This is what it’s like to get locked out of your Apple account

What you need to know

  • Luke Kurtis outlined what it was like to be locked out of his Apple account.
  • It happened because an iTunes card he purchased turned out to be stolen so Apple locked his account and then permanently disabled it.
  • He lost access to $15,000 worth of content he purchased over the past 14 years.

This isn’t really an Apple issue as it is a technology one.

If you are in the Apple ecosystem, your Apple ID is quite important as it is the portal through which you can access everything from your iCloud account, iTunes purchases, photos, apps, files and more. What would happen if you lost access to this?

Turns out it’s quite a nightmare according to Luke Kurtis, who has been a devout Apple user for nearly 15 years. He detailed his experience of being locked out of his Apple account in a Quartz post and it shows that the walled garden companies like to put up can turn into a prison.

Kurtis has had his Apple account since he first began purchasing iTunes content in 2005. He continued to do that by scooping up discounted iTunes cards through third-party sellers. However, one such purchase led to him being locked out of his account because it was a stolen card.

After learning about this situation, he provided proof of purchase to an Apple representative who assured him that his Apple account would go back to working normally within 24 hours. That did not happen. In fact, after multiple calls to Apple support, talks with multiple Senior Agents and two months had elapsed, Kurtis gave up on ever accessing his Apple account ever again.

It was a nightmare. Without his Apple account, he couldn’t access purchase content and (couldn’t update and thus) use apps on his iPhone. It rendered his Apple products, which included iPhones, iPads, iPods, Apple Watches, Apple TVs and even a HomePod, borderline useless.

As a last ditch effort, he sent an email to Tim Cook, who responds to them from time to time, and contacted an Apple rep he knew from work to see if there was anyway to get his account back.

The effort paid off, Kurtis got his account back with apologies from Apple and the company he bought the iTunes card from, but Kurtis knows that this would not have happened if he didn’t have access to an Apple rep, which most people don’t. He still doesn’t know whether contacting Cook or the Apple rep did the job.

The moral of the story, according to Kurtis, is not to cast blame on Apple. This was an incident with Apple at the forefront, but the same thing can happen with any other company the dabbles in cloud services like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Sony, Samsung, and countless others.

It’s just a sobering reminder of living in the world we live in and within the tech companies that lead it. One little issue can turn into an ordeal that can turn your life upside down.

All told, Kurtis tallied up over $15,000 worth of expenses he invested into his Apple account since 2005. All of that was almost lost thanks to a stolen iTunes card.

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