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A Bug in the Apple Store App on iOS “Removed” a Gift Card from My Apple Wallet

It is likely that I discovered a bug in Apple’s Apple Store app for iOS that could make one of your Apple Store cards in your Apple Wallet vanish.

Two days ago I had three Apple Store cards in my Apple Wallet with varying amounts on them which were pretty close to the total amount of a new HomePod with tax — only $6.21 wasn’t covered by the Apple Store cards in my wallet so would, of course, be paid for using my archived credit card on file with Apple — so I decided to try to order the HomePod using the Apple Store app on my iPhone and go and pick up the unit at a nearby Apple Store in Southdale Mall (Edina, MN).

To my surprise the charge to my archived-at-Apple credit card for $6.21 kept failing! The credit card is used all the time so I tried the transaction three more times. It kept failing so I called my credit card provider Chase who told me that the card was just fine.

I then reached out to Apple Support and they basically had no idea what had happened. They did offer to order it for me or suggested I go in to an Apple Store. Of course, that completely misses the point that there is some sort of bug that disallowed me from using my credit card do I decided to give up and deal with it this coming weekend.

But here is where it gets REALLY WEIRD…

Last night after dinner I check my email and see the one below from a physical Apple Store at the Ridgedale Mall in Minnetonka, MN. I had gone to that store a couple of weeks ago to make a return when my wife and I had purchased some accessories we didn’t need, and used one of my Apple Store gift cards in my Apple Wallet for the purchase.

The Apple store rep had to place my return amount back on to an Apple Store gift card which totaled $74.19, which weirdly turned out to be the exact amount this Apple Store/Ridgedale Mall store specified in their email:

I called the store and talked to a very nice and helpful manager named Peter. He told me that, “We found an Apple Store gift card here in your name with $74.19 on it.” This was puzzling since I had that exact amount on an Apple Store gift card in my Apple Wallet. I suddenly realized I’d better look at the Apple Store gift cards in my Apple Wallet on my iPhone and here is what I saw for the card that used to have $74.19 on it:

An Apple Store gift card for $74.19 vanished from my Apple Wallet when trying to buy a HomePod
using the Apple Store app and somehow ended up back on a gift card at the Apple Store at Ridgedale Mall!!

I can only assume that there is a bug in Apple’s Apple Store app on iPhone — and that my repeated attempts to use a valid credit card somehow put my $74.19 Apple Store gift card back in some sort of previous transaction loop — and that meant I’d have to drive over to the Apple Store Ridgedale Mall store since the manager, Peter, couldn’t email me the amount as an Apple Store gift card I could place in my Apple Wallet again on my iPhone.

I do have a theory about what happened:

a) The Apple Store/Ridgedale Mall employee didn’t properly manage the original return transaction so somehow the gift card in my Apple Wallet showed $74.19 but was actually never valid. That’s maybe one bug and is a process Apple needs to fix immediately if that was the cause of this entire fiasco.

b) The other possible bug is that the Apple Store app should not have failed charging my credit card, but it’s possible that the somehow-invalid-gift-card for $74.19 meant that the in-app transaction could not be completed and the app basically didn’t know what to do except fail the transaction.

Either way Apple needs to de-bug what happened and fix it. While it’s nice they are leaping on Apple Pay and making it available within the Safari browser and other online purchasing methods, their own iOS app and Apple Wallet interactions should never, ever fail since that’s the easiest interaction with the least number of variables in a process Apple controls!

By the way, I’m loving the HomePod.

About Steve Borsch

I'm CEO of Marketing Directions, Inc., a trend forecasting, consulting and publishing firm in Minnesota. Prior to that I was Vice President, Strategic Alliances at Lawson Software in St. Paul where I was responsible for all partnerships at this major vendor of enterprise resource planning software products and services. Read more about me here unless you're already weary of me telling you how incredible and awesome I am.

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