, but were unable to achieve the same results he claimed.

They ordered one new song in iTunes. Upon downloading the song, they once again attempted to purchase it. They were alerted that they had already purchased the tune, and could download it again at no charge.

They then checked their purchase history, which showed they were charged once for the song. They performed similar tests in the App Store and Mac App Store and had similar results.

AppAdvice: “Finally, we attempted to find the song Herskowitz claims he purchased twice, “Whatya Want from Me” for $1.29. In the U.S. iTunes Store anyway, there is no song by that name at that price. However, there are four songs that are listed by similar names. Each sells for $0.99.”

It is possible that Herskowitz’s charges are true, and Apple double-charged him for his song.  Time will tell what the courts have to say about it. Herskowitz’s federal class action suit was filed in California and covers the iTunes Store, App Store, iBookstore, and the Mac App Store.

Have you ever been double-charged for a song, movie, book, or app in any of Apple’s online stores? If so, how did you handle it? What was Apple’s response? We’d like to hear your story in the comments section below.



  • AGEGG92

    I got double charged for a movie once, but after a short email conversation with an Apple rep, I had my money refunded for the double purchase. No problem at all. This guy sounds like he is just in it for the extra cash. Get real buddy! Take the $1.29 loss and move on in life.

    • http://MacTrast.com J. Glenn Kunzler

      Well said!

  • http://www.facebook.com/johnnydcoates John Coates

    And we wonder why America is going to hell….

    • Umbrex

      Nope

      we stille have the internet ….for a while 

  • http://www.facebook.com/Jkirk3279 William Carr

    Ah.   He downloaded two different songs with the same title.  

    And he thinks he can sue ?   What a maroon.

  • Km589218

    It’s “Whataya Want From Me” – I think it’s Adam Lambert. Proofreading pays – maybe $5 million!

  • Vdelatorre

    I onced purchased the incorrect app ( iPhone vs iPad ) and, after contacting Apple via e-mail, they quickly responded and credited my account with the amount charged, so I could download the proper app for my iPad! The rep that contacted me did so enthusiastically and promptly. I could not ask for more or better service…

  • http://www.facebook.com/Maliceownsyou Malice Kheir

    I’ve accidentally purchased songs twice in the iTunes store several times.  Sometimes the same songs show up on multiple albums, etc.  I just shoot them an email, they recognize the problem and shoot me a refund.
    This guy sounds like a crackpot.

  • http://twitter.com/NCintheNavy NCintheNavy

    I was charged twice for the same album.  When I notified Apple, they quickly and might I add kindly refunded my money.  They were very helpful and kind.  I think that people are just too damn sue happy these days.  Maybe if people were held liable for there legal costs they would be less likely to sue.

    • http://twitter.com/cormacmoylan cormac

      I just read your comment and I was disappointed by it. It wasn’t what I was expecting and now I am an emotional wreck. You sir, you will be hearing from my lawyer. You better start saving now because I am suing for $3,535,953.33. Good day to you.

  • Ryan

    I accidentally purchased two copies of Top Gear, The Specials from iTunes and Apple refunded me the $18 just last week.

  • Greeneyedhapa

    This guy is an idiot, when you buy a song from iTunes it automatically goes into your iCloud and if you try to purchase it again apple tells you that you already purchased it. Then it asks if you want to download for free. I have done this many times with no extra charges. Also 5 million really that is what’s wrong with stupid people they thing they should get millions for something so minor.

  • Martenf1

    The guy is just trying to get on the bandwagon to get something for nothing. I don’t know how this works in the US but Apple should drag this out in court to use up all his financial resources.

    I’m sick of hearing about all the leaches in society trying to do this sort of thing.

  • http://rick.cogley.info RickCogley

    Yes, I have been, and they fixed the problem in a reasonable way.

  • http://www.inerdtia.com/ inerdtia

    I’ve just purchased an AppleCare for my Mac online and while reviewing my bank account a day after, I realized that I had 2 charges, one for the full amount that I recall having charged on my card, and then another charge for the price of the AppleCare without tax.

    The 2 charges are still pending on my bank’s ledger and I suspect/hope that only one goes through.

    Luckily I had enough to cover both charges, but if I hadn’t I would have triggered the overdraft protection and would have been charged a hefty fee by my bank.

    I will call Apple and will follow-up with the resolution to this madness.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=616783141 Kelly Knight

    I have been double purchased today. I had to wait on the phone for 10 minutes then representative told me I had the wrong department had to wait another 20 minutes for someone to tell me to go online. I better get my refund. They are giving me a serious run around. I will never purchase anything on itunes ever again! NEVER AGAIN!!!!!!!!!

    • WSAY

      I hope that means we never have to hear your whining again.

  • cms4rks

    I was charged twice for a brand new iPad!

  • Ty

    I just purchases “monopoly for ipad” at the limited time price of $0.99 but was charged $1.98 — so I too was charged twice for the same purchase.

Author

Chris Hauk

MacTrast Senior Editor, and self-described "magnificent bastard," Chris Hauk owns Phoenix Rising Services and writes for everyone's favorite "bad movie" website, Big Bad Drive-In.

His first Apple product was an iPod Classic 5 years ago, and he has since added a MacBook Pro, iPad, iPhone, and 2 Apple TVs to his collection.

He lives somewhere in the deep Southern part of America. Yes, he has to pump in both sunshine, and the Internet.

Don't forget to check out Chris' two latest endeavors, as the "Apple Expert" at Answers.com, and his own personal tech blog at chrishauk.com