I'm back at Apple support, and they are supremely unhelpful. The first escalation got me pointed at this article:
This article is about problems connecting to the itunes store. Obviously, given the error I am receiving, AND THE FACT I WAS ABLE TO BUY AND DOWNLOAD A FALLOUT BOY ALBUM WHILE CHATTING AND TOLD THE SUPPORT PERSON THAT, should have been a clear indication that was not the problem.
The current escalation is to get someone from tech support. Which really should have happened last Sunday. Tech support didn't have anything useful. It occurred to me that I could solve this myself by buying all the tracks -- which would cost 2x + the Complete My Album price. But I did it anyway, because autism. Then I attempted to convince support to refund me the difference in price. They said, we can't do that. I said, escalate. I got dumped in a transfer, restarted but that session died. Restarted again, and that person says they refunded me (possibly for all the tracks purchased today) and that that refund would take up to 10 days to show up (not currently visible in My Purchases). If I understood that person correctly, the songs are still mine, so I'm going to see what happens on the CC and in the purchased history and if all is well in 2 weeks, I'm going to call this a customer service success. If it isn't, I'll be posting again.
Oh, if I'm not the only person affected by this bug -- that is, if Shawn Mendes Handwritten (Deluxe) is generically unpurchasable, Mendes' should get a legal team on this because his songs are in heavy rotation and he is losing money hand over fist.
The gory details:
Thanks for contacting iTunes. My name is Bishwajeet. Please give me a moment to look over your information.
BishwajeetHi Rebecca, how are you doing today?
Me:I'm back for a problem from sunday 55555555555
BishwajeetThank you for the case ID.
Me:We have been trying to buy Shawn Mendes Handwritten (Deluxe) album on itunes. It gives a "This item is currently being modified. Please try again later".
Me:On Sunday, I was told to wait 72 hours. It is still a problem today. I restarted MyMusic and the iTunes app on the phone.
BishwajeetYes, I see.
BishwajeetJust to confirm that, you are trying to buy an album from iTunes but it’s saying “This item is currently being modified”.
BishwajeetIs that correct?
BishwajeetThank you for confirming.
BishwajeetI know how excited you are to download that album.
Me:Actually, I HATE that singer. My son wants it. He has autism and he is not letting this go.
BishwajeetNot to worry, I will surely look into this for you and help you with the best possible solution.
Me:Do you need me to stay in this chat session or will this take a while and you will contact me when it is resolved?
BishwajeetIf possible please stay for sometime.
BishwajeetI need some information from you.
BishwajeetTo start with, may I know the email address associated with your iTunes Store account?
BishwajeetMay I know the tittle of the album, which you are trying to download?
Me:Handwritten (Deluxe) by Shawn Mendes
BishwajeetLet me check.
BishwajeetPlease sign out and sign in back with your Apple ID and try purchasing the album.
Me:Sign out in settings?
BishwajeetMay I know from which device you are trying?
Me:cell phone 1234567890 I think if I typed it right
BishwajeetI am asking from which device or computer you are trying to download the album.
BishwajeetFor ex: iPhone, iPad or Mac/computer?
Me:I have multiple iOS devices attached to the same account. I've had the same problem on more than one device.
Me:I went into Settings, iTunes and App Store on the device, signed out, signed back in, went over to the iTunes store, tried to buy the album and got the same error
Me:Is that what you wanted me to try?
BishwajeetJust sign out from iTunes Store.
Me:Unless you say otherwise, I'm going to now try on my personal iPhone
BishwajeetAlso you can try in a computer.
Me:I really, really would rather not. I would have to find the drive that I have my ITunes library on, it would want to resync things and generally might take an hour or more.
Me:I get the same error on my iPhone.
BishwajeetMay I know what exact error you are getting?
Me:It's the same one.
Me:"This item is currently being modified. Please try again later."
BishwajeetHave you done the sign out and sign in?
Me:Not on my phone
Me:I signed out in Settings. Signed back in. Same error.
BishwajeetI have contacted my senior advisor for this, please allow me 2 to 3 minutes, while we investigate on this.
Me:You may also like to know that I _am_ able to buy other albums. For example, I just successfully bought Fallout Boy Save Rock and Roll.
Me:Also, I don't know ifyou can see this, but we HAVE bought one track from the Shawn Mendes song in th epast, so the purchase is a "Complete My Album" purchase. I don't know if any of that helps.
BishwajeetYes, I see.
BishwajeetPlease see this article, which might help you to resolve this issue.
Bishwajeethttps://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201400(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)
Me:What the hell?
Me:That article is about connecting to the itunes store.
Me:I have NO trouble connecting to the itunes store.
Me:I am able to BUY and DOWNLOAD some things from the itunes store.
Me:IT IS JUST HTE SHAWN MENDES ALBUMS that give me an error from the itunes store.
Me:Did you send me the wrong link?
BishwajeetAs I told, that might help you.
Me:How could that help me? I'm not having trouble connecting to the itunes store. I connect just fine.
BishwajeetI have get in touch with one of our technical expert.
Me:There is NOTHING on that page about the error I am receiving from the itunes store
BishwajeetSometimes those article helps.
BishwajeetI am investigating the issue with one of our technical expert.
BishwajeetPlease allow me few moments.
Me:I'm not going anywhere.
Will update if there are developments.
Anyone who tells you the economy is NOT doing well is an idiot. Only economies that are going gangbusters manage to have tech support problems like these ones, at companies that normally have excellent support.
BishwajeetPlease click own this link: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/handwritten-deluxe/id961981366(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)
Me:I did, but remember, I can't buy it on the computer I am chatting on. Also, it shows the list price in pounds, which is weird.
Me:I suppose I could type the link into my phone.
Me:What do you want to do once I have clicked on the link?
BishwajeetHave you clicked on the provided link?
BishwajeetStill the same thing?
Me:I'm on a computer chatting. That takes me to itunes preview. Ther eis a view in itunes link there. Do you want me to click on that?
BishwajeetYes, if you click on that, it will take you to the “BUY” page.
Me:Okay, I am typing the link over on my phone, because I CANNOT USE ITUNES ON THIS COMPUTER. Give me a sec.
Me:Okay, I got a different error: Item Not Available. The item you've requiested is not currently available in the U.S. Store, but it is available in the U.K. Store. Tape Change Store to view this item.
Me:Typos are result of me typing on my computer the message I am seeing on my phone.
Me:I have pressed the Change Store button, and now it is just sort of sitting there.
Me:It's still sitting there, with the blue status line not moving at all.
BishwajeetPlease try with this link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/handwritten-deluxe/id1081578077(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)
Me:Looking at the us side album. should I try to buy it?
BishwajeetAre you able to see buy option?
Me:Well, I did try to buy it, and it gave me the "This item is currently being modified. Please try again later." error
Me:You know, I'm gonna try something different. I'm just gonna start buying tracks and see if I can buy them all.
Me:I have bought and downloaded several tracks.
Me:I'm going to try the complete album again
Me:Still won't let me do it.
Me:Here's the deal. If I buy all the tracks, I wind up paying way more than I would for the album. Any way you guys can refund me the difference?
BishwajeetWe cannot do that.
Me:Maybe you should ask a supervisor if there is someone around there who could do that. Because I've bought a bunch of tracks and the indications are that I can buy all of them. And the idea that you have an album up here that I cannot buy but you will sell all the tracks from -- at an inflated price -- seems kind wrong to me.
BishwajeetI am connecting my senior advisor, let see hat best we can do for you.
Me:Because I've now spent a good chunk of time on these chat sessions, and so have you and another chat person, which must be cost you all something without actually accomplishing anything.
Me:All tracks successfully purchased.
Due to the nature of this issue, I would like to transfer you to James, an iTunes Store Senior Advisor. Please keep in mind that the transfer may take a few minutes. Would this work for you?
Me:This sounds like a great idea.
It was a pleasure chatting with you today.
They dropped me in the transfer to James P.
I got picked up again, and then I'm not sure what happened. I accepted the offer of an emailed transcript and the chat now looks dead. Started another chat session, got a hello, and then crickets. Chat seems live -- not sure what's going on.
New chat session:
Thanks for contacting AppleCare chat support. My name is Bennie. Please give me a moment to look over your information.
Me:Hi continue previous session 55555555
BennieIf our chat gets disconnected for any reason, please note that it is not intended by Apple. You can certainly chat us back and here’s your Case Number 555555555 for your reference.
You may contact us back again by visiting and following the steps in this link: http://www.apple.com/support/country/.(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)(Opens in new window)
Me:I got dropped in a transfer to James P
BennieHello there, Rebecca!
BennieI certainly realized how eager you are to be assisted.
BennieI’m sorry to hear that you were disconnected from transfer.
BennieMy apologies that you’ve got disconnected with your previous chat conversation.
At any rate. I will be more than happy to assist you with any of your concerns and review your issues.
Me:Okay, well, the original problem was not being able to buy Handwritten (deluxe) by Shawn Mendes. I chatted on Sunday and was told to wait 72 hours (I waited over 24 before chatting the first time).
Me:I chatted today, and spent quite a while without any progress towards a solution.
Me:Then I thought, hey, maybe I can buy all the tracks individually. Which worked, but cost quite a lot more than the album cost.
Me:I feel like Apple should refund me some of that money, ideally, the difference between the cost of purchasing all the tracks individually and the album cost, alternatively, all but the first track purchased less the Complete my album cost.
Me:At this point, I'm more looking for some indication that Apple is respecting the amount of frustration I've gone through trying to purchase this, and my long history as an apple customer.
[It is now 3:20 p.m. and my daughter will be home shortly, at which point continuing the chat session is unlikely to work.]
BennieI can imagine how distressing it can be to think that you’re unable to receive what you have purchased.
BennieI think anyone who bought a product would expect it to work, and I realize how concerning it can be.
Me:THAT IS NOT THE PROBLEM.
Me:The problem was the inability to PURCHASE.
Me:The problem was eventually having to pay for all the tracks individually, because I was unable to make the album purchase go through.
BennieIs the card in the account debit or credit card?
How many items were you trying to purchase?
Me:I was trying to purchase the album, Handwritten (Deluxe) by Shawn Mendes. I got an error.
Me:Eventually, I realized I could buy all the tracks individually.
Me:But that cost a lot more than buying the album would have, which seems unfair.
Me:I did it anyway, because my son really wants the whole album, and this was the best I could do after 4 days of trying.
BennieThis is only songs and a playlist or just songs?
Me:I bought all the songs on the Shawn Mendes Handwritten (Deluxe) album individually, because the album purchase would not go through due to an error message.
Me:17 tracks -- I had actually bought 1 of them some time ago so this was a complete my album purchase attempt that failed.
Me:So today I bought 16 individual tracks from Shawn Mendes Handwritten (Deluxe) because I was unable to purchase the album because of the error.
Me:That works out to approximately 2x the cost of the complete my album price.
BennieWhat I did was refunded the songs that you were trying to purchase. It will be refunded within 10 business days. Kindly download them again using your computer instead and it needs to have strong wifi connection or internet connection once wifi drops or internet drops download will stop downloading.
Me:Do I still have the songs?
Me:And why do I need to use my computer to download them? I always buy and download on my phones.
Me:Thank you for the refund.
BennieKindly re-download them it’s still in your pat purchases.
Me:They are already on my phone. How do I redownload them when they are on my phone already?
BennieKindly check as well your purchase history.
Me:Can I do that on the phone?
Me:It shows in MyMusic under Recently Added
BennieThere’s a chance that you can’t make multiple download or purchases using your iPhone and plus it will take you forever in downloading multiple items in your iPhone.
Bennie Is there anything else that I can assist you with?
Me:I'm confused, but if I can't figure it out, I guess I'll try another chat. Thank you for doing the refund. I really appreciate it.
BennieYou’re most welcome Rebecca, it’s my pleasure assisting you for today and thanks for your patience.
BennieThank you for contacting iTunes Store Chat Support. Again my name is Bennie. Have a great day or night!