Sunday, November 06, 2011


Sunday Reflection: Technology

Yesterday, someone hacked by iTunes account. Before I could change the password, they purchased $107 worth of apps for "Future Combat: Patriots at War." Grrrr.

Worse, Apple was no help at all. I clicked on "Report a problem" on the receipt, which took me to another screen where I again clicked "report a problem," which then sent me back to the welcome page. So, I called Apple, and the person on the other end said that not only could she not help me, but that "no one could." There was something very grim-sounding about that...

The whole thing left me wholly dispirited, in a literal sense-- I felt lacking in spirit, in connectedness. Technology can be both freeing and imprisoning. I was frustrated at Apple more than anything, because they had built a wall between me and any way of redressing the problem, or even reporting it.

Our reliance on technology leaves us all prone to that dispiriting moment. I read the gospel, and Jesus was always around people, and touch was important-- a person could be healed through just touching his robe.

Perhaps this is a message to me... a message to curb my enthusiasm for things with screens, and go back more to things with eyes and hands and hearts.

I am one of the endangered species kind who doesn't have a smart phone. I actually look at street signs to find out where I am instead of trying to figure out what the GPS on the “smart” phone points as my cosmic coordinates (I don't drive, but I do give the GPS a nod for recalculating ones' way around the middle of nowhere and eventually getting them there). Recently I had a problem with a viral amount of texts for which I would have to pay (given my ancient phone practice of “hello where are you, I can't see you” the cheapest plan ever has been indulged on me only because I am a longtime customer, but texts were a novelty on this plan so I have to pay for them) well, when I wanted to report the problem I was given the run around so that there was no way to get someone on the phone to “report a problem” if I tried to get someone via other reasons they always had an automated reply to that particular reason, after a good long time of going through a maze of automatic instructions and misunderstandings and just before I felt I was losing it, I spoke into the phone “cancel account” it might as well have been “open sesame”...needless to say I still have my extinct plan and I didn't pay for texts I didn't want texted. Your iTunes example reminded me of this incident when wholly dispirited is exactly how I felt too. Things with screens are generally neat and predictable, they often satisfy you and if you don't allow them they never interfere, where things with eyes and hands and hearts can be messy and nosy and totally unpredictable, they can bring extreme emotions or peace and quiet, but most of all they never make you feel wholly dispirited.
At least you did not do what this guy did.

One day, Joe Lipari had a frustrating encounter with a worker at the Apple Store. And then Joe did what a lot of us would do: He vented. But he vented in a way that ended up having some serious repercussions. Producer Ben Calhoun tells the story. (16 minutes)
"...with eyes, hands and hearts."

You, "...go back more to"? I venture to say, you seldom stray. The paper you are polishing to publish speaks to the same.

Now if offered an opportunity to speak of sanity, that conversation might overload your blog... (kidding)
Apple couldn't help you because they were merely a facilitator to the transaction. You need to call your credit card company or Paypal (whomever you use to pay through iTunes) and report that your iTunes account was hijacked and incorrect charges made. You could also try calling the app developer and reporting that you did not make the purchases.

Finally, if you do call back to Apple, ask to speak to iTunes sales support (rather than tech support) and inform them of what happened.
Anon-- No, Apple was at the center of the transaction, since what was used was store credits at the iTunes store. There was no credit card involved.
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