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  • Dec 9th, 2014 1:23 pm
Jr. Member
Apr 21, 2009
138 posts

iTunes gift card hell

A few days ago I bought an iTunes gift card from Future Shop. I got them to price match a sale that was on at Sears and got a $50 card for $40. I then used two $5 Future Shop gift cards to bring the final price down to $30.

When I got home I tried to redeem the card in my iTunes. I got a message saying the card could not be authorized. I then filled out a form through iTunes so Apple iTunes customer service could help with the problem. I get an e-mail from them asking for photos of the gift card and receipt. I send another e-mail and I include a photo of the receipt and the gift card so they can verify that it was bought and paid for. They e-mailed me back saying the card was not activated and that I should go back to Future Shop. So I go back to Future Shop and explain the situation, but they refuse to do anything. They say the card was bought and paid for, and that it is Apple's problem now.

I send another message to Apple and explain that Future Shop won't help. Apple says that since it was bought through Future Shop and that the card was "discounted" Apple cannot issue a replacement code, and that Future Shop are responsible for the card and I need to talk to them. So I go back to Future Shop and again explain the situation, but Future Shop again refuses to help. At this point I'm getting pretty annoyed and I ask for either a new card or my money back, but Future Shop says that once the gift card is paid for can't void or cancel the sale. They insist it is Apple's problem and I need to take it up with them.

So again I go home empty handed. I try to call Apple and speak with someone directly. The rep a talk to says there are no live reps for iTunes issues and that I need to communicate through e-mail with iTunes support. I send yet another e-mail to Apple and demand that they credit my iTunes account. I have proven to them that I have bought and paid for the card, and that Future Shop refuses to do anything to help. I tell them that it is Apple's gift card and that they should take responsibility for it. Once again I get yet another response telling me to go to Future Shop to have them issue a replacement card.

I have never experienced anything like this before. It's ridiculous.

TL;DR version

1) Bought iTunes gift card at Future Shop
2) Card does not work
3) Neither Future Shop nor Apple will take responsibility for the card
4) Me very angry
5) Not sure, but considering high explosives.

I'm not sure where I can go from here. I thought about doing a chargeback on my credit card, but I guess I would lose the $10 in Future Shop gift cards I used.

Has anyone experienced a situation like this? Is it true Future Shop can't cancel/void a gift card sale or issue another card?

If anyone has any suggestions on what to do I am willing to entertain ideas.
11 replies
Deal Fanatic
Jul 4, 2004
8424 posts
Do a credit card dispute/charge back. Send them all the correspondence you've had with apple via email and the people that you had spoken to at Future Shop.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Oct 14, 2003
14245 posts
Have you just been dealing with the staff at future shop, if so you should escalates it up further with FS, if they didn't activate it properly it's their problem and they should be assisting you.
is the new
rock 'n'
User avatar
Nov 12, 2001
99 posts
I had to deal with this exact same scenario after purchasing 2 iTunes gift cards from 7-11. After getting the runaround and going back and forth between the store and iTunes support (which involved semi-nonsensical correspondence on their part) I finally met face to face with the manager of the 7-11.

He spent about 30 min looking into the issue but eventually resolved it by refunding the amount for the 2 original cards and issuing me 2 new ones. He traced this problem to the cards not being activated by a particular cashier. Very frustrating experience (took about a week to resolve) but it is possible to rectify.

As mentioned above I would recommend to speak to a manager, with a printout of your correspondence from apple. it's their mistake after all.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 7, 2007
6368 posts
Mississauga, ON
This is 100% FutureShop's fault. They didn't activate the cards properly. Ask for a manager if the CSR's wont' do anything (they properly don't have the authority or just don't know what to do),
There's a sucker born every minute.
Jr. Member
Apr 21, 2009
138 posts
R0B0T0 wrote: As mentioned above I would recommend to speak to a manager, with a printout of your correspondence from apple. it's their mistake after all.
I followed your suggestion. I went back to FS with a printout of the e-mails I had with Apple. The CSR I spoke to said the manager was not there(not sure I believe that), but when I explained the situation and showed her the e-mails she seemed to believe me. She took the info and spoke to another one of her co-workers. She then came back and took photocopies of the e-mails, receipt, and gift card; and she said she would fax them to head office so they can take a look at what happened. She said they would call me in a few days with an answer. I got the CSR's name so I can follow up if FS does not call me.

It's not really the result I was looking for, but at least FS seems to be acknowledging the mistake. Hopefully I can get this all resolved by Tuesday or Wednesday.

Thanks for the support everyone.
Sr. Member
Mar 25, 2011
708 posts
If I were in the same situation I'd have the manager of FS and a CS rep from Apple over the phone. Let them resolve the issue on the spot.

I would've lost it after returning once to FS.
Jr. Member
Apr 21, 2009
138 posts
O1IN85 wrote: If I were in the same situation I'd have the manager of FS and a CS rep from Apple over the phone. Let them resolve the issue on the spot.

I would've lost it after returning once to FS.

The problem is according to Apple there are no live CSR reps for iTunes support. All support is done through e-mails.

The other problem are the CSRs at FS. I can't tell if they are just genuinely imbeciles or if they are purposefully trying to stonewall me.

The solution to the problem seems so simple and yet everything about is not. I could see Franz Kafka writing a story like this if he had lived long enough to have shopped at Future Shop.

The situation is very infuriating.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 23, 2009
4934 posts
When you bought the iTunes Card did they activate it?

If they did activate it, the card number will be on the receipt.

I had a problem one time where I stripped off the code badly and couldn't read it.

Manager verified there was a problem and that the card I had was bad .....

The Apple Rep provided me with the Code to enter online.


I first learned about the code being on the receipt after a different incident ....

Another time I purchased a card that didn't activate properly and so the clerk activated another. The problem is that she gave me the bad one.

At home I couldn't get it to work, and had to return it to the store.

I went back to the store and the clerk was surprised, we checked the receipt and found I had one that didn't match what was on the receipt.

By luck, we had found the clerk had simply placed the activated gift card back on the rack (at the last spot).

I guess her laziness, in not wanting to deal with the defective card meant I could walk away with the card.


In addition, I have often been able to get a store rep at FS to give me a discount on a gift card .....

But they said they couldn't give it on the iTunes Card, instead they took the value off of another item.

They said they couldn't change the price as Apple dictated price to them.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 23, 2009
4934 posts
The Apple Rep could see whether or not the card had been activated and I guess could also see if the value had been placed onto someone's account.


I hope no one is trying to get a free card out of this.

I would assume that if they issued another, they would deactivate the other one.
Deal Addict
Dec 28, 2009
1208 posts
Montreal, QC
This is the 4th story I read about price matching iTunes gift cards at BB or FS.

iTunes gift cards won't be activated if the clerk overrides the price, so in other words, NEVER price match a gift card.

their system just isn't set up for that. I hope you get your money back, but Apple is right, this isn't their fault at all.
Oct 23, 2006
15 posts
I just had this problem with 3 sets of the $60 multipack (4 x $15) I bought from the Future Shop on the Black Friday deal. After my son informed me the cards was not Activate, I have being fighting this problem over a week of going multiple times to the Future Shop store, talking to the manager at the store.

I registering the iTunes card problem on the Apple iTunes activation problem website (Note they took over a week to reply by e-mail as compared to the 48 hours states on the website). I went to the closes Apple Store and talked to a manager there to see if they could escalate the problem, since it was over a week and I did not get a response. I called the 1-800- MY-APPLE to see if there was anything that could be done to escalate or resolve this.

After over a week of going in circles, I found this thread and it explained the Activation process. All 3 sets of iTunes cards were manually price overridden (2 on my original purchase and 1 later my the store manager). This explained why the Activation process failed. As stated above, the system can not handle the price override. I showed this information from the thread to the Future Shop store Manager and he had the cards exchanged and activated the cards without a price change. After over a week, I have iTunes cards that are finally activated. I raise this problem with the Future Shop main customer service prior to finding this thread. You would think, they would have done something to prevent is aggravation since the original problem was seen in 2009.

As I was getting my replacement iTunes card, sure enough another customer came in with his $60 iTunes cards and receipt in hand. I laughed and ask to look has his receipt, and sure enough, his receipt had a price override. I told him, I just save him a lot of time. They replaced his iTunes cards without a question.

Thank you to the OP and the members that replied to this issue. I wonder how may people will have $15 iTunes cards in their XMAS stocking that are not activated because of this problem.