If you’ve ever used Paypal as your payment method for the App Store / iTunes you may have noticed that Apple seems to have quite a serious vendetta going against Paypal. I’ve used Paypal as my payment method since the very beginning of the App Store and several times over the years the iTunes Store has hit me with messages and roadblocks suggesting that Paypal was ‘not an accepted payment method’.
Well, I’m here to tell you that is nonsense. Paypal has always been an accepted method and it still is now.
This morning I had one of these occasions where the App Store got its knickers in a twist – apparently because there was some issue with payment for an In-App purchase I made recently. For some reason the payment did not clear successfully with Paypal. My balance in Paypal is always far larger than needed to cover any iTunes purchases – so I imagine on that particular day the App Store was just unable to hit the Paypal authorization server or some such circumstance. In any case, I never received any sort of notification of a failed purchase at all – from the ITunes store or Paypal.
I was in book buying mode on the iBookstore on my iPad mini last night. I bought Hamlet: The Shakesperience and another title, and wanted to purchase a couple more. But the iTunes Store decided maybe I shouldn’t, or rather I couldn’t. When I went to purchase a 3rd book I was greeted with this error message:
The iTunes Store is unable to process purchases at this time. Please try again later.
At first I didn’t worry much about this error. I thought it was likely some sort of iTunes Store server strain related issue and guessed it might resolve itself quickly. So I tried again after a few minutes – and got the same error. Then I tried a different book – still the same error. I left it for around an hour and tried again – same result.
I rebooted the iPad, and signed out and back into my iTunes account within the iBooks app – still no change and the same error when trying to buy a book. Just for grins, I tried buying an app in the App Store and a single in the iTunes Store. Both of those purchases went through just fine – leaving me a little baffled, as this seemed to rule out both a general sort of server issue on iTunes and a general problem with my iTunes account.