Why No iTunes Credit Towards App Purchases in Canada?

Canada seems to be always a step behind our American counterparts when it comes to transactions related to electronics or online purchases. Take for example, how Canada was one of the last countries to get the Skype for iPhone app. Or how Canada was recently shut out from the latest Amazon Kindle launch.

Canada Seems to Always Be One Step Behind…

Either way, Canada seems to get the shaft somehow and it’s even more prevalent when it comes to iTunes gift cards. Canadians can purchase iTunes gift cards to use toward the purchase of music, TV shows, and movies–but not towards apps within the App Store. How many people out there have purchased an iTunes gift card for the purpose of buying apps, only to discover Apple won’t allow you to do so?

Jim Whitelaw vs Apple Canada

What gives? Well, you’re not along out there. Apple’s response to a Mr. Jim Whitelaw (and many other Canadians) is that “this is due to Canadian Commerce Laws that the iTunes Store must strictly enforce.” Huh? What does this mean? What law exactly is Apple talking about? This is when Jim decided to take this a bit further–and contact his local Member of Parliament and eventually reached up the ranks to the Canadian Minister of Industry, Hon. Tony Clement (letter below)!

letter2

The response from Tony Clement was that there is actually no such Canadian law that prevents Apple from allowing Canadians to use their iTunes gift cards towards app purchases. So if there are no laws in place, why isn’t Apple allowing Canadians to use their precious iTunes gift card dollars towards apps?

Jim Whitelaw is still playing email tag with Apple Canada, and so far he’s been offered two credits for songs (which he didn’t ask for). All he wants to do is allow his daughter to use her iTunes gift card towards app purchases for her iPod Touch! Maybe one day Apple will allow Canadians to use iTunes gift cards towards app purchases. Until then, your only choice is to link your credit card with your iTunes account in Canada.

Anyone else out there thought they could use their Canadian iTunes gift cards for app purchases, only to be disappointed? Let us know below!

Thanks to BC Brett for the heads up!

[Michael Geist via Jim Whitelaw]

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Travis N

    Thank you for giving this issue some much needed publicity. The policy that Apple has in place is absurd and should be updated by Apple. I encountered this when I received a $25 gift card from Apple that I was planning to use to buy a few App's I had been eyeing up and when I contacted Apple about it, I was offered a refund for the purchase price of the card.

  • http://www.creditreportreview.org/ Travis N

    Thank you for giving this issue some much needed publicity. The policy that Apple has in place is absurd and should be updated by Apple. I encountered this when I received a $25 gift card from Apple that I was planning to use to buy a few App’s I had been eyeing up and when I contacted Apple about it, I was offered a refund for the purchase price of the card.
    P.S. – Sorry, forgot to tell you great post!

  • Danny Legare

    Yes I recently bought two $15 iTunes gift cards because I wanted to buy the Canadian GPS Map program. I couldn't understand why I could not use the credit to buy the app. Then I read the terms of service. I emailed Apple about it through their help options and I still have not heard back. I'm glad you've covered this point!

  • Robert Urwin

    here are two of my conversations about the same subject one at the iTunes Discussion forum and the other with iTunes support:

    1. follow this attached link:

    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2180915&tstart=0

    2. here is a condensed version of my conversations with the iTunes store:

    iTunes Support – “I understand you’ve purchased iTunes Gift Card to retrieve Apps from the iTunes Store. However, at this time, customers residing in Canada may only purchase games and applications using a credit card due to Canadian licensing restrictions.

    Although I cannot comment on the future availability of iTunes Store content, please understand Apple is committed and diligently working to expand the iTunes Store globally for their customers. Thank you for your business and understanding. I wish you the best!

    Apple recognizes that no one is better qualified to provide feedback about iTunes than the people who use it.

    I encourage you to use the iTunes Feedback page to submit your comments:
    http://www.apple.com/feedback/itunesapp.html

    Your efforts to share your feedback are very much appreciated.”

    Me – “his is ridiculous, that when i lived in the United States there was no issue in purchasing apps with my iTunes Card, but i cannot purchase apps when i reside in Canada with my Canadian Tunes Card. this is the only reason that i purchased the iTunes Card was to purchase apps. if you look at my purchase history, you will see that i have never purchased music from the iTunes Store. unless Apple starts to sell music in an Apple Lossless format, i will not be purchasing any music at the Canadian iTunes Store.

    I would like to either be credited $50.00 for purchases on the App Store section of the iTunes store or reimbursed for this gift card.

    I bought a $50.00 iTunes gift card specifically to purchase applications on the App Store. The front of the card’s packaging says that I can use it “for music and more.” Nothing on the small print at the back of the packaging or on the card itself says that the card may not be used on the App Store. Even the legal terms of the card have no mention of this restriction:

    http://www.apple.com/legal/itunes/ca/gifts.html

    The only passage of that page which can be understood to cover this exception is the following:

    “Not all products may be available.”

    Bringing attention to this sentence may not be a very good strategy as it can imply that some music, videos, and audiobooks are also restricted.

    i cannot find any explicit and direct mention of this restriction on the Apple Web site

    I personally find it rather strange that a statement about this restriction cannot be found on the Apple Web site or the iTunes card itself

    i have also completed the itunes feedback as well.”

    iTunes Support – ” can completely understand your frustration. I would be just as upset myself if I moved to Canada, and learned that iTunes Gift Card’s no longer were considered as a purchasing method of all of the App’s I wanted to download. I understand you chose not to purchase music from the iTunes store, but prefer to import your music into your iTunes library. Therefore this $50 card does not benefit you.

    I have unredeemed the $50 Gift Card on your account since none of the funds were used, but the refund for the card itself would have to be issued by the retailer that you purchased the card from. I am unable to issue a refund for the card. If you purchased it from the Apple Online store you can send them a quick email. If it was purchased from another 3rd party retailer, you may consider taking this email to them to prove the card is no longer in an active status. If you have a fiend that would like to give the card to you can. If you no longer have access to the card the redemption code is: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.

    Again I apologize if the statement that the card cannot be used for App’s is not clear in Canada. I assure you I have made this request to Apple quite a few times, and I appreciate you leaving feedback as well on this matter, so that they make it a priority to get this corrected.”

    this is my comments on the subject

    rob

  • Corvillus

    This kind of crap seems counter intuitive to me. Not only is it an inconvenience to people that have gift cards to spend, but for minors, gift cards are the only real non-piracy option, as they can't get credit cards (or debit cards that run on CC interchange networks) in Canada.

    You would think Apple would want to make it as convenient as possible for people to give them money. Apparently not.

  • billanderson2

    Or, he could jailbreak his daughter's iPhone/iTouch, and use Cydia and Installous. Not that I advocate software piracy, but it's not like he hasn't tried to give them his money. Apple has an unfair clampdown in place designed to preserve their precarious business model. Always look for a way around it if possible.

  • Jamie M

    I ran into this same problem as I am trying hard to not use my credit card for purchases. It also pisses me off that US residents can make itunes purchases with paypal and we can’t.

  • genepackwood

    I discovered this a couple of months ago when I purchased Docs-to-Go assuming it would be charged to my iTunes gift-card balance. It wasn't. When I queried the thing by email, a very pleasant woman responded saying they didn't do that and cancelled the charge to my credit card for my frustration. So I got it for free. Good PR, but no real answer to the problem.

  • lilskaterpunk

    Not me, although my buddys would ask me about this. There like… My kid got an iTunes card with $$$ and would like to buy games for his iTouch, how come I cannot use the iTunes card? I tell them and they get all pissed lol Waste of that iTunes card…
    Im sure many ppl come across this.

  • Guest

    Not me, although my buddys would ask me about this. There like… My kid got an iTunes card with $$$ and would like to buy games for his iTouch, how come I cannot use the iTunes card? I tell them and they get all pissed lol Waste of that iTunes card…
    Im sure many ppl come across this.

  • Guest

    Not me, although my buddys would ask me about this. There like… My kid got an iTunes card with $$$ and would like to buy games for his iTouch, how come I cannot use the iTunes card? I tell them and they get all pissed lol Waste of that iTunes card…
    Im sure many ppl come across this.

  • Guest

    Not me, although my buddys would ask me about this. There like… My kid got an iTunes card with $$$ and would like to buy games for his iTouch, how come I cannot use the iTunes card? I tell them and they get all pissed lol Waste of that iTunes card…
    Im sure many ppl come across this.

  • http://carlpelletier.ca Carl pelletier

    I am asking the same question about French movie and series. Why Itunes have no French DVD? Not even 1!

    Can we do something about that?

  • Nick_Abby

    go get a US iTunes account problem solved.

  • Bud Colby

    Don”t Get Too Tied Up Just Yet!! I too found this to be true, right off the start when I purchased an iTunes card. As you note I could not donload any apps on my iTunes account. Neither could I download any apps through my wifes account to my wifes iPhone on her account. After a period of time (maybe a couple of weeks, a month?), all of a sudden I was able to use the credit to purchase apps, both on my account and my wifes, directly from our iPhones through the App Store. ????? It seems that if you leave it there for a while it becomes usfull in the App Store. So at this time I am thinking that I just need to keep the account well funded, and the card input into the account for a long period of time before I may have a need for it. If this worked for both my wife and myself, it should work for anyone with a Canadian account.

  • Steph

    I asked a GPS app for my birthday so peoples gave me a lot of iTune cards…
    Since the cards are useless, I keep them until Apple change their politics hopping it will happen before expiration date.
    I did not jailbreak my iPhone yet by principle but this sure is a tempting option when I look at how Apple treat their customers.

  • http://twitter.com/jimwhitelaw Jim Whitelaw

    Thanks for picking up this story. I know about jailbreaking and using a US account, but I (my daughter) shouldn't have to go to that length just to buy a few games. I really just want some honest answers to why this restriction is in place. Clearly, it's not to Apple's benefit to have this policy and deal with the support complaints, so they must have some legitimate reason for believing that they must implement this policy. Canada is the only country with this app store limitation as far as I know. Is it a case of an Apple lawyer mis-reading Canadian legislation and providing bad advice? Is there really some law preventing this? If so, why? And why doesn't the Minister know about it? How could such legislation possibly benefit me as a Canadian consumer?

  • taxman79

    I have had this experience myself. When writing to Apple, I was told the announcement made that gift cards can be used to buy apps was ONLY for the US customer base. They didn't cite any law, but my suspicion would be that it has somethign to do with the GST and the fact that developers get 70% and Apple the rest. Hence, the developers would probably need a GST registration as well. I'm sure they can work somethign out, but choosing to leave us in the dark for now.

  • http://twitter.com/excaliburca Joost Ueffing

    Definately. Bought a gift card 6 to 8 months ago for the express purpose of getting apps, only to discover I couldn't. I would love to know what “laws” Apple is trying to follow here.

  • Nick_Abby

    I agree that it needs to be taken care of correctly however you do not need to jailbreak to use a us itunes account.

    you can sign up for one at any time and just pick a US address such as beverly hills 90210 or somthing like that and it works like a charm no jailbreaking required.

  • http://www.chrisburke.ca/ chris burke

    This one bugs the heck out of me. I've been a jailbreak user ever since the iPod Touch came out. Always jailbreaking, and never paying for any apps, using different cracks available, 6 months ago, I decided to go legit.. use my iPhone, with no jailbreak, and purchase all my apps. So, I made a list of all the apps I really wanted, and then went to the iTunes store, and tallied it up to find out how much it was going to cost me.. nearly $100.. ouch was my first thought, but, I wanted to go legit.. so, I went to my local Macs, and purchased $150 in iTunes gift cards.. came back, enteretd them onto my account, and.. what? nope.. I cannot purchase apps in Canada with gift cards.

    Needless to say, I'm back to the jailbreak, and not paying for ANY of my apps..

  • pgaboury

    I tried using the gift cards to get my 3.0 upgrade but i can't.

  • http://deviantstudio.ca deviantdj

    I have come accross this before, and the same with with Whitelaw, I was offered two free songs or movies, or the option to purchase two apps via credit card and be refunded the value. That was their fix, and it was a women too. I almost think it is generic for this question and resolution.

    My point of argument with Apple was the fact that if I buy a Walmart card, Canadian tire card, etc any gift card, I can use it to buy whatever I like in that retail outlet. It is as good as cash, why is this law not enforced either. I can use gift cards on amazon's website as well, again no law preventing me from doing so. So why is it, when Apple has said it has to deal with Software applications, am I able to do it else where, and not them.

  • http://www.findcashbackcards.com/ findcashbackcards

    Guess Canada isnt interested in the deal.
    Anyways nice blog thanks for the info. keep updating the details.

  • http://seriousmobile.wordpress.com/ Prom1

    I'm beginning to wonder if the reason behind all this is due to the fact that Credit Card company's pay immediately to the vendor = Apple here, while Gift Card purchass is cash and are not rendered to Apple as revenue until the end of the fiscal month or quarter. This theory would make sense to your above post. Still giving away $10, 20, 50 cash just to wait 30-90days (est in your scenario) is a long time especially if I want the app now, and it doesn't interest.

    I'll consider this option within a matter of a few days.

  • http://seriousmobile.wordpress.com/ Prom1

    Must I have to have a US credit card in order to register a US account? Also, will a Canadian credit card work – and if so does it have to be with US funds?

    Any help will be appreciated.

  • Bud Colby

    It is working for me, the only thing is that I really don't know how long it takes until the credit is available for an app., all I know is that my iTunes card credit on my account now allows me to purchase apps.

  • Anonymous

    a quick google search shows the answer from support.apple.com

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2534

    just make sure you put your address down as somewhere in the USA

  • Anonymous

    a quick google search shows the answer from support.apple.com

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2534

    just make sure you put your address down as somewhere in the USA

  • Anonymous

    a quick google search shows the answer from support.apple.com

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2534

    just make sure you put your address down as somewhere in the USA

  • http://seriousmobile.wordpress.com/ Prom1

    I'll give it a try. Thanks.

  • http://seriousmobile.wordpress.com/ Prom1

    Awesome. Many thanks!

  • vcxvcz

    um yeah.
    im really mad.
    i bought a 25$ one.
    if i would of known that i would of bought the 15$ one.
    this is complete shit.
    someone better do something.
    srsly

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca iphoneincanada

    Yeah this policy is not good because people find out after the fact!

  • brock1234

    So what if you already have a Canadian account with lots of apps already on it, can I just change my country to USA and I can use gift cards then?

  • chris

    3.0 came out, i wanted to update on my ipod touch, got 15 dollar gift card, urns out i cant do that either, i tried looking up why, seems most ppl said it was a tax law or something? i do notice how u dont pay tax on the gift card but u dont on the music or video purchases either, is it that canada requires tax on software and apple is to lazy to pay it?

    so i ended up downloading the update from somewhere else and jail broke my ipod to get the paid apps for free… canada has high piracy, but common, if apple didn't do things like this, we wouldn't have such piracy on these apps because ppl with out credit cards would actually be able to buy apps.

  • readtheterms

    Please read the terms of sale people !!!!!

    here … ill make it easy for you and past it here

    NOW KEEP IN MIND THAT YOU AGREED TO THESE TERMS BEFORE YOU CREATED AN ITUNES ACCOUNT AND BEFORE YOU PURCHASED A CERTIFICATE OR AN ALLOWANCE OR REDEEMED A GIFT CARD

    Gift Certificates may be redeemed for iTunes Store transactions only and are non-refundable for cash. They cannot be used for purchases on the Apple Online Store or used in Apple Retail Stores. Purchases for Gift Certificates may be purchased only in whole Canadian dollar increments or designated amounts. Gift Certificates may not be used to purchase other Gift Certificates, iTunes Cards or Monthly Allowances. Gift Certificates cannot be used to purchase software, games, or apps.

    Monthly Allowances are for transactions on the iTunes Store only. The Allowance Account may not be used for gifts, or purchases on the Apple Online Store or in Apple Retail Stores. Monthly Allowances may not be used for purchases on the Apple Online Store or in Apple Retail Stores. Monthly Allowances are non-refundable. Monthly Allowances may not be used to purchase Gift Certificates, iTunes Cards, Apps, or other Monthly Allowances. Monthly allowances may not be used to purchase software, games, or apps.
    iTunes Cards are for transactions on the iTunes Store only. iTunes Cards may not be used for gifts, or purchases on the Apple Online Store or in Apple Retail Stores. iTunes Cards are non-refundable. iTunes Cards may not be used to purchase Gift Certificates, Monthly Allowances, Apps, or other iTunes Cards. iTunes Cards may not be used to purchase software, games, or apps.

    ITS THERE CLEAR AS DAY, SO DONT ACT SO SURPRISED WHEN YOU CANT DO IT. IT NEVER FAILS TO SURPRISE ME THAT PEOPLE DO NOT READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS THEY ARE AGREEING TO.
    WAKE UP PEOPLE

  • readtheterms

    you ask “why is this law not enforced either.”

    try reading the terms of sale you agreed to before creating your account

    Gift Certificates may be redeemed for iTunes Store transactions only and are non-refundable for cash. They cannot be used for purchases on the Apple Online Store or used in Apple Retail Stores. Purchases for Gift Certificates may be purchased only in whole Canadian dollar increments or designated amounts. Gift Certificates may not be used to purchase other Gift Certificates, iTunes Cards or Monthly Allowances. Gift Certificates cannot be used to purchase software, games, or apps.

    Monthly Allowances are for transactions on the iTunes Store only. The Allowance Account may not be used for gifts, or purchases on the Apple Online Store or in Apple Retail Stores. Monthly Allowances may not be used for purchases on the Apple Online Store or in Apple Retail Stores. Monthly Allowances are non-refundable. Monthly Allowances may not be used to purchase Gift Certificates, iTunes Cards, Apps, or other Monthly Allowances. Monthly allowances may not be used to purchase software, games, or apps.
    iTunes Cards are for transactions on the iTunes Store only. iTunes Cards may not be used for gifts, or purchases on the Apple Online Store or in Apple Retail Stores. iTunes Cards are non-refundable. iTunes Cards may not be used to purchase Gift Certificates, Monthly Allowances, Apps, or other iTunes Cards. iTunes Cards may not be used to purchase software, games, or apps.

    HEY .. YOU AGREED TO THEM NOT ME. YOUR ALWAYS WELCOME TO BOYCOTT APPLE .. HAVE FUN WITH THAT ONE :)

  • readtheterms

    people who dont read the terms of sale when the click a box that says ” i have read and agree to the terms of sale ” find out after the fact ….. you can show a horse water but you cant make him drink … errr something along those lines … you know what im trying to say. blaming others for your mistake seems to be popular in canada

  • readtheterms

    if you purchased the gift card in the USA then yes you can

  • star12133

    Apple needs to co operate with Canada. Apple is losing a lot of customers to jailbreaking due to the fact that they won't allow minors that can't get credit cards to buy apps with a gift card. I would say that the majority of people with iPod Touches are minors. I have seen other game cards and whatnot compensate in Canada. For example I saw a card that gave 10,000 in game cash but cost $12. They need to find a way around it. It would make everyone happier and Apple would get more money.

  • rachelirate

    I just bought an Ipod touch and had I known about the itunes gift card problem i probably would have bought the PSP like I was planning but the lure of the beautiful Apple Siren(itouch) got me even though getting music on it is a pain it took half my music off the computer and then when i tried to add more music it deleted the music that was there and now I have to re download those albums. its a bloody pain in the … just like family. So that was just another annoyance its stupid plain stupid idiocy, I don't have a credit so how am i supposed to get apps. my only option is to buy a prepaid visa and they charge a $6.00 fee plus monthly fees so i don't know if I will be giving my money to Apple because of that, since it would be enough to pay for several apps. so fare i am just using free apps.

  • rachelirate

    to the people who put others down for not reading the agreement i have to say that being a fairly intelligent person but also another lazy consumer I didn't read that because I assumed like everyone else that it wouldn't be a problem to by apps in the ITunes store along any product available there, it was actually a huge surprise to find that out. I just wish I had thought to look there before i redeemed my card and tried to download apps. It is something that I think many would think of as an unimagined issue. (Would not think of that policy's existence)

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca iphoneincanada

    Agree. Who actually reads the fine print? When you buy an iTunes gift
    card, you would assume it would apply towards apps since you need to
    access ITUNES to buy them!

  • frieken

    Readtheterms is right except for one important fact.

    Most people buy the gift cards first, the gift cards have no disclosure starement on them, or the packaging they are on, that would indicate that what you may purchase at an iTunes store may be limited. This is in itself deceiptful labeling/packaging. It is not until you create an account that you find out (if you read the fine print) that there are limitations. This is when the consumer is screwed as they have spent their money on the gift card, which is non-refundable, and now find out they can not purchase what they had intended to.

  • ConnorLinton

    This just happend to me yesterday! I got home with my Itunes card, hoping to get the newest update (I desperately need) only to be slapped in the face by Itunes. Apple Canada, c'mon. Theres nothing stoping you, your only pissing us canucks off.

  • readtheterms

    you know what they say about making assumptions .. makes you look like an ass

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca iphoneincanada

    Haha. The same goes for smart ass blog commenters ;)

  • C. I.

    I found this out the hard way, purchasing an app I wanted–expecting my $50 credit on my account to be used. Instead, my credit card got dinged. I should be able to buy WHATEVER from the iTunes store. Is Apple hiding behind a non-existent “law” in order to milk Canadians because we're just so compliant?!! Who do we complain to at Apple to get this changed?

  • Slowpoke

    I also have purchased gift cards to use in the app store only to discover my credit card was being charged. WTF why are we as Canadians so neutered in this country when it comes to consumer options. I sincerley hope Apple Canada changes their policy soon, as I (as am sure many others) have refrained from purchasing apps as I prefer to use gift cards like cash.

  • slowpoke14

    I also have purchased gift cards to use in the app store only to discover my credit card was being charged. WTF why are we as Canadians so neutered in this country when it comes to consumer options. I sincerley hope Apple Canada changes their policy soon, as I (as am sure many others) have refrained from purchasing apps as I prefer to use gift cards like cash.

  • parshath77

    I also just found out and was notified of the so called “Canadian Law” It's a load of BS

  • Rod

    I just had this happen to me and it is mind boggling that I can pay $50 cash to get what is supposed to be iTunes money only to find out even iTunes won't take it, truly disappointing.

  • Strange_Thought

    Ok then, assume you can be 180 days late on your mortgage and see what your bank does. :P

  • Anonymous

    Hold on a sec, Tony Clement stated that

    “Many provinces, including Alberta, have implemented legislation that regulates gift cards. If your constituent would like more information on these regulations, he may wish to visit the Consumer Information section of the Service Alberta website http://www.servicealberta.gov.ab.ca/1290cfm.”

    also he stated that:

    “I understand your constituent’s concerns, and am unaware of which Canadian laws the company representatives are said to be enforcing.”

    I submit that:

    1. In the letter all that was stated was he is “UNAWARE of which Canadian laws” company reps are enforcing.

    2. That “Many provinces, including Alberta, have implemented legislation that regulates gift cards”

    With these two points, nowhere did he say that there was NO LAW. Furthermore, many provinces have implemented legislation to regulate gift cards. The question was not answered at all. I don’t know why some people are reading more into this than there is.

    I will tell you this as FACT. Many lawmakers, be it US Canada any member of the EU often do not know the laws (per se). They know the laws they need to know when they need to know it. It’s impossible for them to. Most specialize in a segment of the law and often they know it well but certainly not all members or all aspects. Government is a complex beast. If you don’t believe me test your representatives.

    In the US we’re stating to see exactly what was said in the letter “Many provinces, including Alberta, have implemented legislation that regulates gift cards.”. Some US states are doing exactly that and being tough about it as some retailers have abused gift cards in various ways.

    Tony Clement’s response to this Apple iTunes gift card thing was in fact a non-answer; telling the person to “refer to the Consumer Information section of the Service Alberta website…”.

    I’m not saying this is right or wrong. It just is what it is, and read the letter as it was written not with waves of indignation.

    BTW, yeah it all stinks to high heaven!

  • Anonymous

    Hold on a sec, Tony Clement stated that

    “Many provinces, including Alberta, have implemented legislation that regulates gift cards. If your constituent would like more information on these regulations, he may wish to visit the Consumer Information section of the Service Alberta website http://www.servicealberta.gov.ab.ca/1290cfm.”

    also he stated that:

    “I understand your constituent’s concerns, and am unaware of which Canadian laws the company representatives are said to be enforcing.”

    I submit that:

    1. In the letter all that was stated was he is “UNAWARE of which Canadian laws” company reps are enforcing.

    2. That “Many provinces, including Alberta, have implemented legislation that regulates gift cards”

    With these two points, nowhere did he say that there was NO LAW. Furthermore, many provinces have implemented legislation to regulate gift cards. The question was not answered at all. I don’t know why some people are reading more into this than there is.

    I will tell you this as FACT. Many lawmakers, be it US Canada any member of the EU often do not know the laws (per se). They know the laws they need to know when they need to know it. It’s impossible for them to. Most specialize in a segment of the law and often they know it well but certainly not all members or all aspects. Government is a complex beast. If you don’t believe me test your representatives.

    In the US we’re stating to see exactly what was said in the letter “Many provinces, including Alberta, have implemented legislation that regulates gift cards.”. Some US states are doing exactly that and being tough about it as some retailers have abused gift cards in various ways.

    Tony Clement’s response to this Apple iTunes gift card thing was in fact a non-answer; telling the person to “refer to the Consumer Information section of the Service Alberta website…”.

    I’m not saying this is right or wrong. It just is what it is, and read the letter as it was written not with waves of indignation.

    BTW, yeah it all stinks to high heaven!

  • Anonymous

    Oh dear! LOL you nailed it!

    I guess this is the problem with people NOT reading the EULA’s and TERMS AND CONDITIONS!

    readtheterms, your right on with this -guess I should call it a find… ^_^

    This is the kind of thing that sucks about EULA’s and TOSA’s people just don’t read them and often don’t know what ‘rights’ they may be giving up or sometimes fees imposed. It’s always about the fine print, so to speak.

    If your using iTunes, you agreed to these terms.

    So I think we all know what to do. If we don’t like this, work with lawmakers to require retailers and online retailers to bring this information to the forefront of the users attention or get rid of it altogether.

    Here is the full text of the TERMS AND CONDITIONS from Apple.

    http://www.apple.com/legal/itunes/ca/terms.html

  • Anonymous

    Oh dear! LOL you nailed it!

    I guess this is the problem with people NOT reading the EULA’s and TERMS AND CONDITIONS!

    readtheterms, your right on with this -guess I should call it a find… ^_^

    This is the kind of thing that sucks about EULA’s and TOSA’s people just don’t read them and often don’t know what ‘rights’ they may be giving up or sometimes fees imposed. It’s always about the fine print, so to speak.

    If your using iTunes, you agreed to these terms.

    So I think we all know what to do. If we don’t like this, work with lawmakers to require retailers and online retailers to bring this information to the forefront of the users attention or get rid of it altogether.

    Here is the full text of the TERMS AND CONDITIONS from Apple.

    http://www.apple.com/legal/itunes/ca/terms.html

  • nonamer

    AGGGGG SSOOOOOOOOO GAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY

  • nonamer

    SO GGAYYYYYYY

  • Quipp

    Grab a clue. No one is making demands. Terms of service has little to do with the spirit of service. People are commenting that they want to give Apple money. If there is no lawful reason to prevent customer for doing so all the EULA legalese is moot. Apple should change their policy whether or not people read the fine print.

  • Quipp

    So what. Just because it is in the terms of service doesn't mean it should be. This is a PR and revenue stream issue. Preventing people from spending money is a bassackwards approach. TOS are fluid as water and can change at any time. Therefore if there is no real legal reason why apps are exempt then Apple would do well to “change this policy without notice” to something that is in line with what consumers prefer.

  • Len

    After purchasing $50 of iTune cards, I too discovered they could not be used for apps purchases. It was pointed out to me, by “iTunes Customer Support”, that after more than 1100 words in the “Terms of Sale Agreement” they do say iTune cards cannot be used to purchase apps in the iTune store.

    This is not at all what I expect from Apple !!

  • Prom1

    Agreed, however many consumers in the US have taking larger corporations to court and won lawsuits for not clearly stating restrictions on what a service can or cannot be used for with the company that issues it. I'm unsure if this – clarity of iTunes AppStore restrictions – falls in this situation, but its something to consider if it isn't; not the lawsuit but for Apple Inc, Canada to consider adjusting.

  • Big 360 Man

    This is very shady marketing practice on the part of Apple. And don't give me the BS about reading the terms of sale. How many teenagers bought these cards and sat at the check out, with a magnifing glass and read the terms and conditions on the back??? Give your head a shake!!
    My son bought a $25 card with his hard earned money only to find out about this problem. Kudos to Jim Whitelaw on this article and the other ones. After a few nasty e-mails to Apple they are finally going to give my Son a refund.

  • clie78787878

    There is a massive change underway in the mobile media market as it becomes unshackled from the operators’ portals that have dominated it for a decade, all without having made any significant inroads into the content use of mobile users. The new capped data packages, fuelled by further competition, will see a total revamp of the mobile media market. It will no longer be based on portals but on direct services by content and services providers via open source phones and mobile-friendly Internet-based services. The next step is the continued emergence of m-commerce and in particular m-payment services.

  • rockybudgeboa

    How about a prepaid Visa? Can we use that? I just bought the Ipod Touch 8GB fro my daughter yesterday and she wants the Koi Pond and well, she is not pleased.

  • Nav Dhami

    I am in the same boat. I bought an iTunes card to download apps but found out that it doesn't work. After wasting almost 2 hours trying to download, I started searching on internet and found these links. I think Jim has done a great effort and I support him fully. It is ridiculous that the iTunes store shows credit on the top but won't let me buy.

  • Milan

    That guy Jim Whitelaw is a FAGGGOOOOTTTTTTTTTT. I bought my 25$ gift card only for apps and now i find out they wont let me download them. FUCKKKK. I guess I will pointlessly buy music which i can download easily off of LimeWire.

  • Tammy D.

    We just purcahsed ipod for our son -with an i tunes gift card. After more than two hours of searching today – found this website to learn that gift card can't be used toward apps that he would like. This should be made very clear to the buyer. Totally frustrated.

  • Marc

    this is bad. they should get charged or something for inforcing a law that is fake. stuppid apple.

    i just bought a gift card tow hours ago just for apps and i sent 2 emails to apple.

  • Rav3n_NB

    You're a fucking retard and all your information is based on speculation and Tony Clement that doesn't know his head from his ass. No one has figured this out, true, but stop blaming Apple for fuck sakes.

    It's not all their fault. I'm sure the companies that create these Apps (Oh yeah, Apple supports the only 2-3 they've created which are free, and most of them are from 3rd party developpers). Don't you think these companies would like to be paid directly from the individual who purchased the Application and not from Apple? Duh. Get with the times, get a credit card or suck it up princess.

    Use your brain English Canada, use your brain….

  • Rav3n_NB

    If you want Apps Canada and are too much of a loser to get a credit card, get yourself US giftcard and create a bogus US address. Zip: 90036, 123 Fake street, Hollywood, Calif – Thank god for Price is Right :)

  • robert

    i found this outand was like wtf but i was fine with buying songs

  • annoyed

    Yah, I found this out yesteray after I received a gift card and bought my first app. I thought it would use the credit from the gift card, but instead charged my visa. Not the experience I expected and it was really frustrated. I have since removed my CC info from my account so it won't happen again and have no intention to use my credit until they fix this.

    Any sorry last poster, but no one actually reads the terms and conditions, seriously? This is just common sense. Also, people RECEIVE gift cards and not buy them for themselves. You would expect that when you have a credit you can use it for anything in a store. No different than any other gift card from a retail or online store.

    It's called managing the expectaction of the user experience of a consumer.

  • Zeke

    my problem is that i don't own a credit card, im 14. my ipod is nnow pretty useless since there is no way i can buy apps. i jailbroke, so i get cracked apps, i don't like pirating, but if apple actually let me get apps legally, i would

  • Robert

    On the back of the the itunes gift card in the legalese it does say “Not redeemable for all purchases, such as iPod games or App Store purchases.”

    So we are warned (i was stung by this too), yet what are we able to buy on the Itunes Store? All I can think of is Music/Audiobooks, Movies, TV Shows and Apps/Games. Yet the front of my $50 iTunes gift card says “Get the latest music, movies, TV shows, and more.” So what exactly is this more if it is not Apps or games? I understand what Readtheterms is saying, yes it is the the TOSA and yes I agreed to have read it. However software developers now perfectly well no one reads the TOSA. How long till a TOSA claims the rights to all my assets?

    What Apple has done is deceitful. Doesn't matter if they've done the legalese to cover their backsides, other businesses have been slapped before for hiding something like this in their disclaimers.

  • Omg

    yea thats what i did but i kinda got pissed because when i went to a apple store and brought the itunes card they said that it will work, but when i got home i didnt. so i went and called apple and told them the problem, they went and refunded my itunes card by sending me a check

  • Vancouver Island

    We can't buy apps with a itunes gift card in Canada but you could if you lived in the States . I just found this out today .I bought a gift card from a box store and made a point of asking the clerk if you could use it to buy apps for an ipod touch . I was told no problem thats what they are for . So i bought one for my young daughter . She is a little young for a credit card . Now i find the gift dosn't do the job.
    So you wonder why people jailbreak the things .
    Good for Tony Clement bad PR for Apple

  • jay

    Feb 6, 2010 you still can not buy apps. I bought the card to buy apps. very disappointed with apple.

  • http://www.busybrian.com/ Brian

    I bought my wife a gift card specifically for apps. I would never have bought it otherwise! I want my money back!

  • Nelson Cheung

    This is ridiculous! Not only it makes no sense, it has also wasted so much of my time to find out why my iTunes credit that clearly showed up in my account was not being debited for the purpose of my purchase. I thought there was a bug in the iTunes program that I installed.

  • Jody

    I just bought my kids Visa gift cards that they can use instead. Works fine!

  • pissedoff691

    ya,, thats gay,,, ive been tryin to figure out why i cant buy any games or apps,,,,, i dont have a credit card,,, soooo im kinda screwed,,,,, thanks apple for giving me a 200.00 paperweight!!!!!

  • darkangell0407

    i also cannot use my itunes credit to buy apps, what a pain in the @#$

  • frieken

    It would seem that depending on where you buy your card, it may or may not have a disclosure on it. I searched a lot of stores in my area and none of the cards or packing had any sort of statement on them. In my travels in USA and Canada, I did find a few that had a disclosure statement on them. So, all is not equal in the gift cards that are for sale out there.

  • Doball

    I feel that it is unconscionable that i Tunes /Apple disallows Canadian consumers from access to apps on the cards it is discriminatory to say the least! We, in fact pay more for the devices than the U.S. consumer; I wonder how Apple would respond if we launched an “avoid Apple” campaign in Canada? Since Apple seems to ignore Canadian consumers perhaps we should ignore Apple in Canada!

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  • junjihiroma

    I bought a Visa gift Card,it let's me buy the apps but will not charge charge the card.WTF?

  • bb

    It pisses me off, nowhere on the card or cardboard that comes with it does it say something about not being able to purchase apps. Fucking bull

  • fghfghkfhg

    fucking bullshit, fuck you itunes, you fucking piece of shite

  • Pingback: Canadian iTunes Gift Cards Now Work For Apps | iPhone in Canada Blog - Tips, Tricks, News, and Tutorials for Canadian iPhone Users

  • Jack

    I just bought a $1.99 app and it cost me 41,400% in interest. Here is how it happened. I had an itunes balance and saw an app for the touch. bought it and realized afterwards that my itunes balance didn't change. The VISA I had as an automatic billing picked up the purchase two days before the statement date. That's all well and good, except I had a $5,000 payment go through that VISA for my son's university. Although I had cleared off that purchase before the statement, I missed the $1.99 app purchase. VISA appied 19.50% to the entire purchases for the month and I got hammered with interest on the full $5,000 plus!. The interest works out to 41,400% annualized for that $2 app.

  • SharkO

    Guys if u live near the us in Canada make a account that's sign up with US and then go down to the states and buy a gift card from there !! Then u can download apps ( experinced it ) i can still use my Canada iTunes account and us iTunes account!

  • SharkO

    Guys if u live near the us in Canada make a account that's sign up with US and then go down to the states and buy a gift card from there !! Then u can download apps ( experinced it ) i can still use my Canada iTunes account and us iTunes account!

  • http://twitter.com/JosephDawson Joseph Dawson

    As of a few weeks ago this has changed. You now can buy apps in Canada with store credit.

  • Pingback: Canadian App Store is Behind: Can’t use gift cards for apps! « Just Another iPhone Blog

  • gay apple

    ya i just wasted money and a few hours of my day over this bullshit!!

  • gay apple

    your an idiot it does not state any of that on the gift cards. i read it prior to purchase and at the very most it say ” not redeemable for all purchases” wich could mean a million things. should never include downloading of the most common things.. APPS! go read the terms and conditions on your meds you loser.

  • readtheterms

    @gay for apple..

    I realize you don’t keep up to date with any thing related to technology. If you did you would realize that this has changed, you CAN use store credit to purchase apps in canada you lazy D- bag