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Old Jan 8th, 2011, 05:29 PM   #1
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A Warning about purchase confirmation in the Mac App store...

Yesterday while walking my father through the new App store I accidentally clicked on the "buy" option for an app I already owned (though installed on a different computer). The app immediately purchased and began to download, after swearing I cancelled the download hoping that might cancel the purchase... not so for later on last night I received a receipt for the app I already owned and hadn't downloaded. I immediately filed a suport ticket with Apple and this morning received a response:

My name is William with iTunes Store Support, and I will be assisting you today. I hope you're doing well. According to your email, the purchase of "Pixelmator" was accidental. As an iTunes Store customer myself, I can understand how this situation might make you feel.

I have reversed the charge for the purchase of "Pixelmator." You will see a store credit of $29.99, plus any applicable taxes, in three to five business days. You may need to sign out of the iTunes Store and then sign back in before you see the credit in your account.

Please note that this is a one-time exception, as the iTunes Store Terms and Conditions state that all sales are final. I can't promise or guarantee that another exception can or will be made.

The iTunes Store provides a warning message that asks if you are sure that you want to buy an item. This warning can be turned off. If you would like to make sure that this warning is on, you can reset the warnings in the iTunes Store by following the instructions in this article:

Resetting iTunes Store warnings
Resetting iTunes Store warnings

Thanks so much for being a valued iTunes Store customer. If you require assistance in the future, don't hesitate to contact iTunes Support, we are only an email away and always here to help. Take care and have a wonderful day.


Fully expecting that at some point using the iTunes Store I had turned off the warnings I dutifully followed the linked instructions and reset mu iTunes store warnings. After confirming they were active in iTunes (by attempting to purchase a song) I went back to the Mac App store to test it... no warnings... no purchase confirmation of any kind (thankfully this time I had purchased an app I actually wanted). Thinking that maybe there was a setting in the App store account I looked, but the only settings there are edits to personal information and "nickname". I drafted a reply to Apple:

Hi William, thanks for reversing the charges, I appreciate it.

Having said that, while I understand that Apple's policy is "all purchases are final" I have a couple of concerns, first: I was using the new Mac App store not the iTunes store, and while the accounts are linked that settings option is not available from within the Mac App store account controls (I looked), second: I reset the warnings from within iTunes as per your instructions and returned to the Mac App store where I purchased (intentionally this time) Megaseg, unfortunately even after the reset I received no warning and no opportunity to verify that my purchase was intentional, and thirdly: shouldn't immediately cancelling the download (before it's completed) cancel the purchase?

On the off chance that the reset didn't take I tried it again and bought Chopper from the Mac App Store, still no warnings, alerts, or opportunity to confirm that the purchase was intentional; however I then went to the iTunes store and attempted to purchase a song and received the correct warning, therefore the issue isn't a settings problem but instead that the Mac App store application isn't issuing the warnings, and consequently giving me no chance to catch an accidental purchase.


I did receive a reply from William but it's basically an escalation to technical support... so I did a quick web search and came up with this gem:

No Purchase Verification Leading to Accidental App Purchases in Mac App Store? - iSmashPhone iPhone Blog

I'm concerned because I occasionally get accidental input on my trackpad from brushing it with my hand, or mistakenly click the wrong spot... what if the accidentally purchased app was the $200 Keymap Pro? Would I then be stuck with $200 in store credit? It seems to me to be quite an oversight if if there is indeed no option to cancel, confirm a purchase or correct a mistake... tread carefully.

So has anyone else had accidental purchases? Is anybody getting purchase confirmation requests at all?

EDIT: just found an article on CNET about this as well:
Caution: Be careful when clicking in the Mac App Store | MacFixIt - CNET Reviews
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Last edited by MacMagicianJunior; Jan 8th, 2011 at 05:31 PM. Reason: added a second reference
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Old Jan 8th, 2011, 05:49 PM   #2
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This is an issue that is being discussed all over on Mac forums, including the forums at Apple - lots and lots of accidental purchases happening. Let's hope that Apple does something about it quickly - it makes visits to the App store a little nerve-wracking!

Apple - Support - Discussions - How to prevent an accidental purchase? ...
Apple - Support - Discussions - Mac App Store - one-click checkout too ...
mac app store: accidental $99 purchase - MacRumors Forums etc. etc.

My cat walked across my Wacom tablet on my desk yesterday and managed to do something to the left click capability of both the tablet AND my mouse (a restart and adjustments to Universal Access solved the problems) - if I'd been in the App store at the time, she could just as easily managed to "buy" something. (Angry Birds? ) Remind me never to leave the App store running!
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Old Jan 8th, 2011, 06:29 PM   #3
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Until this is fixed by Apple you can log yourself out of the App Store using the drop down menus. Only log in when you need to and don't leave it logged in while browsing or away from your computer.

There may be another defect as well. I know somebody who has a program showing in his purchases as being in the "Install" state on his two machines. He says he's never seen the program before and doesn't recall even browsing for it. It's really odd since you'd expect at least one of his computers to have shown it as Installed instead of both being available for install. I don't understand this. Anybody got a clue as to how it could happen? He's informed Apple, but I don't think he's heard back yet.
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Old Jan 9th, 2011, 03:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddy View Post
This is an issue that is being discussed all over on Mac forums, including the forums at Apple - lots and lots of accidental purchases happening. Let's hope that Apple does something about it quickly - it makes visits to the App store a little nerve-wracking!

Apple - Support - Discussions - How to prevent an accidental purchase? ...
Apple - Support - Discussions - Mac App Store - one-click checkout too ...
mac app store: accidental $99 purchase - MacRumors Forums etc. etc.

My cat walked across my Wacom tablet on my desk yesterday and managed to do something to the left click capability of both the tablet AND my mouse (a restart and adjustments to Universal Access solved the problems) - if I'd been in the App store at the time, she could just as easily managed to "buy" something. (Angry Birds? ) Remind me never to leave the App store running!
Cats are known to have an affinity for both birds and mice. As it happens, ours is quite fond of ham as well, so Angry Birds could indeed produce an insatiable craving in your feline.
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Old Jan 9th, 2011, 01:39 PM   #5
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We buy stuff for our dog but he never buys stuff for us.
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Old Jan 9th, 2011, 02:46 PM   #6
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Ive never accidentally purchased anything from itunes and actually find the warning annoying. But I can see how it would make sense to have it for people using track pads or laptops because of the way the pointer can act with them. I'm just using a mouse.
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Old Jan 9th, 2011, 08:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmark2000 View Post
We buy stuff for our dog but he never buys stuff for us.
Don't be so cheap, give the poor mutt an allowance so that he has some spending money!
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Old Jan 9th, 2011, 10:25 PM   #8
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If this happened to me and they would not reverse the charge, especially after having hit the cancel button and not having the software. I would likely consider calling my credit card company and telling them it was a fraudulent charge and have them reverse it.
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Old Jan 10th, 2011, 01:02 AM   #9
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I had the same thing happen with an errant click while "purchasing" Twitter (free). I ended up with Twitter AND something called FotoMagico (which is a $26.99 porgram I'll never use!).

My experience is the same as the OP's.

Apple has said the $$ will be refunded as a "one time exception".

It is a bit nerve racking that there's little to no confirmation once you've logged in. But as Atroz said, just log out whenever and hope you don't have errant clicks while trying to move the cursor on your Magic Trackpad, like me!
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Old Jan 11th, 2011, 11:44 PM   #10
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I just noticed the new App Store icon on my MacBook Pro and am wondering what the point is. Unless Apple is going to phase out apps from iTunes I see no need for it. The lack of purchase verification is rather disturbing and confirms my decision to remove it from the dock and not use it.
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