back to article Apple $10k winner hangs up on 'prank caller'

An Apple customer nearly missed out on a $10,000 gift card from the company, after she was convinced that her daughter – who had downloaded the 10 billionth app from the iPhone maker's store – had received a "prank call". Cult of Mac reports that Gail Davis of Orpington, Kent, took the call from Apple before promptly ending it …

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WTF?

You can only spend it in the iTunes store. What a bunch of tight arses. They could have at least made it valid the apple store. How are you going to spend 10k$ on fart apps ?

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RE: "How are you going to spend 10k$ on fart apps ?"

Exactly, you can't.

They don't actually want to give anything away, you know. They just wanted the free publicity from El Reg and others -- the misunderstanding may or may not have been in some way engineered or anticipated by their marketing team, who knows?

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Troll

"How are you going to spend 10k$ on fart apps?"

I'd write my own fart app, set the price at $10k, then buy it. (Probably get a few idiots buying it too as a "joke" and forgetting that Apple keeps their payment details on file)

Then I'd go out and buy a dueling glove and slap Steve Jobs right in the face with it. I dare say the flesh from his cheek would probably fall off in the process and then I'd feel a bit sick and wish I hadn't done it. That's if he doesn't regenerate, liquid metal man style.

Then a dollar sign would flash up on his chest, he would shout "DIRECTIVE" in a weird robotic voice and immediately start bin raiding.

creepy motherfucker.

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Anonymous Coward

re WTF?

As above... They offer an iTunes gift card as a prize in an iTunes promotion. Pretty straightforward as far as I can see (I guess being able to read helps). What exactly did you expect them to give as a prize, $10000 worth of bananas?

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A title

I could quite easily spend $10,000 on films & music over a few years

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Boffin

Unsurprisingly,

someone (AC 25/1/11 00:09) gets downvoted by the spittle-dribbling "I gotta hate Apple to show I'm too cool" brigade, despite his perfectly rational, non-provocative comment.

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Flame

Aha!

A downvote. Must have touched a raw nerve there...

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Good thought except,

you'd probably find another of those hidden Jobsian requirements for an app sold in the app store is that it cost less than $50 or some such nonsense that would prevent you from cashing out the 5,500 (convert to British currency or after paying the US taxes, your choice).

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Pint

@ Ted Treen

It isn't apple that they hate -- they hate all fruit, and the banana bit just pushed them over the edge.

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FAIL

Hey

Have Reg readers gone loopy? Ted's post and the one it refers to seem to me the epitome of rational comment. Why are Reg Readers (it's not Sun readers (oxymoron) you know) down voting perfectly clear and reasonable opinions?

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Megaphone

Re: "A downvote. Must have touched a raw nerve there..."

Try using humour next time.

For example, instead of saying """They offer an iTunes gift card as a prize in an iTunes promotion. Pretty straightforward as far as I can see (I guess being able to read helps). What exactly did you expect them to give as a prize, $10000 worth of bananas?""" which just makes you sounds like a Geography teacher after someone's pissed on your electric globe, try saying:

"""At least Apple weren't giving away $10000 worth of bananas, that shit would ripen your apples up like a motherfucker"""

Short and to the point.

Also, I would leave the "you can't read" material for the second date.

And now you know.

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In Most US States...

...that would be an illegal lottery.

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Anonymous Coward

Rubbish

As above.

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Boffin

Don't know how it works in the UK...

But in the US, a $10K iTunes "gift card" would come with a Federal Income Tax Bill as well as a State Income Tax Bill. Top Federal Income tax Rate is 35%, although the average taxpayer pays about 25%. If the unlucky sap happened to live in California, Apple's home state, you might hit the top State income tax rate of 10.55%, although the average California taxpayer pays about 9%. Most States have income tax rates that average around 5%.

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Bronze badge

Winnings are tax free in the UK

Or were, last time I looked.

That, in theory, is the good thing about premium bonds. On average you win as much as you'd get in interest but you pay no tax because it's winnings.

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Stop

Premium bonds return is worse than interest on average

I'm afraid you're sadly mistaken if you think the return on premium bonds averages out to be what you'd get in interest.

Online calculator here to show the comparison between sticking the money in a bank and sticking it on premium bonds: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/savings/premium-bonds-calculator/

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Anonymous Coward

IIRC

When betting in the UK you can pay tax on the stake, or the prize. Generally people go for the stake, which is a win-win for the exchequer and the gambler. The total tax take is higher, and the winner doesn't feel that (s)he got hit so hard, because the tax burden was spread across the losers as well.

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Not any more

That tax was abolished when all the bookies moved off-shore to avoid it. They did a deal with the government to come back to the UK if betting tax was abolished - they just pay normal corporation tax on their profits. Good for gamblers!

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Anonymous Coward

UK Betting Tax

OK, so you're half right - that was the deal 10+ years ago.

However Labour abolished betting tax in the UK in October 2001

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OMGNOBLANKTITLESALLOWED!!!

$10,000 in apps via gift card, which they'll never fully use.

And yet they'll still have the claim the $10,000 as income on their taxes (or would if they were American - not sure how British taxes work).

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Solution

Hire somebody to develop a 'Hello World' app. Stick it on the app store at $10,000. Buy it. Apple gets $3,000 (which they'd get anyway whatever you buy); you get $7,000 (which you'd never see a penny of otherwise).

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FAIL

"Hello World"

The "Hello World"-type apps are banned from the App Store. Read the fine print and you'll see the laundry list.

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I know what I'd do

I'd fork out for a Mac and write an app which I'd sell for $10,000. Then I'd buy that app. Yes Apple would get back 30% but at least the other 70% could spent in some more sensible way.

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Fatal flaw

You can't sell an app for $10K; the most you can charge is $999.

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Silver badge

So, 10 apps then.

Not so fatal.

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Joke

Less fatal fix for your flaw

only $999? Okay, so he'd have to buy 10 copies of his own app...Do I have to think of everything around here? ;-)

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@fatal flaw

Buy it ten times, no?

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FAIL

....Rectified

So write ten apps at $999 and buy each one

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Anonymous Coward

title clamps

Then you set the price to $5k and buy it twice... sheesh, not hard to figure out.

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Headmaster

sheesh

but 5k > 999.

seems it is a bit hard to figure out

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Woo!

Raw British cynicism at its best! Someone calls to say you've won a prize; we immediately assume that it's a con. Makes me proud to be English! Had the winner been over the Pond in the Colonies you wouldn't have been able to do anything for all the high-fiving...

Stiff upper lip icon??

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Stop

Sign of the times...

Dunno about anyone else, but I get these kinds of calls all the time:

"Congratulations (in metallic recorded voice) you have won a prize" from a competition I didn't enter.

I'm not surprised that the lady cut them off. I've started getting abusive, at least if there is a human n the other end.

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Silver badge

Not so much.

Cynicism about such phone calls is equally prevalent across the pond. Most of us suspect them of trying to engage in ID theft or worse, that they are really selling a timeshare.

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Jobs Horns

actually...

Over the pond, if they call me telling me I've won something, I act interested, and speak softly, more softly, until my voice is a whisper and the rep has turned up their phone volume all the way.

Then I blow the police whistle.

Then I carry on as if nothing has happened. Maybe I can get them twice.

I hate telemarketers. There's nothing like paying a phone bill to have someone call you when you're on the john, trying to sell you something you didn't want, or a charity scam, or get you to join some wacko cult, or give to some asswipe political party, or offer you a prize where all's you have to do is give 'em your bank account number. Then they have the 'nads to tell me it's free speech. If it's free, how the hell come I'm paying for it? Some of them you can't even hang up on -- they have an auto dialback on hangups. Fortunately, I usually get a second telemarketer to deafen. I'm just sharing the love...

Telemarketers are lower than p0rno spammers. It takes less time to get rid of them.

[/grumble][/fume]

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XKCD

http://xkcd.com/570/

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FAIL

Gotta be....

.. one of the worst competition prizes in all history! 10k of vouchers that you'll never be able to spend.

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Paris Hilton

gotta love it...

So they offer a $10,000 itunes gift card to the person who buy the 10e09th app and everyone starts moaning about what a con it is!

I bet she's happy - free music/films/apps etc etc for a long, long time...

Paris - 'cos she's grateful for all she gets, strings attached or not.

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@everybody talking about apps

From what I gather from the article, it's a freebie for the iTunes store (not the AppStore), which offers apps, videos, music, the lot. Honestly? For 10k bits of pressed metal, I'd vastly extend my music library, with the odd movie thrown in.

As for the tax situation, I have no idea how it is in the UK at this time; in the US it seems to depend on which state you are in and sometimes the phase of the moon and time of day. Where I live, all winnings from publicly-available lotteries and suchlike (which this falls under) are tax-free for the first year. So here, the winner would have one year to get rid of the gift value. OK... the complete works of the Beatles, to start with... then Led Zeppelin, Steeleye Span, Rush,... I don't think I'd have much of a problem getting rid of that money within one year, particularly if I also buy movies.

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Jobs Horns

Re: @everybody talking about apps

"From what I gather from the article, it's a freebie for the iTunes store (not the AppStore), which offers apps, videos, music, the lot. Honestly? For 10k bits of pressed metal, I'd vastly extend my music library, with the odd movie thrown in."

And then your computer/iGadget stops working, or your account gets reset, or a bunch of other things occur outside of your control that are frowned upon by Apple via some policy or other, and then you get locked out of that shiny new collection of stuff. Still, at least you didn't pay anything for it.

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+1 to the AC

Until I can download FLAC from iTwats, this bargepole is staying on my boat.

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WTF?

Lost iTunes content

Yeah, this happens all the time. That's why Apple are universally hated by consumers and don't produce the most popular line of personal media devices.

Now, I'm as cynical as the next guy when it comes to the *cost* of digital distribution, but I've haven't heard any reports of lossage in a long while. FUD sensor tingling.

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Silver badge

You might be smoking something,

but the Federal Taxes don't change from State to State and all winnings are taxable as normal income. After that, state taxes are applicable as your state determines. This is simple stuff, not rocket science. Now, what I'm not sure about is whether or not gambling losses can be used to offset gambling gains. They certainly can't be used to offset normal income.Territories etc. might be different.

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FAIL

@AC from Tuesday 25th January 2011 00:07 GMT

IIRC, one can re-download everything one has bought, unlike with certain other services.

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Linux

British Taxes (for our US readers)

She does not have to pay any tax whatsoever. Ok. Free & Clear.

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Taxes??

Maybe not, but I wonder what the exchange rate of $10K is?

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Black Helicopters

According to Apple it is...

...10k pounds.

1:1 rate with USD. They can hardly claim otherwise, though I bet they will!

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Go

So

$10k for iTunes store.

It IS a con after all!!!

Though I would probably go down the "make 10 apps for $999" route.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Unhappy

Aww! ..What a sore loser!

.

Kinda wish it was you, huh?

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Anonymous Coward

Abort / Retry / Fail

I'd happily add to my music and film collection - and if its valid of the new Mac App store, could get through it in a day or 2

There is a similar compo available at Microsoft - apparently the 5,000 customer gets a free registry rebuild, a new virus checker and signed photograph of Monkey Man Bulmer, its probably still available

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