Apple's excellent support is a boon to VoiceOver users

When it comes to adding to the list of the benefits of owning an iDevice, some don't hesitate to mention excellent tech support. That's intriguing enough, but the proof of the proverbial putting is in the actual eating. As some of you might remember, a while ago I posted a review for the unusable New Oxford American Dictionary. Simply put, I love dictionaries and always want to try new and comprehensive ones as they come my way. However, the hefty $29.99 price tag was more than enough for me to tolerate an unusable app on my iDevice. BTW, for more on the underlying problem please check this post.

At any rate, I decided to contact the iTunes customer support team by sending a message to iTunesStoreSupport@apple.com and asking for a refund. I fully outlined the problem, mentioned that I'm a visually impaired VoiceOver user and that the app isn't VoiceOver-accessible. Guess what? Within a couple of hours I received an email thanking me for contacting the support team and accepting my refund request. I was truly impressed.

In hindsight, if trying apps before buying them isn't an option on iTunes with the exception of apps which have a Lite version, it's good to know that VoiceOver-inaccessible apps, especially more expensive ones, can be refunded. Of course, before making any purchase I recommend checking it against the growing list of iOS app reviews on AppleVis, but don't forget to use this fantastic feature Apple offers whenever you're tired of inaccessible apps whose developers don't even care to reply after the purchase is made.

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5 Comments

Some helpful Tips to get your Refunds Quicker

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Very good point Amir! May I suggest in making the process easy and smooth is to forward the receipt that you received from Apple of your purchase. I found in my personal experience that really pushes things quicker for them.

From within this e-mail it provides exactly what they need to make your refunds go quicker.

It should contain your name, your billing address, your order number, your receipt number, your receipt date, and the order total.

Hope that helps.

Oh yes, I believe the purchase has to be within the last 90 days as well!

Also, Apple's Customer Service is one of the best I have ever dealt with. Not just only for getting my refuns but they have happily replaced my devices without questions when I had problems with them.

Great tips

Thanks for adding these invaluable points.
Of course, upon contacting Apple I just used the email address which is associated with my iTunes account, so I didn't provide those details and it went without a hitch. However, I also recommend keeping track of those details.

A word of caution

Just a word of caution that people shouldn't automatically assume that they will always get a refund for an inaccessible app.

On the last two occasions I have initially been refused a refund, and it has taken a very strongly-worded email to make them change their minds.

And, as much as we like to praise Apple for their commitment to accessibility, it is often very obvious when asking for a refund that the Customer Support agent has never heard of VoiceOver. Even though I always give a detailed explanation of my situation, my dependence upon VoiceOver, and the specific problems that the app has with VoiceOver, there have been a number of times when the response has clearly indicated that this has meant nothing to the person at the other end. They talk about it as if it were a purchase made in error, and say that in future I should be sure to read the app's description before buying. I know that the replies are simply variations on a script that they will have been provided, but it would still be nice if there was at least a hint that they understood the nature of the problem and didn't treat me like a fool who can't read the description of an app <sigh>

That's true but encouraging

I believe that might also depend on the individual who processes these requests -- some might know more about accessibility than others. However, the more VoiceOver users contact them to get refunds for VoiceOver-inaccessible apps, the better the situation will become.

Getting Refunds From Apple

While I haven't yet needed to apply for any refunds from apple, I have experienced several very foggy-headed individuals taking my iphone calls for tech support. These were the initial call answering people who, despite my having deligantly outline the problem and providing all required info to their web site, obviously were either too stupid or lazy to read the goods in front of them, unless of course that information is somehow not passed onto the call back folks, and that would be sad. I simply insisted that I be transferred to someone familiar with Voiceover otherwise I indicated I would hang up and place their number on auto-dile until I got satisfaction; damn, worked like a charm. for the three calls I made with some help using voiceover with various Iphone features and functions, when I got the actual helper, the support was way beyond phenominal and I was able to raise several other concerns. Elizabeth was the one I remember best; wow, what a star she was!