The following is an article originally posted by Ben. We wanted to revisit it, since the problem is reported frequently by our retail customers. Hope it clears some things up!

I rely on and love my morning cup of Starbucks while simultaneously enjoying the ability to download music directly from the iTunes Store. Imagine how happy I was when I realized that I could combine my two loves by purchasing the new Starbucks card. This synergy allowed me to continue to purchase the coffee I love, while receiving two free song downloads from the iTunes Store.

In my excitement, I rushed to my computer, redeemed my code, went to download a song, and… Disaster struck! Suddenly the billing address that I had been using for over six years was suddenly “not a valid US billing address!” Either South Burlington had seceded from the United States overnight, or the Starbucks card had done something to my iTunes Store account.

I immediately checked to make sure I had the most up-to-date version of iTunes and tried reentering my billing address multiple times. Nothing I did seemed to help—I had been given two free songs that I was unable to use! I decided to bring my issue to Apple’s attention to see if they could help me. I emailed iTunes Store support and outlined the problem I was experiencing. I explained my familiarity with iTunes and asked for any suggestions. Apple impressed me by responding within 24 hours but their answer was generic and not helpful.

I immediately replied, reiterating the billing issue while noting the fact that I believed the issue stemmed to the Starbucks card. Again, I received a reply in less than 24 hours (no complaints for tardiness) but was again disappointed with the response. I was instructed to change my zip code to “Queen City.” Confused, I again immediately responded to the support email wondering what Queen City was. I know Burlington is known as the “Queen City,” but why would they not refer to Burlington as “Burlington?” I also reiterated once again how the issue seemed to stem the activation of the Starbucks card.

With the next reply, we seemed to be making some headway. iTunes support suggested I change my zip code to 05407 which is the South Burlington PO Box zip code. I went into iTunes and typed in the new zip code, clicked on save, and again… “your billing address does not match the zip code you have entered.”

Dang, foiled again.

The plus side to this email was that they finally admitted that the Starbucks card may have played a role in the problem. I replied, this time implying how frustrated I was and letting Apple know that I appreciate a solution soon. With the next email, Apple asked for my permission to verify my account which I immediately granted. Here is part of the email I received the next day…

While testing your account I was able to replicate the error you have received. I was able to overcome this error by changing the city in your billing address to Queen City. You will be able to purchase from the iTunes Store using your credit card if you keep Queen City as your billing address city and the zip code 05403 as your billing address zip code.

Our engineering team is aware of the issue that is preventing the city South Burlington from being recognized and are working to repair the issue as quickly as possible. I would like to recommend that you change the city back to South Burlington after the 10th of November.* This will give our engineers ample time to locate the issue, make any necessary repairs, and update our systems.

A solution had finally been reached! Basically, if you live in South Burlington and have been having issues with downloading music, change your billing city to “Queen City” and leave your zip code as 05403. I was frustrated with how long it took to reach a solution for what seemed like a simple problem, but at the same time, I was quite pleased with the amount of responses I received from iTunes support in such a short period of time.

*Editor’s note: It seems they’ve needed more time to update this, so in the meantime, entering “Queen City” should alleviate the issue. It’s interesting to me that the entry for Queen City in Wikipedia doesn’t even include S. Burlington, VT in its list of cities…


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