Apple locked me out of its walled garden. It was a nightmare

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The title above is the title of this article and should have had quotes around it but there just wasn't quite enough space.

In any case, the basic story is that the author had purchased an iTunes gift card from an online discount retailer which he had used before. This is something he has done often for many years. He got the card and used it at the iTunes Store, buying some songs and a streaming video. Later that week he saw this:

Image

Naturally he called Apple Support and was elevated to a Senior Agent who told him not to worry after he told that SA his details, saying that it might take about 24 hours to get things cleared up.

Except that it didn't. The writer has been a fairly loyal user of Apple products (he figures that in hardware alone he has spent about $15 K), and so being locked out of his Apple account meant that much of his hardware was unusable.

For almost TWO months.

Eventually his account was restored. Apple's explanation was that a number of iTunes gift cards were stolen, and the company gave him some free months of Apple Music in recompense. That online retailer which sold him that iTunes card also apologized and refunded his purchase.

Near the end the author added:
Quote:
This whole ordeal made me wonder if I want to continue using Apple products. The more I consider it, the more I realize it’s not just a question of choosing one product over another. The truth is that Google or Microsoft (or Nintendo, or Samsung, or Sony, the list goes on) could just as easily cut off a customer for no stated purpose and without recourse.

Do we think enough about the rights we as consumers have when skimming over those long, unwieldy terms and conditions documents we sign to get access to the gadgets and products we buy every day? How much are we really buying, and how much are we just renting for a while?

It used to be that you could buy a piece of hardware, install software, and update it (or not) as you saw fit. But now, software increasingly lives in the cloud, and hardware makers exercise control over what accessories or systems are compatible with the devices you own.

The value of hardware is no longer just derived from the hardware itself, but the services the hardware depends upon, which can be cut off at any point, either because a company goes out of business, or, like the situation I found myself in with Apple, it locks me out with no explanation. Even Apple itself is refocusing its business model more directly around locking customers into its hardware with the services it offers exclusively for those devices.

[link snot added]

maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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This, right here, is among the chief reasons I refuse to switch to iOS. There is simply no way around an account lock, and if it happens, you are (usually) permanently screwed. Add that in to the push to subscriptions, where your software dies as the subscriptions are up... This person was frustrated by apps needing updates. Imagine how much more frustrating it would have been had it not been updates, but a need to re-up a subscription?

As an aside, if your device needs a total reset, that's it - it's curtains for that device, since you need to log in to your Apple ID to permit the reset.

Google isn't necessarily much better, but as long as you can get into the device, you can side-load apps and, as always, you can use DRM free and open-source apps with non-DRM locked files.
Windows 10 can be used completely without an online account. Android is hit or miss, but if push comes to shove you can enable third party apps and use the Amazon app store.

fiddlesticks Fitbit.
"I locked myself into a room and some people were mean to me and I had to venture out of the room to do some things but then they made it ok again and I can go back in the room but now I don't know if I want to."

Quote:
It was the first time I’d flown with a paper boarding pass in years. I couldn’t even pass time on the flight playing Animal Crossing on my phone, because I got a similar error message when I opened the game.


An infant.

We are a doomed species, and I think rightly so.
Donkey Butter jerk face
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My daughter got locked out of her account, a phone call to Apple and everything was back up and running.

I suspect this guy engineered this “disaster” for the purpose of this article.
Donkey Butter posted:
My daughter got locked out of her account, a phone call to Apple and everything was back up and running.

I suspect this guy engineered this “disaster” for the purpose of this article.

Unless your daughter got he account locked from using stolen gift cards it might be a slightly different lock.
dv
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Apple's account servicing/availability (locking, timeouts, password propagation between different systems, etc.) is actually really terrible and the primary reason I don't use it anymore.
maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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https://www.tomsguide.com/news/apple-ip ... own-safety

Locking things out for irritating them is the Apple way, apparently.
Ribtor posted:
"I locked myself into a room and some people were mean to me and I had to venture out of the room to do some things but then they made it ok again and I can go back in the room but now I don't know if I want to."

Quote:
It was the first time I’d flown with a paper boarding pass in years. I couldn’t even pass time on the flight playing Animal Crossing on my phone, because I got a similar error message when I opened the game.


An infant.

We are a doomed species, and I think rightly so.

Meh.

There are many activities that have become trivially easy via online services but can be difficult when people are forced off of such. Watch a millennial who has never seen any black-n-white movies ("'Cause they are only for old folks!") struggle with a rotary phone.

Your last line has been the complaint of EVERY older generation for millennia.
ukimalefu Rebel? resistance? why not both?
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DEyncourt posted:
Ribtor posted:
"I locked myself into a room and some people were mean to me and I had to venture out of the room to do some things but then they made it ok again and I can go back in the room but now I don't know if I want to."

Quote:
It was the first time I’d flown with a paper boarding pass in years. I couldn’t even pass time on the flight playing Animal Crossing on my phone, because I got a similar error message when I opened the game.


An infant.

We are a doomed species, and I think rightly so.

Meh.

There are many activities that have become trivially easy via online services but can be difficult when people are forced off of such. Watch a millennial who has never seen any black-n-white movies ("'Cause they are only for old folks!") struggle with a rotary phone.

Your last line has been the complaint of EVERY older generation for millennia.


I can't believe this is real but here it is anyway

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmuJj8-k8pM
jkahless Custom Title
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“I bought shadey stuff that isn’t normally discounted at a discount and got caught up when said shadey stuff turned out to be stolen goods.

Waaaaaah!”


I don’t buy dvds at the bus stop either. Never run into problems that way.
DEyncourt posted:



Your last line has been the complaint of EVERY older generation for millennia.


He is whining, publicly, about not being able to play with a toy on a plane. He wants people to know this.

After I posted I had second thoughts because I thought maybe The Onion had slipped one past.

I don't think it's generational. Boomers like me are just as whiny and demanding. I'm in retail, I know.
ukimalefu posted:
DEyncourt posted:
Ribtor posted:
"I locked myself into a room and some people were mean to me and I had to venture out of the room to do some things but then they made it ok again and I can go back in the room but now I don't know if I want to."

Quote:
It was the first time I’d flown with a paper boarding pass in years. I couldn’t even pass time on the flight playing Animal Crossing on my phone, because I got a similar error message when I opened the game.


An infant.

We are a doomed species, and I think rightly so.

Meh.

There are many activities that have become trivially easy via online services but can be difficult when people are forced off of such. Watch a millennial who has never seen any black-n-white movies ("'Cause they are only for old folks!") struggle with a rotary phone.

Your last line has been the complaint of EVERY older generation for millennia.


I can't believe this is real but here it is anyway

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmuJj8-k8pM

I MIGHT have argued that -I- had NO ONE teach me how to use a rotary phone, but the truth is that I had YEARS of training watching my parents use one (of several) even before I learned to read or use numbers or even comprehend at all that there were people at the other end of that phone line. It was just part of my world, but for example I might need some training in order to handle a horse-drawn wagon, something that my...um, maybe your great-grandparents would have regarded as an activity that "ANY child should know" (that deletion because chances are that MY great-grandparents were not rich enough especially in Japan to afford a horse at all, much less one they could use to pull a wagon).

So I can believe that a young girl would have ABSOLUTELY no concept of what was meant by the phrase "hang up the phone" being that she may have never seen anyone do that.
jkahless posted:
“I bought shadey stuff that isn’t normally discounted at a discount and got caught up when said shadey stuff turned out to be stolen goods.

Waaaaaah!”


I don’t buy dvds at the bus stop either. Never run into problems that way.

You apparently missed the part where he wrote--and that I noted in my summary--that he had used this discount shop before without any earlier problems.
BTW: a kinder parent could have used that video incident as a teachable moment: "Oh, this is something you haven't seen. OK, put this end of the handset up to your ear. Hear how it is making the standard dialtone now? Listen to what happens when I press the plunger here...and the dialtone went away, right? This plunger is the INACTIVE switch for this style of phone, so you 'hang it up' by putting the handset into its cradle here. That phrase "hang up the phone' makes more sense when you know that some of the earliest styles of phones were such that the handset actually hung from the plunger lever itself.

"But don't get me started on 'dialing a number' because I cannot show how that made any sense with THIS phone."
justine Elitist Beer Lover
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My grandsons phone was locked because he forgot his PW. It was locked for 90k or 900k days. :/
jkahless Custom Title
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DEyncourt posted:
jkahless posted:
“I bought shadey stuff that isn’t normally discounted at a discount and got caught up when said shadey stuff turned out to be stolen goods.

Waaaaaah!”


I don’t buy dvds at the bus stop either. Never run into problems that way.

You apparently missed the part where he wrote--and that I noted in my summary--that he had used this discount shop before without any earlier problems.


I did see that. I didn’t care. That he hadn’t had problems before means he was lucky, nothing more.

If you’re getting a discount on a gift card, there’s something fishy going on. Discount gift cards are about as legit as buying salmon out of the back of someone’s van. Everyone knows it’s not above board.


He took a risk, and now he doesn’t want to face the consequences. Caveat stick fiddling emptor.
Lombo Opiofiend
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Sometimes wal-mart and Best Buy do rebate on iTunes cards. 10% or even saw 20% once.
justine Elitist Beer Lover
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Discount gift cards are normal for Sams and Costco. You pay less than face value for them. However, they are both reputable stores and not some other place.
Old Yoda agitator
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“Over $970 million in gift card cash went unused in 2015 alone. Meanwhile, total gift card spending in 2015 clocked in at $130 billion, up 6% from the year before. Despite the billions of dollars that go unused, it's estimated that gift card sales will make another 9% jump this year.”
maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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I really hate gift cards as a general rule. However, it was easier to use them to let my daughter buy apps for her iPad than trusting her account with a live credit card. In that case, at least, it works out most of the time.
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Apple locked me out of its walled garden. It was a nightmare