I found out something pretty interesting today. iTunes allows paid app downloads even though a credit card they have on file has changed.

A quick prologue… my corporate AmX card got compromised last week. Apparently a local Chinese restaurant I liked to go to had a dishonest waiter who copied the front and back of my AmX card when they were supposedly running it in back to pay for a business dinner. I saw false charges pop up, called AmX customer service, AmX immediately refunded the charges the thief/thieves made, and sent a new corporate card overnight UPS. (FYI, AmX corporate customer service is the best customer service I’ve ever experienced.)

So fast forward to today, when I was downloading some business apps from iTunes…

iTunes Credit Card Glitch 01

…and I remembered only after I pressed the YES to the purchase button the credit card iTunes has on file is my no-longer-valid AmX card. But the download for the $14.99 paid app had started anyway!

iTunes Credit Card Glitch 02

The app finished downloading, and I saw it in my app list in iTunes. I went to see if it cleared in my purchase history…

iTunes Credit Card Glitch 03

…and sure enough, there it was. Tax and all.

iTunes Credit Card Glitch 04

I went ahead to the edit payment information button to update the AmX card…

iTunes Credit Card Glitch 05

There were no errors at all in the screens that followed. Only after I had updated my credit card information did iTunes finally say something was wrong.

iTunes Credit Card Glitch 07

“A previous purchase failed to successfully authorize, because the credit card used for that purchase was declined. Please provide working credit-card information and press done to clear the outstanding amount from your account and enable your account to continue purchasing.”

And at the bottom of the page was a small addendum about the outstanding balance…

iTunes Credit Card Glitch 08

I pressed DONE and that seemed to be it.

I think it’s kind of strange Apple allows a full app download before a credit card can be confirmed. Shouldn’t the charge amount go through first before the download is authorized? And I wonder what would have happened if I never updated my credit card information?