A few years ago, my eldest niece and her boyfriend went on a round the world trip. This involved them being away over christmas. As they were backpacking from place to place, I didn’t want to send her something that she would then have to carry around the rest of the world. She did have an iPod, so being the tech-savvy uncle that I am I decided the perfect gift would be an iTunes voucher, delivered electronically. It would take up no physical space and have no weight. It would be exchanged for digital music to go onto a device she already has with her. Perfect!
So, with my perfect gift worked out I made my way to the iTunes website. After a little bit of hunting I found a link to “send someone an iTunes voucher”. I followed this, and a few clicks later I was informed that I didn’t have iTunes installed. Of course I didn’t, I don’t use it or need it. I assumed I must have made a wrong click somewhere along the line. I went back to square one. Once again, I attempted to buy my niece an iTunes voucher. Once again I was informed that I didn’t have iTunes installed and that I would have to install it to continue. Every time I tried to give Apple my money, they refused to let me do so until I installed their software.
I couldn’t quite get my head around this. I wanted to buy a voucher. A digital voucher. For someone else to use. The only thing I had to do was to give Apple my money and tell them who to send the voucher to. All Apple had to do was take my money and deliver the voucher. None of this should have required me to install any software, let alone iTunes.
After several attempts to give Apple my money, I gave up. I went to Amazon instead and within moments an electronic voucher was ready to be delivered to my niece. Dear Apple. I really wanted to give you my money, but you made it so difficult to do so. So I gave it to someone else, someone who made it easy to do so. I have used them again since, and I may well use them again in the future. Unless, perhaps, you relent and actually let me give you my money.