There is currently a known issue with the Apple Volume Purchase Programme (VPP). There are no technical articles from Apple on the subject (???), hence the reason I felt the need to post...
When attempting to purchase certain apps, with a quantity more than 20, you will receive the following error message:
Purchase of this item is not currently available.
This item is being modified. Please try again later.@@debugPriceInfo@@
Apple VPP error.jpg
I have spoken with someone from Apple Education, and they have confirmed that this is a known fault, and that it has been affecting the purchasing of certain apps since the VPP was launched outside of the United States.
The only current (laughable) workaround, that Apple have suggested, is to purchase 19 or less of the affected apps (at the full price). They won't offer a refund for any amount over and above what you should have paid whilst waiting for them to resolve the issue.
They have also provided me with a link to report the issue to Apple:
I recommend that anyone experiencing the same issue report it to Apple. They are currently unable to provide any information as to when the issue will be resolved.
Some of the apps affected are as follows:
- Sketchbook Pro for iPad
- Linguascope French Vocabulary Trainer
- Linguascope Spanish Vocabulary Trainer
...although I'm sure there are many more!
Yet another example of Apple launching a system (Maps) before it was working properly. From my conversations with Apple UK, they appear to be equally frustrated with the situation!!
Last bit of information - don't expect email receipts for any purchases made through the VPP any time soon. We received some the next day, but some 3-4 weeks after the purchase. Yet another known issue so I've been told.
Its a right pain. It seems to be any apps non apple and a few of their own. Managed to get Pages and Keynote fine, soon as purchase was made email with CSV file arrived, and apps have been redeemed perfectly.
Now any other apps will fail with the error your described. I have an open case with apple edu like yourself, and a "senior" adviser attached to the case. Not his fault, he didnt even know it existed. Be a good idea to keep up with progress and see if we can actually get them ready before christmas.
Thanks for the information.
I wonder if you have had any more luck, My responses so far seem to relate to clearing temp files and cookies
Its so simple. The VPP DOES NOT work with IE. I have only managed to get it successfully working with safari on a mac mini server, Seems to do the trick.
What version of IE are you on? I definitely had it working on IE9 when it first launched over here. Will bear that in mind if I have problems in future though.
This should all be resolved now so if you were having problems, I'd try again.
Oh and the purchasing of apps does work with IE9 although there are some apple websites\pages that seem to only want to work properly with Safari.
Thanks for the update. We're getting iPads in the coming week or two and I was worried about this issue!
It was IE 8 admittedly, didn't even like Firefox , I have just redeemed my last code 216 codes later. Just setting final restrictions and they are off, out of my sight
Apple have indeed now resolved the issue. I received an email from their VPP support team on 13/12/12 informing me that their engineers had sorted the problem.
Just to clarify, this was NOT an issue with any specific web browser. It was only affecting certain Apps (some of which I listed above). Apple acknowledged it was a problem with their systems (quote from an email I received from firstname.lastname@example.org):
"This error message is actually a known issue, and our engineers are currently working very hard to find a resolution. Since this matter is rather complicated, it could take a few more weeks before I am able to get back to you with good news. I apologize profusely for this situation, as I know how eager you must be to purchase your apps."
There is still an ongoing issue with Apple's invoicing. Most of the invoices display an incorrect "order total".
For example, we ordered 166 licenses for the app "iFiles". We received the email invoice (exactly 4 weeks later - although sometimes they come through the next day or within a few hours). The invoice stated:
Unit Price: £1.08
However, the amount we were charged on our credit card was £179.28 (which I believe to be correct).
This just make any sense to me. We have so far purchased 50 separate Apps, which have been grouped into 39 separate orders (it's random how Apple decide to group orders), and of those 39 orders we are still missing 8 invoices, and of the 31 invoices we have received, 18 have been incorrect.
I reported this to Apple last year, and was told (12/12/12):
"I have escalated these invoice discrepancies to our engineers. I apologize for the inconvenience; I know how important record-keeping is in the educational setting. I will keep you updated on a resolution. Thanks so much for your patience."
Thus far, no further reply!
I've included a cropped screenshot of an example email invoice.
Apple invoice issue.jpg
All depends who you ask. I can vouch that the browser issue is part of this, Just tried it now to purchase an app called soundtouch. Tried in IE, and Firefox, came up with the error. However, into safari on the mac-mini server and bang, codes within 2 minutes. The VPP team seem a little more knowledgeable but have this irritating method of passing VPP queries onto the iTunes team who seem to struggle to understand basic functions.
Lets hope they come out with something more official.
OK, well it appears there may be two issues at play then.
The one that was affecting us was certainly an Apple VVP issue with their backend systems. I spoke with someone from Apple Education (UK) and they confirmed that it had something to do with the pricing structure and Apple not understanding the complexities of how different organisations in different countries (outside the US) operate from an accounting perspective. It was affecting all customers outside of the US, since its launch on 5th September.
This problem was resolved on 13/12/12 (just over 3 months later). I can confirm that since this date, we have successfully purchased all of the apps listed above that we previously could not.
I suspect the issue you have described is unrelated, and may have something to do with the browser you are using. I have been using Google Chrome on a Windows PC successfully, but I can confirm that prior to 13/12/12 I attempted to purchase apps via the VPP store on IE, Firefox, Chrome (PC) and Safari (Mac) without success. It was also not related to cookies, etc...which is the first thing the 1st / 2nd line Apple support guys suggest you try.
I just don't understand why Apple seem to be so slow to acknowledge and inform their own staff or even customers of issues - unless pushed and pushed. It would have been so easy for Apple to post something on the VPP site informing people of the issue at the time. Surely people (us included) would have been less angry and frustrated if they had been more transparent!
Priorities probably feature elsewhere, not saving money for education.
I have just tried again on Mac with Firefox, failed trying to purchase Counting 123, Safari, worked a treat.
Anyway, not an issue, we have our apps now and they are being used.
Feel sorry for all of the smaller schools who maybe do not have an IT dept trying to do all of this on their own, Thats why a number of schools I visit have purchased iPads and they sit down gathering dust
That's interesting, and useful to know! Thus far Google Chrome on a PC is working fine as well, but if we do encounter any issues we will use Safari on a Mac.
We've now purchased all the apps we need (for now) as well.
By the way, have you had issues with Apple invoices, and the cost of apps?
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